Sophie Hitchon looks to positives

Britain's Sophie Hitchon competes in the women's hammer throw qualification round at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships in Daegu on September 2, 2011
Britain's Sophie Hitchon competes in the women's hammer throw qualification round at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships in Daegu on September 2, 2011

SOPHIE HITCHON was left to bemoan a missed opportunity after her World Athletics Championships debut proved short-lived in Daegu.

Hitchon failed to scale the heights of her European Under-23 Championship bronze medal win in South Korea, crashing out in the heats yesterday.

The 20-year-old set a new British record, of 69.59m, on her way to her age group medal but was well down on that here, managing just 64.93m.

And while trying to see the positives Hitchon admitted the overwhelming emotion was one of regret.

“I am obviously disappointed because I expected to come out and throw my best because I have done that at every other major championships that I’ve been to,” said Hitchon - who prepared for the World Championships at a training camp funded by Aviva - supporters of British athletes since 1999.

“The European Under 23s was a high point for me and hopefully next year will be a lot better.

“I can take a lot of positives from this though because I was in a world-class field with Betty Heidler the world record holder.

“It was such an amazing field to be in but I just wanted to do better myself.

“I don’t think there is any reason why I wasn’t throwing at my best, I had a bit of sickness going into it earlier this week.

“But I don’t think it affected me at all out there, I felt great out there but it didn’t happen for me.

“Competing against people like Betty is not new to me, I’m just disappointed because it could have gone better.”

Hitchon’s chance to make amends at a global senior level will come at next year’s Olympic Games in London.

And after her taste of the athletics big time this week, Hitchon has vowed to learn from her Daegu mistakes next summer.

“The reason we came is for next year and for 2012 to gain experience ahead of that,” she added.

“This was like the icing on the cake for me because the Under 23s was my major competition this year.

“So hopefully going into the Olympics and the next World Championships hopefully I’ll be more experienced then and hopefully do better.”

• Aviva’s support, both at home and abroad, is helping the Aviva GB&NI Team at the World Championships in Daegu, Korea. prepare to compete at their best. To find out more, go {http://www.avivaathletics.co.uk, www.avivaathletics.co.uk} or follow us on Twitter @AvivaAthletics