Text us your news! Start your message Warrington News and send any photos or videos to 80360
Olympic Park experience will stand Abi in good stead for the summer
12:47pm Thursday 17th May 2012 in Sport
ABI Fitzpatrick’s chances of running a fast time at the Olympic Park were ruined by the hamstring injury that kept her out of action during the winter, but the Warrington athlete says the experience will still stand her in good stead for the summer.
The Warrington 18-year-old missed 10 weeks of training with the leg injury and could only clock 63.09seconds in the British Universities and Colleges Championship 400m hurdles final to finish seventh, more than five seconds outside her personal best.
But despite her disappointment, the Liverpool John Moores University student said running in front of a crowd of 46,000 at the BUCS, an official Olympic Games test event, was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
“Just to have the opportunity to run there was amazing,” said Fitzpatrick, the reigning 400m hurdles English Schools Champion.
“It was a privilege to run on the track, everybody in London was so hyped up about it. The experience means next time you run in front of a big crowd it doesn’t scare you.”
The former William Beaumont School pupil is currently away warm weather training in Arizona, and said she is still confident she can medal at the World Junior Championships, her main goal for the summer, despite her injury woes.
“I was very disappointed with the way I ran but it was what I expected. I’ve improved in everything – speed, power, weights – except my endurance, which I’m working on now,” she said.
“Everybody wants to get a medal and that’s the aim, really. Last year I ran 58.38seconds, and I’d like to run low 57s which has meant a medal at the last two World Junior Championships.”
The hurdler is one of eight talented young athletes who have been chosen for the Spar Sprints Programme for 2012, providing the youngster with funding, equipment and travel support.
Fitzpatrick praised the scheme, which has helped the likes of 2008 Olympian Martyn Rooney and 60m hurdles indoor champion Andy Pozzi in the past.
She said: “It’s been really great. We had a conference in Birmingham where Andy Pozzi spoke to us, and he went through the programme last year.
“Obviously everything costs a lot of money, and if you haven’t got the money you can’t be the best.”
Brought to you by SPAR, Official Sponsors of UK Athletics. For more information visit www.spar.co.uk