World hammer champ Sophie enjoys busy schedule

WORLD junior champion Sophie Hitchon insists she had no hesitation about doubling up in major competitions to travel to the World Athletics Championships in Daegu.

Fellow rising star Jodie Williams elected to focus her season on age-group events but Hitchon, who won hammer bronze at the European under-23 Championships in Ostrava just six weeks ago, has no worries about the strain of a busy schedule.

Hitchon, who turned 20 last month, set a 69.59m British record in the Czech Republic but will need to produce something even bigger to make the final, considering she is ranked 33rd in the senior world rankings.

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“It didn’t come into my head to not come really as this is a massive privilege to get selected for your team and your country,” said Hitchon – speaking from a training camp in Ulsan, funded by Aviva who have been supporting British athletes since 1999.

“So I didn’t really have any doubts I was going to come because it’s just another competition in the bank so I have got more experience and hopefully for next year’s Olympics I’ll have an idea what to expect.

“If I put on another three metres next season it would be an A-standard for the Olympics and hopefully be a contender to make the top eight next year.

“We have looked back at the last champs and the qualifying distance for the final was 66m which is well within my range.

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“It’s different in a major champs in that you only get three throws and so it will be hard to do that but it’s achievable.

“I’m focusing on the qualification first, there is a day between that and the final so we can think about the final on that rest day if I make it.”

Qualification is next Friday, with the final next Sunday.

Hitchon admits that unlike the majority of the British team, who have made Daegu their only priority for the season, the pressure is off.

“I’ve had an amazing season so far, we never thought I’d be here this year because three metres was a lot to gain so we’ve done really well,” she added.

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“This is pretty much the icing on the cake now and I’m just going to enjoy it. Obviously I am going to want to do my best as always but it’s going to be a great experience.

“There’s no pressure on me to do anything. I want to make the final and it’s an achievable goal to do that but there’s going to be no worries if I do or don’t.”