ATHLETICS: Grantham’s Rachel ready to take a shot at Commonwealth Games

Rachel Wallader. Photo: David Thompson (British Athletics) 496467011
Rachel Wallader. Photo: David Thompson (British Athletics) 496467011
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Rachel Wallader might have left the Sainsbury’s British Championships clutching silver, but it was the fact she left with a clean bill of health that most pleased the Grantham shot putter.

The 24-year-old headed to Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium on Saturday looking to prove a point after finishing 12th at the European Team Championships in Germany with a disappointing best of 15.56m.

And Rachel did exactly that, opening up with an effort of 16.42m before improving to 16.54m to claim silver behind Eden Francis.

But while she was more than happy to have a medal around her neck, Rachel was more relieved to leave the competition feeling no ill effects of a recent hip niggle – especially with her Commonwealth Games debut fast approaching.

She said: “I am quite pleased with that result considering last week I didn’t do a very good performance out in Germany. The first throw was 16.40 something again so I am really happy because I have got a bit of a niggle at the moment in my hip.

“In the last UK Women’s League, I slipped and jarred my hip a little bit so I spent a lot of time during this competition trying to loosen up during throws, so I am really happy with that.

“I just didn’t connect with a throw properly but I am really pleased because the hip feels fine.

“It won’t put me off at the Commonwealths. I have spent every year dealing with a niggle so you just have to get over it and get on with it.”

Now the Sainsbury’s British Championships are done and dusted, Rachel can turn all her focus towards Glasgow and the Commonwealth Games.

And while she knows that means there is plenty of hard work in store, she is not afraid of putting in the hours with her coach Geoff Capes in order to make it a summer to remember.

She said: “The next four weeks will involve a lot of hard work and I have a training camp coming up in Manchester, but it is just going to be a brilliant four weeks and I can’t wait.

“I am really happy with how this year has gone and it has almost surprised me, but throughout the winter I have put so much hard work in and lifting-wise I have put everything up by about 20 per cent, so it has gone really well.

“I want to reach the final in Glasgow and obviously once you get there you just have to see what happens, but I really want to get 17m by the end of the season.”

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