Sophie’s preparations in full swing for Glasgow games

Sophie Hitchon
Sophie Hitchon

Sophie Hitchon is eagerly anticipating her first senior Commonwealth Games - although the British number one won’t count her chickens until she is officially named in the England team.

The British hammer record holder has already made the qualifying distance for Glasgow, and would appear a shoo-in for one of three slots on the team for the games.

But while her concentration is centred on the 20th Commonwealth Games, which start on July 23rd, she has her eyes on next month’s squad announcement first: “Glasgow is the main focus really, with the Europeans following shortly after.

“It’s come around quickly, you think it’s a year away, then it’s six months, and now, suddenly, it’s almost here.

“I’ve just got to keep training.

“England squad selection is in June, and that is pretty much when everything starts to get serious, you get your kit and everything. It’s similar to the Olympics in that there are a lot of different sports going on, not just athletics, which is good.

“I have the qualifying distance, and hopefully I will be named in the squad, but you’re not on the team until you are named.

“The qualifying period has been over two years, but you need to show current form as well, with three spots available.”

Sophie won gold in the Commonwealth Youth Games in Pune in 2008, but wasn’t in Delhi two years later, and she is excited about competing at the games: “It will be my first senior Commonwealths, and hopefully I can get on the podium - that’s the aim.

“Then it’s on to Zurich, and we’ll see how it goes.”

Training in a warmer climate has been going to plan, recently returning from a month in California, where she threw 69.08m to finish third at the Mount Sac Relays, and she said: “I’ve just had four weeks in California, I’ve been out a lot this year, mainly training, although I entered one competition.

“It’s still early in the season, but training is going really well.

“ I’m just trying to put everything together now.

“It’s such a technical event, if something is out by half a millisecond, it can all go wrong, and it’s difficult to put it all together.

“People say you have to have a short memory - if something does go wrong, it’s important to forget about it and move on.

“This year I had a full winter - last year I had the injury and didn’t start training until January.

“But this year I’ve not really had any problems touch wood, and hopefully it stays that way.”

The 2010 World junior champion and 2011 European Under 23 bronze medalist is, now, at the age of 22, a senior, but she smiled: “I’ve not really thought about it because I’ve competed against seniors and done well against them over the last couple of years.”