SARAH Holt has thrown within centimetres of her personal best after just two outings this year — but still she has mixed feelings over the start of her Olympic qualifying campaign.
The 24-year-old, who hails from Cleckheaton, took to the hammer throw circle for the first time in 2012 on March 3, recording a distance of 66.38m to finish second at the Winter Throws Trials in Loughborough.
That effort was just eight centimetres shy of Holt’s lifetime best, set in July last year, but over five metres away from the current UKA A standard for this summer’s Olympics.
Performances prior to April 1 weren’t recognised by that standard however with that date now passed every competition up to July 1 is all-important.
Currently spending six weeks training in Oregon, Holt, who only threw 64.17m at the European Cup Winter Throwing on March 18, has further outings planned in the US and is determined to improve.
“I hadn’t competed for quite a few months before my first outing this year but I knew I was in good shape,” said Holt — who will once again will benefit from the Lloyds TSB Local Heroes scheme this year.
“Although at the same time I thought I was in better shape than the 66m throw I produced but to start the season by throwing eight centimetres shy of my personal best is not too bad, is it?
“This time last year I was throwing nowhere near that and now that I am in America I have a few more competitions coming up and they are in California and are reasonably significant.
“I have one at UCLA and the other at Mt San Antonio College and I have never actually competed in California before, so it will be a good opportunity to do that and to get out and throw.
“I have been following the programme set out by my coach Bob Weir, who is based in America, really well and it is good to be with him at the moment and hopefully it has an impact.”
Holt is currently building towards June’s Olympic trials in Birmingham where the top two, provided they have the current UKA A standard will automatically qualify for the British team.
That month will take on extra significance after Holt was chosen to carry the Olympic Torch on June 25, a day after the trials finish, and she admits she has no choice but to qualify.
“I will be throwing on the Saturday, June 23, and the Sunday will be a rest day so hopefully it can be an enjoyable few days – obviously qualifying for the Olympics is far more important,” she added.
“I know a few of my old school teachers want to come out for my leg and they will bring a few of the schoolchildren down to watch, which will be great. I just have to make sure I qualify first.”
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