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UK Athletics

there's a new hatton in town

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Lucy Hatton

While the name Hatton is more familiar in the confines of a boxing ring, it’s Lucy not Ricky that will be looking to take the sports world by storm in 2015. A little over a month into the season, the hurdler has broken her personal best no fewer than four times leaving her just 0.01 outside the European Indoor Championships qualifying standards.

On Tuesday, the 20 year old clocked the fastest time in the UK this year and sixth in the world seeing off seasoned campaigner Yvette Lewis at the Copernicus Cup in Poland. By running 8.05, she equalled the UK U23 60m hurdles record set by Lesley-Ann Skeete in 1987, but believes there is plenty more to come.  

“I think I’ve PB’d every time this year so far and whilst I know that’s not going to keep carrying on but all the hard work is definitely starting to show. I’ve had a lot of changes recently, but I think I’m starting to develop as an athlete so it’s all very positive at the moment,” said Hatton, who is supported by the British Athletics’ Futures Programme. 

“I didn’t have a very good warm up Tuesday and I think the nerves got to me a little bit because it was quite an intimidating environment. Even when I look back at the race my start wasn’t that great and I actually got punched in the shoulder by the athlete next to me. That shows even though the race was messy, I managed to deal with the pressure and power through, which I’m really proud of.”

With a place on the GB & NI team for Prague in her grasp, Hatton is putting all her focus into the Sainsbury’s Indoor British Championships, which will see her pit her wits against the best hurdlers in the country. While small fractions will see her eclipse the illusive 8.05 mark, Hatton is not getting ahead of herself in her quest to wear her first senior international vest.

Hatton, who's first majr breakthrough came when finishing second at the Sainsbury’s British Championships in 2014 explained: 

“It’s a definite aim (to make the team for the European Indoor Championships), but now I’m just focused on the British Championships and I want to go out there and be really competitive and run the time, because I feel like it’s there. I know there’s more to come and I’m really looking forward to showing people that I can do this and get the time to go to the Europeans because that’s a great experience that I really need.

“I obviously really want to go to the European Indoors but I don’t want to get disappointed if I don’t because I know I’m right on the edge and I’m just trying to break through at the moment.”

Also in the mind of the University of Leicester athlete is closing the gap on British indoor and outdoor record holder Tiffany Porter and she believes that having that marker will accelerate her progress both domestically and on the international stage.

“Tifanny is inspiring and I’m so happy that she’s there and in front because it does give me something to chase. I like to be in races where I feel like I’m being pushed so chasing down Tiffany is the goal in the long run, but not in a horrible way!

“I know she’s an absolutely fantastic starter and if I can pull out with her and hold on, then you never know what can happen. That’s the beauty with hurdles – you can have the favourite on the startline, but everybody has a bad day and you never know I could break through and deal with that.”

Following her performance in Poland, social media was awash with praise for Hatton’s performance, but the level-headed youngster is keen to let her racing do the talking as she bids for the biggest year of her career to date.

“I see (the attention) more as being excited. I don’t feel the pressure at the moment but I think if I go away and think about it maybe. However, I don’t try and look at it on that perspective. People are seeing what I’m doing, they’re positive and I’m happy. The times are here to be broken and I hope to keep carrying on. But I’m really grateful for the support because it’s been great.”

A perfect year, what would that look like for Lucy? 

“The big goal is to go under 13 seconds outdoors and to be hitting the big championships and competitions to show that I am ready and competitive.”

You can follow Lucy Hatton on her journey to the Sainsbury’s Indoor British Championships and beyond here