Mor­gan Lake keeps options open

Athletics Weekly - - News -

MOR­GAN LAKE in­sists she wants to have “one last shot” at the heptathlon, de­spite the suc­cess she has en­joyed com­pet­ing solely in the high jump this sea­son, writes Stu­art Weir.

The 20-year-old had a slightly dis­ap­point­ing end to her year with an eighth-place fin­ish in the Di­a­mond League Fi­nal. How­ever, sixth place at the

IAAF World Cham­pi­onships this sum­mer and a per­sonal best in an im­pres­sive per­for­mance at the trials have pointed to an in­creas­ingly up­ward per­for­mance tra­jec­tory.

Her per­for­mances have been all the more im­pres­sive con­sid­er­ing she had what she de­scribes as a ‘rocky time’ to be­gin with, com­plet­ing the first year of a psy­chol­ogy de­gree at Lough­bor­ough, deal­ing with a new train­ing en­vi­ron­ment and work­ing with a new coach in Fuzz Ahmed rather than her fa­ther, who had al­ways guided her up un­til that switch.

“I am re­ally happy with the sea­son I have had,” says the 2014 world ju­nior heptathlon and high jump cham­pion. “I had quite a rocky time at the be­gin­ning be­cause I wasn’t sure if I was do­ing heptathlon or high jump. Then I had quite a lot of change to my train­ing struc­ture so to come out of it sixth in the world cham­pi­onships, yes I was happy.”

She adds: “I do want to have one last shot at the heptathlon. It is some­thing I have al­ways loved do­ing but this year and last year I have had a lot of fo­cus on high jump be­cause of cir­cum­stances like in­jury and train­ing struc­tures.

“High jump is my go-to back-up event. I’ve been lucky that it has been go­ing well and I am re­ally en­joy­ing it. I will do an­other winter of heptathlon work and see where that takes me.”

Her work in 2017 took Lake to some rather im­pres­sive places. She se­cured se­lec­tion for Lon­don 2017 with a PB of 1.96m. “I have had a cou­ple of years where I was at the same level but I knew I had im­proved be­cause I was con­sis­tently jump­ing the height week in week out but there was just that ex­tra edge and men­tally,” she says. “I think it helped as well to get the PB.”

Then on to the Lon­don

World Cham­pi­onships. “I ab­so­lutely loved Lon­don 2017 – the home crowd was ab­so­lutely ridicu­lous,” she adds. The home crowd, at­mos­phere and ex­pec­ta­tions help but can also add to the pres­sure on ath­letes, but the psy­chol­ogy stu­dent was ready.

“High jump is def­i­nitely a psy­cho­log­i­cal event,” says

Lake. “What I kept telling my­self through the qual­i­fy­ing was that I’d trained so hard this year and it was my home town so I wanted to make every­one proud and my­self proud as well by get­ting to the fi­nal. That was a big aim of mine all sea­son. And I did it.”

Mor­gan Lake: loved the Lon­don at­mos­phere

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