High-jumper Emily Borthwick has light at the end of the tunnel

Emily Borthwick described the plan to press ahead with this summer’s European Championships is “light at the end of the tunnel.”
Wigan's Emily Borthwick is training alone during lockdownWigan's Emily Borthwick is training alone during lockdown
Wigan's Emily Borthwick is training alone during lockdown

The organisers of the 2020 event are remain hopeful the event will take place in Paris between August 25 and 30.

Last week, it was announced that the Olympic Games in Tokyo, scheduled for this summer, would be pushed back 12 months until July 2021 – a move which impacts on Wigan Harrier pole-vaulter Harry Coppell, who had already qualified for the event.

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It could even play into Borthwick’s hands – she is ranked fourth in Britain in the highjump and it gives her another year to progress to Olympic level.

She had only faint hopes of qualifying for Tokyo this year, instead focussing her sights on the European Championships instead.

And she said: “This could be light at the end of the tunnel.

“It gives you that bit of hope and keep you motivated. With the Olympics not being until next year, if this goes ahead there’ll be a lot more focus on it – and more of the top-level athletes taking part. Potentially that could make it harder to qualify but it’s good to have something to aim for, especially now when everyone is on lockdown.”

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Borthwick claimed a new indoor personal best of 1.84m at the British Championships in Glasgow earlier this year.

And encouragingly, the two athletes directly ahead of her – Scottish record breaker Nikki Manson and Olympic finalist Morgan Lake – also finished on 1.84m.

But her promising start to the year has been halted by the lockdown due to the coronavirus.

And Borthwick is trying to make sure it only delays, rather than derails, her progress.

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“I’ve got some parks and school fields near me and some weights at home, so I’ve been doing my work-outs and I go out once a day,” she said.

“I’ve been able to do everything apart from jump, which is frustrating.

“If you’re a runner or a thrower, you can still carry on, so in that regards it’s tough.

“But I can still work on my fundamentals and my power.

“I’m in the shape of my life after the indoors and it’s important I don’t ruin what I’ve done. And having more time a home has allowed me to be even more disciplined with my diet.”

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