Hazel building up to huge competiton
WITH the European Under-23 Championships in July and possible qualification for the IAAF World Championships in August, it is a massive year for March heptathlete Louise Hazel, pictured. But early indications are looking good for the 21-year-old student b
WITH the European Under-23 Championships in July and possible qualification for the IAAF World Championships in August, it is a massive year for March heptathlete Louise Hazel, pictured.
But early indications are looking good for the 21-year-old student based in France, and she was in winning mood on Sunday when she made her debut for French club Martigues.
Louise, who has been sponsored by the Cambs Times this year, won all three of the events she entered and produced pleasing performances.
A time of 13.9s gave her victory in the 100m hurdles while a good jump of 1.65m clinched first place in the high jump. She then picked up her third win of the day when she helped the Martigues team to victory in the relay.
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Louise, pictured, said: "I was a bit disappointed with my time in the hurdles but conditions were very windy and I had problems maintaining my balance.
"The high jump was much better and it was a solid performance so I am quite happy."
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Her performances were so good that she appeared on French television and had the opportunity to practice her language skills. Louise said: "I don't think they realised I was English so that is a good sign!"
The excellent performance came just one week after Louise ran 12.02s in a 100m race in Agde - the second fastest time she has ran in the event.
Martigues are an elite level club and forthcoming competitions will determine whether the club maintains its status.
Louise will play a major part in these competitions. She said: "I will be in the hurdles and the long jump event at Vergeze this weekend and then we travel to Lyon next week."
These events will provide Louise with the vital preparation she requires for the summer. Her first heptathlon in Arles next month will be an important marker for the season ahead.
A score in excess of 5,750 points will guarantee Louise a place in the GB squad competing at the European Under-23 Championships, in Hungary, in July.
A score in excess of 6,000 points in Arles or Hungary would put her in the frame for a place on the biggest stage in athletics outside the Olympic Games - the IAAF World Championships, in Japan, in August.
Louise said: "The training camp in Portugal went very well and I hope that I can really go for it over the next few weeks."
- To read Louise Hazel's online report on an eventful and gruelling training camp in Portugal visit our website.