Going into a huge summer, Sophie Hitchon feels in great shape to better her exploits of last year.
Last season was the best of the 24-year-old’s career to date, as she twice broke her own British hammer record on the way to claiming fourth place at the World Championships in Beijing.
My distances are up on last year so far. Hopefully that continuesSophie Hitchon
Over the next couple of months, she will look to defend her British title, before the European Championships in Amsterdam, and then the greatest show on earth – the Olympics in Rio.
Her early season form has been impressive, throwing over 70m in all three outings so far, back in Beijing (71.71m), Halle (71.63m) and Kingston, (70.65m), and she said: “I’ve started the season better than last year. You always hope for better, but it is about putting your training into competition, and my distances are up on last year so far. Hopefully that continues.
“The Euros are the first major championship of the year, after the British, then the Olympics, so training is more geared towards the end of the season.
“It can be a struggle if you come out to compete too early – it’s difficult to keep your level up throughout.
“Last year I built into the season and my best performances were at the end, and that is my goal again.
“I’d love to throw further, but in the long run it is about building into your season and producing when it matters.”
Training has been going really well, I’m pleased with how things are going.
“There are a few things to tweak, and hopefully things will come together at the British trials at Alexander Stadium in Birmingham at the end of June (25th).
“The British Championship is there to be won, and to qualify for the Olympics you have to finish in the top two or make the entry standard (71m) between May last year and July this.
“As well as putting into practice what you are doing in training, it is about competing against the girls you will be around all season, and to be able to beat a few of them and prove you can compete with them is really good.
“Qualifying is often the hardest part, you have to take it one step at a time, get to the final hopefully and move on from there.
“You have to take small steps rather than say ‘I’d love to do this or that’, you have to go through the processes and see where it takes you.
“I’m in Poland next weekend - I’ve had a training block between my first block of competitions - and I feel good.
“Things have been going better than at this stage last year. You always hope for better, but it is about putting your training into competition, and my distances are up on last year so far. Hopefully that continues.