Wigan Harrier Danielle McGifford hopes to build on her dream start to the year as she represents Great Britain in Prague tomorrow (Saturday).
The 21-year-old booked her place in the squad for the 2017 Combined Events after making a strong comeback earlier this month from a six-month layoff following hip surgery.
Competing in the women’s pentathlon at the England Athletics senior and under-20 indoor combined events championships in Sheffield, McGifford finished third with the best score for an under-23s athlete.
And now McGifford is looking forward to competing against France, Poland, Spain and the host nation Czech Republic as part of a 14-strong squad.
“It is my first international in two years I’m just really looking to get my teeth into it and really excited to be on the team with everyone else again,” she said.
“I did an international back in 2013, but it was in Sheffield so, while I was excited, it’s not the same as going on a plane and going to a whole different country.”
The multi-eventer recorded 1.63-metres in the high jump along with gaining 5.93-metres in the long jump on her way to securing her GB place, and insisted she isn’t worried about results since making her return to action.
“I’ve realised what it is like not to have athletics and I’m no longer focused on performance based outcomes I’m just out there to enjoy it,”he said.
“I was pretty much learning to walk and run again. Everything was a first again like take off leg and stuff like that.”
Ahead of packing her kitbag for the competition, McGifford has been caught up in the excitement of international competition.
“I’ve been trying all that on (my kit) and getting excited,” she laughed.
McGifford started competing in athletics back in 2006 and trains at the Harriers’ Robin Park base.
On her international call-up, her coach Sharon-Louise Walls said: “Dani’s done brilliantly to come back from surgery and do so well.”