Sophie retains British title to book slot in Rio

British champion Sophie Hitchon will compete at the Olympic Games in Rio
British champion Sophie Hitchon will compete at the Olympic Games in Rio

Burnley’s Sophie Hitchon retained her status as British champion for a third successive year at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham and booked her place on the plane to Rio in the process.

The 24-year-old took a commanding hammer victory with a throw of 69.99m in the latest instalment of the British Championships to ensure a second appearance at an Olympic Games.

Having opened her season with a distance of 70.65m in Kingston, Jamaica, last month, Hitchon subsequently threw three Olympic standards – 71.63m in Halle, 71.71m in Beijing, and her best of the season to date, 71.86m in Szczecin, Poland.

“It’s always a proud moment to become a British champion,” said Hitchon.

“There were a few technical issues which I’m not happy about but it was about getting the win.

“I’ll look forward to the European Championships in a couple of weeks then we will be focusing on Rio.

“There are a lot of small steps to make over the next few weeks to make those improvements ahead of the Olympic Games.”

Hitchon placed 12th at London 2012, failing to improve on her first attempt of 69.33m in the final at the Olympic Stadium. Now Hitchon is looking to take further strides forward.

“I’ve always had massively high expectations for myself, so in terms of my personal expectations they haven’t changed a great deal,” she said. “Obviously I’d love to extend my PB a little further – that’s always an aim.

“If I could improve on my place from the previous Olympic Games too I’d be really pleased, but again it’s about getting through the rounds, from there I can revise my goals and expectations once again.”