Sale Harrier Abi Fitzpatrick looking to World Junior Championships
Sale Harrier 400m hurdler Abi Fitzpatrick wants to be one of Great Britain's star performers at World Junior Championships
Sale Harrier Abi Fitzpatrick has set her sights on a starring role at this year’s World Junior Championships after being selected as part of the highly successful Spar Sprints Programme for 2012.
The 400m hurdler is one of eight talented young athletes who have been chosen for the initiative which count the likes of 2008 Olympian Martyn Rooney and 60m national hurdles indoor champion Andy Pozzi among its former graduates.
The 18-year-old, who attends Liverpool John Moores University, has plenty of reason for optimism having finished fifth at last year’s European Juniors in Estonia and reached the final of senior UK Championships in 2011.
And while the former Sale Harriers starlet is determined to take things one step at a time in Olympic year she has success in Barcelona this July at the top of his agenda.
“The main goal for me this year is to compete in the Barcelona World Junior Championships. I’m hoping to get a medal, preferably gold!” said Fitzpatrick, speaking at the launch of the 2012 Spar Sprint Stars programme in Birmingham.
“Winter’s gone great and I’m running good times so I’m very confident.
“Between now and the summer I’m going out to Spain for warm weather training for ten days and then I’m coming home and training a bit in England. Then in May I’m going out to Arizona for four weeks to prepare for the World Juniors.
“Being out at warm weather training will definitely help – there are no distractions around, it’s nice weather, there are good, fast tracks and it’s an opportunity to run some fast times and come back in good shape.
“There’s definitely a lot more I can give in the future in athletics as a senior athlete, as I get older and more mature and my body develops.
“Beyond the World Junior Championships my aim is to hopefully go to the 2016 Olympic Games.”
Fitzpatrick need only look as far as current 60m hurdles indoor champion Pozzi as an example of how the scheme can help a young career with the young sprint hurdler coming on leaps and bounds in 2011.
And Fitzpatrick believes she is perfectly placed to follow Pozzi’s lead.
“It’s great to be part of the SPAR Sprints Stars programme because they help raise your profile which is what all athletes need,” she added.
“It also provides funding and clothing which is very helpful for all the competitions you go to.”
Brought to you by SPAR, Official Sponsors of UK Athletics. For more information visit www.spar.co.uk