CLECKHEATON hammer thrower Sarah Holt admits she felt a sense of relief watching the Paralympic closing ceremony as it brought the curtain down on what has been a frustrating season.
Despite being second in the UK rankings the 25-year-old was upstaged by Sophie Hitchon at the Olympic Trials, before failing to make the final at the European Championships in Helsinki – a dip in form made all the more painful by the death of an old Whitcliffe Mount School friend in May.
Watching the summer of sport unfold for Sarah, who admits she struggled to cope under the massive pressure surrounding London 2012.
Sarah is now in the middle of a four-week break, determined to enjoy the time off and reflect on a tumultuous year before knuckling down to prepare for 2013.
Sarah said: “At the moment I’m not getting ahead of myself.
“It’s been a difficult year, the pressure was really tough to deal with at times but with this break I’ve been able to get a clear head and look back on what happened 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.
“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.”
n The McCain UK Challenge is a nationwide, season long competition comprising a series of events from May until August for Britain’s top club athletes and aspiring internationals vying for a share in a £30,000 prize fund.
Dewsbury Road Runners Results
12th Dewsbury Parkrun: 1st Matthew Pierson (Holmfirth Harriers) 26mins54secs equals course record; 7th John Calvert 19:30; 8th Tom Howard 19:37; 24th Haseeb Raja 22:49; 26th Gary Spaven 23:22; 33rd Colin Watson 25:08; 35th Michael Kelly 25:55; 37th Phyllis Cao 26:00; 41st Samantha Dean 26:49. 60 finishers
Silkstone Shuffle 4.5 mile Trail Race
88th Janet Murnin 40mins 38secs; 102nd Michael Wood 43:34. 133 finishers
Great North Run Half Marathon
1146th Tom Howard 1hr31mins42secs; 16115th Phyllis Cao 2:02:09.
Other Dewsbury Road Runners entered as individuals: 8892nd Heather Mitchell 1:51:27; 1793rd Rachael Shaw 2:03:59; 1794th Clara Moore 2:03:59; 19111th Samantha Dean 2:06:58; 33273rd Georgina Morris 2:36:29; 33293rd Lauren Ballinger 2:36: 33.