BRITISH Olympic high jump hopefuls beware – Steph Pywell is fighting fit.
The Worksop-born athlete has returned from injury and is prepared to battle for a place in Team GB for the 2012 Olympics in London.
Speaking to the Guardian this week, Pywell insisted a disappointing start to the season was well behind her and she was more than ready for the British Championships at the end of July.
The 24-year-old recently got back on track, after suffering a setback earlier this year.
She said: “I opened the season quite badly, with a really bad injury that took two months to get over.”
“But I got over it, came back and jumped 1.83m in Edinburgh at the start of July.”
“Then I cleared 1.88m at the first attempt in London and came really, really close to the Olympic standard of 1.92, I just missed it.”
While she was happy to take first place in the high jump at the McCain’s Jump Fest in Hendon, Pywell admitted her frustration at not reaching the qualifying height for London 2012.
“I was really disappointed,” she said.
“I should have been happy, I’ve only done two competitions in a season.”
“It was going so well and I felt in such good shape, but because of my injury I wasn’t able to do a lot of technique work.”
“But I’m working on that now.”
A veteran of the Commonwealth Games in Delhi last year, the former Retford Athletics Club prospect has resolved to win every competition she enters, and then hit the magic height of 1.92m.
“Every competition I go to I want to win and I don’t give up fighting until the bitter end.”
“After that it’s heights, my aim is to get to that Olympic height.”
No one has reached the qualifying standard as yet, with three places for women high jumpers in Team GB up for grabs.
Pywell explained: “A lot of the girls are injured or suffering from illness at the moment.”
“But hopefully, by next year it will be really competitive for the places.”
While everyone is eyeing the Olympic trials in 2012, the next big event is the British Championships on 29th July in Birmingham.
Pywell can’t wait.
“It’s a very, very big event, everybody wants to be the British champion, to go to the World Championships to represent their country,” she said.
“My injury is healed, I’m back in training and I want that top spot.”