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England's Javelin Star Goldie Sayers

photos courtesy of Perfect Motion
3. When did you take part in your first competition?
It would have been at school sports day when I was 11. I remember breaking the school u18 record that year!
4. Your best result so far?
Being ranked in the world’s top 10 and making the World Championship final in 2005.
1. From what age did you first become interested in Athletics?
I used to watch all the big athletics meetings on tv from a young age. I clearly remember the Olympics in 1992 in Barcelona but it was the one sport I thought that I would never be able to compete in at international level. I was always much more of a team sport and ball game person .Between the ages of 11 and 17 I played county and regional hockey, netball, tennis and athletics. I was also national u11 table-tennis champion.
2. Did you show an interest in any other event before you decided on choosing the Javelin?
I started my athletics career in school and did pretty much every event before I realised that I was best at, and enjoyed the javelin the most. It really was a coincidence that I started doing the javelin seriously…my first coach happened to be walking past the Cambridgeshire county schools u15 competition (when I was 13) which was taking place at Peterborough athletics club where he coached. My PE teacher made him stay to watch one throw as he was in a hurry. He spotted that I had some talent and quickly spoke to my mum about me coming down to the club for some coaching the following week. Within 3 weeks I had improved 10 metres and won the English schools championships – the rest is history!!

5. Who were your heroes in Athletics when you were growing up?
Steve Backley (who is now my coach) and Cathy Freeman
6. Do you enjoy any other sports?
I love playing and watching all ball games
7. If you had not been a Javelin Thrower what other sport would you have taken up?
I would definitely have carried on playing hockey and netball. I had to stop for risk of injury
8. Did you enjoy the Javelin straight away or did it take you a while to realise that this was the sport for you?
I was playing all kinds of sports when I first started throwing the javelin but after I joined peterborough athletics club and worked with my training group and first coach (Mike McNeill), I was hooked.
9. Who encouraged you to take up the sport?
I think athletics chose me rather than the other way around plus I always had a very encouraging mum who ferried me around to all my training sessions when I was a youngster.
Do you ever get stressed travelling around so much?
It can get irritating living out of a suit case (especially in summer) but travelling around the world and competing in some of the best stadiums is definitely more of a plus point

Photo Courtesy of Athletics Weekly-photo appears on the Athletics Weekly 2006 calendar
11. How does the game differ from the Men's game, ie games played, money etc?
The men’s javelin is put on more in the Grand Prixs but the prize money is the same. Now Steve Backley and Mick Hill have retired from the sport it has given the women’s javelin the opportunity to be put on in the grand prixs in this country
12. Have you ever had any major injuries?
Nothing too serious apart from tendonitis in my knee and bursitis in my shoulder. I have been quite lucky with injuries so far in my career (touch wood) as the javelin is probably one of the most damaging events on the body. The forces that you put through your body have been likened to hitting a brick wall at 40mph as you stop suddenly to unleash the javelin at the end of the run-up. Quite a large part of my training is taken up by injury prevention!

13. Can you earn good money or do you have to rely on Sponsorship?
You can earn a living in athletics if you are consistently in the top 6-8 in the world from prize money at grand prix meets. However, if you are not competing due to injury then you cannot earn a living. Therefore, sponsorship is vital
15. How do you feel last season went?
I was thrilled to break into the top 10 in the world and win my third consecutive national tile. However, I was very disappointed to not be able to perform to the best of my ability in the final of the world championships. I picked up a virus and felt awful on the day of the final. I came home and had flue for three weeks. What timing!
16. What are your thoughts for 2006?
I have trained harder then ever over the winter and am in the best physical shape of my life. I am really excited at the prospect of the Commonwealth games in march and my chances of winning gold (hopefully my first major championship medal – fingers crossed!). I am also looking to make the top 5 at the European championships in August in sweden as well as throwing further than I ever have before.
17. What do you enjoy doing when you are not Competing and training?
I love listening to all kinds of music and going to the cinema. I love getting together with friends for dinner and a nice glass of wine (on a day off!). I also do pottery every week – it’s a great way to relax and be creative as well as making Christmas a bit cheaper as I can give people hand-made presents!
18. Can you give 2 tips to other girls who would like to start throwing the Javelin?
1) The best thing any young athlete can do is increase their athleticism. Playing lots of different sports and tying all the athletics events can increase coordination, agility and body awareness – all of these are crucial for throwing the javelin.
2) Find an athletics club near where you live and a good coach!
photos courtesy of Perfect Motion

You can catch Goldie Going for Gold at The Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in March 2006
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