It's hammer time for Wigan ace Tara
Teenage ace Tara Simpson-Sullivan is putting the hours '“ and the miles '“ to fly the flag for Wigan this year.
The hammer-thrower is deep into her winter training as she looks to capitalise on a stunning 2017 campaign.
She finished the season by throwing a new personal best of of 63.23m – Britain’s third-longest distance ever recording for an Under-17s athlete.
Little wonder her coach Bob Halliwell has predicted a bright future for the Cumbrian.
He said: “She came to me two seasons ago and it took us until then start of 2017 to get used to each other and get her into a regime she hadn’t had before.
“From then, things started to escalate in terms of the distances she was throwing.
“She is ranked first in the UK for Under-17s, she was the northern champion last year, she won gold at the schools games and also won gold when she represented England in an international in Ireland. She’s definitely got a bright future.”
Simpson-Sullivan, who also trains in the shot, joined the Harriers to work with Halliwell – even though it means she has to make a 166-mile round trip from her home in Cumbria – to train at Robin Park once a week.
“My mum has been driving me a lot, hopefully I’ll pass my driving test this year,” said the college student.
This year, the weight of the hammer she competes with increases from 3kgs to 4kgs – the same category used by senior women.
“When I threw 63 at the school games last year I was so shocked, and then the week last at the Wigan Open I threw a new PB,” said Simpson-Sullivan, who took up the hammer four years ago.
“This year is about getting my distances up because I’m competing against people who are two years older.
“The Under-20s World Champs is this year but 60m is the qualifying mark and, for my first year, that would be a massive achievement.
“I’ve got the Northern Championships and the English Schools, doing well at those events are big goals... as well as passing my driving test!”