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2 Sep 2021
4 min read
Athlete Column ○ Championship
It was a really weird experience racing in Tokyo because in normal races I don’t get nervous but leading up to it and before it I kept wondering if it would change my mindset as it’s the Olympics and everyone talks about it. Thankfully it didn’t at all.
I just wanted to make sure I enjoyed it, took it all in and it didn’t feel different to any other race and I felt that was what happened.
When I was running in the individual event I struggled breathing and had a bit of a nightmare. I couldn’t breathe and the race was going away from me, I thought ‘take it all in, in years to come you will be thinking about this moment.’
When we crossed the finish line I was so happy for G and to be there and even though there were no spectators it actually went ahead. I was in Tokyo and after the stress of my injury…to just be there and do it – I loved it.
I was on such a high and we had a few days to recover and I got my head around the fact that we were going into the Mixed Relay as favourites because of the performances we had as individuals.
I was then thinking ‘I’m going off first and I’ve got three medalists in my team. I am literally the only one without a medal.’ I felt the pressure a little bit.
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On the day it wasn’t as bad as I thought and I wasn’t nervous. That said, I wasn’t thinking about enjoying the moment on the run. I was absolutely going for it.
To come away with gold, I still can’t believe it. I remember Yee going onto the run thinking I was certain we had a gold medal. It was unreal.
A lot of people talk about what it’s like after the Olympics. There are loads of people in touch and want to meet up and you see family and there are parties and media. It’s full on.
Also when you do go to parties everyone asks you the same question and wants to know the same thing, and they don’t realise you have spoken about it so many times. Everyone wants a photo with the medal, with you and the medal. It’s so nice but full on.
The strangest thing for me is Jon and I went for a run locally near us and five people must have shouted ‘well done.’ It just felt mad.
We then went abroad to train and for a bit of a holiday and that was so good and really helped me to get away from it and take in what had happened.
I think I am ready for Super League. I have been training, but mentally I have really struggled with the top end and really hurting myself so it will be interesting to see how my form has gone from Tokyo to now, but I should be ready to roll.
I think it’s the perfect thing for me to do because you don’t know where you are because it’s so different. I genuinely don’t even know what to expect as the only Super League I’ve done is the Arena Games.
If it’s anything like the Arena Games it’s going to be good fun, and it’s nice it starts in London as well.
With four weekends of back-to-back racing there won’t be much training or sessions to be done other than the race so I don’t know what to do during the week. I will probably tick over between the racing but I don’t know, and I will just see how I feel from Sunday and get an idea of how knackered I will be or if I’m alright.
I think there’s quite a few people who have raced on back-to-back weekends before. Katie Zaferes seems to have raced every weekend since Tokyo, so I think it will be quite interesting. I would normally race one a month so it’s either going to be good or bad.
I think most people will be similar and we are all in the same boat, committed and all doing the same thing. One thing I do know is that it will be fun.
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