Wigan's Emily Borthwick going for Olympic glory!
Emily Borthwick is hoping to channel the inspiration of fellow borough star Keely Hodgkinson as she embarks on her own Olympic adventure on Thursday.
The 23-year-old Wigan high jumper is in action in the early hours as she aims to book a place in Saturday's final.
And after seeing Leigh's Hodgkinson smash her personal best - and the GB record - in winning silver in the 800m, Borthwick knows she too must go further than she ever has before in order to compete.
“I want to make the final," she told Wigan Today. "But I know that in order to make the final I’ve got to get a personal best.
"So if I pb, I'll make the final. That's my goal and I'm really looking forward to it.”
“Auto qualification is 1.95m and I know I’m more than capable of doing that.”
Borthwick, whose PB of 1.93m was set in Switzerland in June this year, hasn’t had the smoothest preparation in the run up to the Tokyo Games.
“Training has been interesting - I sprained my ankle six or seven weeks ago," she revealed.
“I had two weeks out with no jumping, but I did my second ‘flop session’ last week and it went really well.
"I’m back where I was pre sprain, and I’m here to enjoy myself and not get caught up in the intensity.
Borthwick is hoping to match the exploits of her partner Harry Coppell, who reached the final of the pole vault, finishing a very creditable seventh.
And Margaret Grayson, a coach at Wigan Harriers since 1975, says the whole borough has good reason to be proud of its Olympians.
“I’ve known both Harry and Emily since they were about 10 years old, and I remember Keely competing as a little girl at Wigan schools and winning the cross country by a long way," she said.
“It’s great that these top level athletes are accessible to the young athletes.
"It makes a difference and I think some of our younger Harriers will definitely be inspired by Harry, Emily and Keely.”
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