England Athletics Combined Events National Final U20 Women – Sheffield, 9 Jan 2016

When the world champion and world recorder holder is facing you in your first year as an u20 what do you do? Buckle under the strain or rise to the occasion? This was the prospect Alice Hopkins faced in Sheffield last Saturday as she settled into the first of her 5 pentathlon events drawn next to Morgan Lake in the fastest 60mts hurdles race. A false start did nothing for the nerves as Alice has twice before fallen foul of the disqualification rule (in Sheffield!!) thankfully this time it was someone else! Safely away at the second time of asking Alice was left at the start and was last of 7 at hurdle 1. Being a great recovery hurdler she did however manage 4th in the heat to leave her 5th of 30 competitors after event one. The high jump was next and it would take a new indoor pb of 1.63mts (matching her outdoor pb) to retain a place in the top ten. So on to the shot were a new pb of 10.29mts meant a move back to 5th place and with her best event the long jump guaranteeing a good result (actually 5.57mts) she was up to 4th and within a sniff of a national medal with the dreaded 800mts to come. Inevitably the 800 was a disappointment but overall she finished 9th an expectantly high spot as on paper she should have been lucky to come 20th! A great day lots to reflect on and to look forward to in 2016.

Pete O’Keefe