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Abi Fitzpatrick produces season's best in Olympic trials
2:14pm Sunday 24th June 2012 in Sport
ABI Fitzpatrick can’t wait for Olympic year to be over – and is already looking ahead to 2013.
The talented 400m hurdler, who won last year’s English Schools’ title, endured a miserable winter with injuries and has struggled to find her form in 2012.
She failed to make the British team for the World Junior Championships in Bedford last weekend but posted a season’s best 1:01.48minutes when finishing third in her heat at the Olympic trials in Birmingham.
It meant at least she had a smile on her face after a disappointing year that included a poor showing, by her own high standards, at the Olympic Stadium during the BUCS Championships in May.
“I’m trying to be positive and it’s a season’s best – which after all my problems I can’t complain about,” said Fitzpatrick.
“I tore my hamstring last year and I still haven’t really got back into my full stride. I got injured in November and didn’t start training again until February.
“I had 12 weeks completely off, so I missed all the endurance work that you want to put in over the winter. I missed a chunk of really important training and that has set me back.
“I didn’t get the selection standard for the world juniors, which was obviously a real disappointment, but in reality it was always going to be tough.”
Fitzpatrick, who turned 19 earlier this month, admitted she had thought about calling it quits for the season to focus on getting prepared for next year’s European Under-23 Championships in Tampere, Finland.
But coach Morris Condon persuaded her to think again.
“I ran fast last year, so I know I can do it,” she added. “I just want to get back to being Britain’s number one junior by the end of the year.
“I need a few more races to prove to myself that I can run the times, even if I’m not going to the championships.
“I’m stepping up in ages next season and I’m looking forward to the challenge. I ran one of my worst times at the Olympic Stadium. I was disheartened and I didn’t really want to run again this year.
“But my coach and parents convinced me get over it and get back on the track. If you don’t race, you’ve already lost I suppose.”
Fitzpatrick is also looking forward to watching the Olympics on television where domestic rivals Eilidh Child and Perri Shakes-Drayton could be among the medal contenders.
She added: “The support of the home crowd in Birmingham was fantastic, it makes a such a difference and with the fans behind them at the Olympic Stadium, it’s going to be amazing for the home athletes.”
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