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Abi Fitzpatrick looks to Perri Shakes-Drayton for inspiration
9:38am Thursday 26th April 2012 in Sport
WARRINGTON’S Abi Fitzpatrick is looking to fellow British 400m hurdler Perri Shakes-Drayton for inspiration.
The 18-year-old is yet to take to the blocks this year, after a hamstring injury prevented the former Priestley College pupil from opening her 2012 account indoors, but she has still put in the hard work – travelling to Spain for 10 days’ warm-weather training.
She will also spend next month in Arizona, putting in final preparations for a season that she hopes will involve a trip back to Spain for the World Junior Championships in Barcelona in July.
And Fitzpatrick insists she has got the perfect motivation to ensure it happens – charting British champion and double European bronze medallist Shakes-Drayton’s every move.
“Perri is definitely an inspiration,” said Fitzpatrick, who has been benefiting from the Spar Sprints Stars programme this year.
“I want to be like her, but I know I will have to put in a lot of hard work to get to where she is.”
The former Warrington Sports Personality of the Year added: “I am always looking to see what times she was running at my age so that I can try and do the same.
“I finished second behind her in the heats at the British Championships last year and then I finished eighth in the final which she also won.
“I was feeling a bit ill in the changing rooms afterwards and she came over to see how I was doing. It was really kind of her.”
Fitzpatrick is no stranger to foreign excursions and competed at the European Junior Championships in Estonia last summer – finishing fifth in the 400m hurdles final – though she believes is now doing even better.
“Training is going really well,” she added. “I’ve got the hurdles out and my touchdown times have been 6.4, which is better than in Estonia where I was getting 6.6.”
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