Sophie aiming for hammer breakthrough in Glasgow

Sophie Hitchon
Sophie Hitchon

Sophie Hitchon is the British hammer record holder, and has won gold at the World Junior Championships, European Under 23 Championships and Commonwealth Youth Games.

But the 23-year-old Burnley-born star is determined to make her mark at the 20th Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, in her first year as a senior.

Sophie will arrive in the athletes’ village today, before the opening ceremony at Celtic Park, with qualifying to come on Sunday, and, fingers crossed, Monday’s final at Hampden Park.

She has set her sights on a medal, and admits it would be her finest achievement to date if she makes the podium: “It’s my first Commonwealths - I didn’t go to Delhi four years ago - and I just want to try and perform to my best, and hopefully get a medal.

“That would be amazing.

“To get my first senior medal would be a big achievement, especially in my first season as a senior.

“I was 12th in the Olympic final, and hopefully I can go on from this to the Euros and place higher there.

“But I don’t want to finish my career with just a junior World Championship, European Under 23 and Commonwealth Youth Games gold.

“I want to break through at senior level.

“Your first year in the seniors can be difficult, but hopefully I’ll get stuck into these championships and do well.

“I didn’t have a great throw at the trials, but came through with a win.

“So after a few more weeks of training, hopefully I can be at my best and thrive in the village environment, get settled in and show what I can do.”

After being inspired in London two years ago, throwing a then-British record to reach the Olympic final, Sophie is looking forward to performing in front of another “home” crowd in Glasgow: “I’ll come up to the village today. I’ve been training in Loughborough, but my training partner Mark Dry is with Team Scotland, so we’ll come up separately.

“I’m really looking forward to it, it should be a good experience. “I really love throwing in front of big crowds, especially in Britain - London was an amazing experience, to be able to show people here what you can do, and you get a buzz off the crowd.

“Hopefully they will spur me on at the weekend! “In London, I hadn’t experienced anything like that before, and in the qualifying rounds it was all a bit surreal, but once you get into the competition, it becomes like any other comp, so I’ll just focus on my own performance and hopefully perform to my best and pick up a medal.”

She added: “Obviously this will be different to any other competition I throw at all year, and I’m just really excited to experience a home crowd again.

“We went through kitting out a couple of weeks ago, and in the village, there is that vibe from all the other athletes there from all the other sports, so it should be great.

“Only the Commonwealth Games and Olympics are multi-event games, they’re on a bigger scale to the World and European Athletics Championships, when we’re normally in a hotel.

“Here, we’ll all be together in the village, and it’s exciting to be a part of, to see all the other athletes in different sports.

“I don’t usually get to see much of the other events, but the hammer is on one of the first days of the athletics, so hopefully I’ll be able to see some other sports - I’d like to watch the weightlifting!”

Should Sophie take home a medal, she won’t have much time to reflect on her success, after last week being confirmed in the GB team for the European Championships in Zurich between August 12-17th

Sophie will travel with the likes of Adam Gemili, Mo Farah, Greg Rutherford, Christine Ohuruogu and Jo Pavey.