29th July 2009

2012 Hurdles For Heroes

29 July 2009

The countdown to the London 2012 Olympics ducked under the three-year mark this week – and the UKA Heroes, sponsored by Original Source, are more determined than ever to make their mark at the biggest sporting festival on the planet as they fight for fitness.

Pole-vaulter Jade Ive was one of those handpicked for the initiative earlier this year but has seen her bid for stardom at this summer’s European Junior Championship ended by a back injury.

Ive underlined her potential with Commonwealth Youth Games gold in India in 2008, and with this week marking exactly three years until the Olympic torch is lit at a glittering opening ceremony in the capital she insists the injury has only served to make her more determined than ever to live the Olympic dream in London.

“I’ve been struggling with this lower back injury but hopefully things are starting to look up,” said Ive.

“I’ll be starting training properly again in September in time for the start of the indoor season in January, and I’m sure I’ll be fit and ready to go by then.

“It was devastating to get the injury and miss out on the European Juniors this year but these things happen in athletics and hopefully I’ll come back stronger.

“I’m thinking about London 2012 all the time – it’s going to be fantastic. I just hope I get the opportunity to participate in it.

“People always come up to me and ask me if I’m going to be representing GB and I just hope I do because it would be such a great achievement.”

Fellow Hero Sarah Holt also faces a spell on the treatment table as she prepares to go under the surgeon’s knife in order to repair torn cartilage in her hip.

The 22-year-old hammer thrower has enjoyed a successful year as she scooped bronze at the European under-23 Championships in Lithuania and is adamant the operation will see her return stronger than ever as she continues along the path to 2012.

“I will be a good age for a hammer thrower when London comes around because I will be 25,” she said.

“They have said I will be out for between six to 12 weeks so I am hoping it will be six and I can get back into training quickly and work hard and improve over the winter,”

The London Games may come too soon for 15-year-old sprint sensation and fellow Hero Jodie Williams – but the double World Youth gold medallist revealed she is still dreaming of an appearance.

“London is obviously something I am thinking about and I would love to go there if I could.   I’ll only be 18 but even if I can just go along and get the experience I think it would be amazing,” said Williams – who made history earlier this month by becoming the first girl ever to claim 100 and 200m gold at the World Youth Championships.

UKA Heroes project sponsored by Original Source is a successful initiative which offers financial support to talented young athletes who are working towards the 2012 and 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.