Loughborough hammer thrower Sarah Holt relieved Olympics and Paralympics are over as she moves onto 2013
LOUGHBOROUGH hammer thrower Sarah Holt admits to feeling a sense of relief after watching the Paralympic closing ceremony as it brought the curtain down on what has been a frustrating 2012 season.
Despite being second in the UK rankings the 25-year-old has been upstaged this year by Sophie Hitchon, five years her junior and who won the Olympic trials before finishing 12th at the Games themselves.
Holt didn’t hit the required qualifying standard to compete at London 2012 and failed to make the final at the European Championships in Helsinki a month before the Olympics began in the capital.
Her situation was made all the more painful by the death of an old Whitcliffe Mount School friend in May while watching the Olympics unfold before her eyes was a bitter pill for Holt to swallow.
She admitted to struggling to cope under pressure of qualification but is now in the middle of a four-week break, determined to enjoy the time off and reflect before knuckling down to prepare for 2013.
“At the moment I’m not getting ahead of myself,” said Holt – who, despite her struggles, retained her McCain Challenge Series title this year, Britain’s premier domestic athletics series.
“It’s been a difficult year to be honest, the pressure was really tough to deal with at times. With this break I’ve been able to get a clear head and look back on what happened this year and I know I have a lot of reasons to be unhappy.
“I didn’t make the Olympic qualifying standard and that was difficult, I wanted to perform a lot better but it just didn’t happen for me so I have to take that on the chin and move on.
“Watching the Olympic and Paralympic closing ceremonies on television was weird for me – most people were really into them.
“But for me it was just about a weight being lifted from my shoulders, I was glad to see the back of the summer on a personal note because it’s been such a disappointing year.
“The death of my old school friend Kyle set me back as well as I think it affected my preparation for the trials and Helsinki quite badly.”
However Holt’s feelings of personal disappointment were tempered somewhat by getting tickets to go to the Olympic stadium, where she watched friends Hannah England and Lawrence Okoye compete.
“It was nice to see friends competing at the Olympics but it did serve as a reminder of how my year has gone,” she said.
“It was a strange experience because usually I’ve had to get up early or stay up late to watch athletics.
“Obviously I would have loved to have been there as a competitor but it wasn’t to be; at least I can say I went in some capacity.”
The McCain UK Challenge is a nationwide, season long competition comprising a series of events from mid May until August for Britain’s top club athletes and aspiring internationals vying for a share in a £30,000 prize fund
© Sportsbeat 2012