Sophie Hitchon was delighted to win a bronze medal in Monday night’s Commonwealth Games hammer final at Hampden Park - although she felt she had it in her to win gold.
The Burnley athlete had set out at the start of the season to win a medal at the Games, and was not troubled in the podium positions after her first throw, although she couldn’t peg back New Zealand’s Julia Ratcliffe and defending champion Sultana Frizell, who again took gold.
Those three held the medal positions after the first round, and the order didn’t change with the following five throws, with Frizell breaking the Games record she set in qualifying with a throw of 70.55m.
Ratcliffe finished with 69.96m, with Sophie’s final throw of 68.72m her best.
But having set a new British record last year with a throw of 72.97m, Sophie was capable of winning gold, and she said: “I felt I could have won gold - I’ve been training better, but I’m really pleased to come away with a bronze.
“I felt things had been going well in training, but it didn’t quite come together on the night - it’s just how it goes sometimes, you’ve just got to keep going.
“I started off okay with my first throw (67.58m), but kind of lost the feeling a little bit through the next couple of rounds, before getting it back.
“I got an okay distance in the end, and for a second I thought my last throw had a chance, but it wasn’t quite enough.
“I know it’s there though, and hopefully I can pull something out at the Europeans.”
There will be little time for celebrations, however, as the European Championships follow in Zurich between August 12-17th, with Sophie aiming for the final.
Buoyed by a major medal in her first year as a senior, she is hungry for more glory: “I always said a medal at Glasgow would be amazing, and hopefully it can be a stepping stone for me now, starting in Zurich.
“I always look at every competition as an opportunity, and this medal is something to try and build on now.
“Last time at the Euros I got to the final, and it would be great to do that again, and finish higher.”
Sophie was 11th in Helsinki in 2012, a month before finishing 12th at the Olympics in London.
She will remain in Glasgow for training until Monday, before flying out to Switzerland on Sunday, August 10th.