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Wycombe Phoenix star scales steeplechase challenge
PIPPA Woolven spent the weekend surrounded by athletes who will light up the Olympic Stadium next month.
The Wycombe Phoenix star was competing at the UK Trials in Birmingham for the first time and after a series of bar-raising performances it should be no surprise that she looked at home in such esteemed company.
With an U20 world ranking of fourth, Woolven came home fifth out of 15 in the 3,000m steeplechase, with the top two of Eilish McColgan and Hatti Archer making the GB Olympic team.
Woolven said: “I was really pleased. I don’t think I could’ve beaten anyone else on the day. I went there aiming for a top five and anything else would have been a bonus.”
But while Woolven was running without tension, the atmosphere in the stadium was electric.
She said: “The whole event was an incredible experience. It was my first UK Trials and I was constantly walking past Olympic athletes.
“For some of them it was seriously harsh pressure, going for Olympic places, and you could feel the tension in the air.
“It was really well supported too, easily the biggest crowd I’ve run in front of.”
That might change in a fortnight when she competes for the first time in the Junior World Championships in Barcelona.
She said: “I got my selection letter this morning so I’m really excited about that.
“There is a heat and a final in two or three days so I think a lot will depend on how I recover, but I’ve started preparing and have done some heat chamber training already because I know it’s going to be really hot.
“The trials was all about experience for me, and it I think it will be good preparation for the World Junior Championships.
“I’d imagine the standard will be about the same so it was good to go over jumps with people around me.
“Sometimes it can get a bit lonely when you’re out in front by yourself.”
Keep up to date with the World Junior Championships at www.bcn2012.org
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