Papps caps year to for­get with a break­through

Aldershot News & Mail - - SPORT -

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

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