Candy in sev­enth heaven

ATH­LET­ICS: HAWKINS BEATS VOL­CANIC ASH CRI­SIS AS TRIP TO EURO CHAM­PI­ONSHIPS PROVE WORTH­WHILE

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page -

ASH­FORD AC’s Candy Hawkins beat the travel dis­rup­tion across Europe to take two sev­en­th­place fin­ishes in the Euro­pean Deaf Cross­Coun­try Cham­pi­onship in Ro­ma­nia last month.

Bri­tain’s four-strong squad had orig­i­nally been told the cham­pi­onships were be­ing resched­uled for Septem­ber be­cause of the vol­canic ash flights chaos over Europe.

How­ever, within 24 hours of the de­ci­sion, the squad were told that the cham­pi­onships were back on – but the other three were un­able to make the trip.

Hav­ing missed her first flight, Hawkins hur­riedly had to re-book and made it to Ro­ma­nia ac­com­pa­nied by team man­ager Brian Kororuwe.

She said: “The jour­ney was long and tir­ing but I was de­ter­mined not to miss it. In four years’ time, I couldn’t pos­si­bly pre­dict my phys­i­cal state.”

They ar­rived the night be­fore the cham­pi­onship and had no time to ac­cli­ma­tise, loosen up or walk the 4km course but Hawkins pro­duced a cred­itable dis­play for sev­enth out of 16 in 17min05sec.

She then com­peted over the gru­elling 8km course the fol­low­ing day and again chalked up a fine sev­enth de­spite still feel­ing the ef­fects of her late jour­ney. The Euro­pean No.1, Daria Gaynet­di­nova, took the hon­ours in both races.

Hawkins added: “I’m glad I took. I would have felt bad and guilty to miss them and they could be my last.”

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