Wigan Harriers Harry and Emily have high hopes for 2021

Wigan Harriers duo Harry Coppell and Emily Borthwick are eyeing even bigger and better things in 2021.
Emily Borthwick and Harry Coppell with pet Lola at home in LoughboroughEmily Borthwick and Harry Coppell with pet Lola at home in Loughborough
Emily Borthwick and Harry Coppell with pet Lola at home in Loughborough

The couple enjoyed personal success last year, despite the interruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Highjumper Borthwick won bronze at the British Championships.

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And while Coppell saw his Olympic dreams put on ice when the Tokyo Games was postponed a year, he still set a new British record in the pole vault when he cleared 5.85m.

Emily Borthwick in actionEmily Borthwick in action
Emily Borthwick in action

They are already deep into their preparations for when they can begin competing this year.

“I think everyone is taking on the same goal, it’s full on for Tokyo,” said Coppell, who was forced to withdraw from the 2019 World Championships due to injury.

“I’m making a lot of technical changes and taking some risks but if they pay off, we believe it will be in a better position to do well at the Games, not just take part.

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“Last year my goals were to make the final in Tokyo and break the British record. We had to reassess after the Games were postponed, but everything fell into place and I achieved the record, which was good.”

Coppell moved to Loughborough – famed for its athletics facilities – in October 2019 and was joined by partner Borthwick last autumn.

“I was travelling two or three times a week anyway,” said Borthwick.

“So when I finished my degree and decided to do a Masters, it made sense to go there.

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“It’s been really good living together, obviously we’re both in sport and so with everything we do – from diet to training to competing – it’s easier, knowing what each other is going through.”

While they no longer live in their hometown, they remain very much Wiganers at heart... though Coppell has a confession to make.

“I’m from Billinge and I’m a Saints fan, Emily obviously supports Wigan, so watching the Grand Final was a bit of a strange one!” said Coppell.

“It was an amazing game and the result was good for me.”