Sophie looking forward to World final

Sophie Hitchon
Sophie Hitchon

Just under a year has passed since Sophie Hitchon emerged from the shadows to win Olympic hammer bronze.

But now, 12 months on from Rio, she’s back and eyeing to a return to the podium - this time on home soil at the World Athletics Championships in London.

At the last edition of the championships, in Beijing two years ago, Hitchon finished just outside of the medals in fourth place with a then British record - sending the record books tumbling once more in Rio.

This time around though, she’s got home advantage on her back, and that’s something she’s keen to build upon as she makes her return to the London Stadium for the first time since the Olympics in 2012.

She started her campaign in comfortable style on Saturday, requiring just one throw to book her spot in Monday’s final.

Her effort of 73.05m was the second furthest of her qualifying group, just 1.92m shy of the leading throw from Poland’s Malwina Kopron.

And while Hitchon insists there’s plenty still to come on Monday, she’s not getting too carried away as she moves one step closer to the silverware.

“In qualification rounds, you just have to make it through, no matter how you do it,” she said. “It’s nice to get it done in the first round, it’s just all about being in the final now.

“Things have been going well, but it’s all about what happens on the day. You could wake up one morning and it all feels a bit weird, but I’ll just come back and execute again on Monday night.

“In 2012, I got through qualification with a PB, so hopefully it can go as well this time as then. In Rio, it didn’t go my way in qualification, because it’s never the easiest thing.

“It’s a different competition when you get to the final. It does your confidence the world of good.

“I don’t come in thinking i’m going to win a medal. Just because I won a medal last year, everyone knows it doesn’t work like that.

“Every competition is different, it’s all about coming in and trying to do the best you can.

“I wasn’t meant to make it through to the final in 2012. It’s great to come back and have another crack at it.”

* You can help the next generation of young British athletes by getting involved in SportsAid Week this September with London 2012 hero Greg Rutherford MBE. Find out more about how you can support the week of fun and fundraising by visiting www.sportsaid.org.uk/sportsaidweek.