RAINFORD heptathlete Danielle McGifford insists she has come out of the other side of a testing past month and is now determined to ensure the next four weeks are the opposite.
A month ago the 19-year-old’s attempts to secure the qualifying standard for July’s World Junior Championships in Oregon took a hit when she was involved in a car accident.
Forced to scale back her training as a result of whiplash, McGifford arrived at the England Athletics Under-20 Combined Events Championships in far from perfect shape.
However the former De La Salle School pupil rose to the challenge, posting a personal best score of 5113 points to comfortably take gold for the second year running in Bedford.
McGifford was short of the 5500-point qualifying standard for Britain’s World Junior Championship team but, with a month to go to get it, another win has her increasingly confident.
“I was involved in a car accident a month ago and although it wasn’t anything major I picked up whiplash injuries and it meant I couldn’t jump, throw and train as I normally would,” she said.
“I was not in the shape I wanted to be going into the event in Bedford, I was just seeing how I got on so managing to defend my title I was really happy.
“It was a solid points total but I’m looking to improve on that as the summer goes on. My aim is make the World Junior Championships this summer.
“I have to make the qualifying standard and ideally I would have targeted the competition at Bedford as a chance to do that but the car accident meant I was not on track.”
McGifford, who attends Edge Hill University, has until July 6 to find the extra 387 points she needs to book a trip to America and isn’t concerned that time is ticking by fast.
“The start of the season was not perfect but I can hopefully build on performances in Bedford,” she added. “I’m looking to take part in an event in Scotland to get another heptathlon under my belt.
“And I’m hoping to use that event as a chance to hit the mark for the world juniors.”
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