On Saturday, working at the Athletics, I couldn’t help but be impressed by Perri Shakes-Drayton. Qualifying from her heat in her recognised event- the 400m hurdles- she then went on to lead an impressive field home in the 400m.
Yesterday evening she completed a memorable double. Coming home in a time of 55.52, she was easily ahead of second place Eilidh Child on her way to victory in the 400m hurdles.
In a week where she graduated from university, it could not have ended any better. She becomes the first woman to complete the accolade of double UK champion in these disciplines. After the events she was understandably delighted:
‘I’ve just made history. No one’s done that before and now I can say I’ve done it. Me and my coach have put a lot of work and time and he believed in me, that’s why he put me in for both the 400 and the 400 hurdles. He thought I was capable of doing it.
‘My family’s here, my cousins and my boyfriend, so they’ve been keeping me occupied all day. I had a little nap, then I woke up and had to snap into action. I said, ‘I’ve won the 400 but that ain’t my event. The 400 hurdles is my event.’ I wanted to do the business today. Now I’ve done it.
‘I graduated from university as well on Friday. So that chapter’s done, now I can concentrate on athletics. A medal in Daegu would be lovely but the world champs ain’t easy. Hopefully, I’ll get in the mix, make the final and then you never know what can happen.’
Winning the UK’s is one thing, but now it’s all about Daegu and the World Championships. If she continues to develop and perform as she did this weekend, there is no reason why she won’t make an impact there.