Papps caps year to forget with a breakthrough
ROOKIE sprinter Sophie Papps believes she has laid the foundation of a bright new future after impressing in her debut performance at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
The Crowthorne youngster comfortably made it through to the semi-final of the womens’ 100m on Monday night by finishing third in her heat in a time of 11.53secs.
But that is where the dream ended for the 19-yearold, who then missed out on a place in the final after finishing her semi-final in seventh place, in a time of 11.61s.
Papps revealed before the Games that she nearly quit the sport completely last year after battling against a series of injuries which threatened to bring a halt to her progress as a junior, which culminated in her finishing sixth at the IAAF World Junior Championships in 2012.
But now the Windsor, Slough & Eton athlete, who moved to Bath to work under coach Dan Cossins, has her sights firmly set on Rio 2016 and believes she will learn from the experience of competing on the big stage.
“I feel like if I can pick myself up from how I felt this year then nothing can get me again,” Papps said. “I’m mentally tougher and I have to thank Dan, my coach, for that.
“It’s all been an experience, it’s all new to me. I’ve done multi-sport competition before in the Isle of Man, but never stayed in an athletes’ village before. I've definitely gained a lot of experience and I’ve learned a lot. It’s been amazing. Glasgow have done a really good job.
“I’m disappointed not to have run a bit better but I’m really happy at the same time because I wrote myself off at the beginning of the year.
“I've struggled to come back mentally, as well as physically, from an injury. I don't want to make excuses for myself because I've done exactly what I wanted to do and I’m really proud of myself for being able to get back from a situation that I didn't think I could.
“I’m really pleased to have got the opportunity just to run. I came here and there was no pressure – it was just ‘run and have a good time’, and I’ve had a great time, and I’ve run alright.
“Obviously I would have liked to have run better, if not faster, but technically I’ve put two solid races together, I’d imagine.
“I’m a bit disappointed but I’ve had a really good time. Glasgow has been amazing. It’s done now, [there’s] nothing I can do about it.”
In the big time: Sophie Papps missed out on a place in the womens’ 100m final but says she has learned from the experience