New coach for Olympian Sophie

NEW COACH: Sophie Hitchon
NEW COACH: Sophie Hitchon

AS Olympic hammer finalist Sophie Hitchon gets ready to attack a new athletics season, she is entering a new era under a new coach.

As the UK record holder looks to build on her phenomenal rise, she has recently returned from a training camp in Stellenbosch in South Africa, as she adjusts to life under the tutelage of Tore Gustafsson - a Swedish three-time Olympic finalist and coach of Koji Murofushi, the men’s World champion and Olympic bronze medalist.

Sophie said on her twitter page: “Just finished a great training week and looking forward to the future. Got to say thank you to Derek Evely for the past three years.”

In 2009, Canadian Evely was appointed Centre Director for the 2012 Performance Centre at Loughborough University, taking Sophie under his wing, passing on his vast experience of athletics coaching experience at elite level.

Under Evely, Sophie won the World Junior Championships in Moncton, Canada the following year.

In 2011 she was third in the European U23 Championships in Ostrava, and also finished 13th at the World Athletics Championships in Daegu, South Korea.

Last year she was 11th in the European Championships in Helsinki, before her 12th-place finish - reaching the final - at London 2012.

The UK champion for the last two years, Sophie has broken the UK record and gone on to continually extend it.

At the 2011 BUCS Championships she claimed the record, aged just 19, with a huge throw of 69.43m, and added to that when taking bronze in Ostrava with 69.59m.

Last year she broke the British record four times, hitting the A standard to qualify for the Olympics with an effort of 71.61m in California last April, before throwing 71.98m in the final round to reach the Olympic final.