Hammer ace set for Euro bid

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Hammer thrower Louisa James is poised to represent Great Britain in the European Junior Athletics Championships.

The prestigious competition is being held in the central Italian city of Rieti, near Lazio, and James’s event will begin tomorrow (Friday).

It is expected that the women’s hammer will be divided into two heats of 12, with the top six throwers in each pool qualifying for the final, which will take place the following day.

“The aim is always to perform well enough in the first stage in order to qualify for the final,” James said. “After that, anything can happen and I’m a firm believer of the phrase ‘in it to win it’. Firstly though, like I say, I want to simply qualify.

“I always want to perform well whenever I throw, but especially when I’m with Team GB. Heading out there on Tuesday allows me to get in the right mindset before the competition begins.”

James, 18, trains every day, although lately she’s enjoyed practice sessions a little more than usual.

“I’m feeling good and it’s been nice to train in such sun and heat,” she laughed. “I hate to say it but sometimes it’s too hot! But no in all seriousness, it’s nice as I suppose this is the type of weather I can expect when I’m in Rieti.”

The Sussex Coast College Hastings pupil from Sedlescombe will be joined on the trip by her mum and one of her brothers, however her father and coach Ron cannot make it due to work commitments.

“My dad is really annoyed that he can’t come, but unfortunately it’s one of those things,” added James, who has thrown in excess of 60 metres this season.

“The good thing - actually the best thing - about being away with Team GB is the support you get from the coaches and everybody involved. Whether you have people out there with you or not, they make you feel so important.”