Katie: ‘Seeing top athletes achieve their goals is a real motivator’

Hadfield Pole Vaulter Katie Byres, who is off to the Commonwealth Games.

Hadfield Pole Vaulter Katie Byres, who is off to the Commonwealth Games.

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Katie Byres says that training with other top-class athletes every day is spurring her on to achieve Commonwealth glory.

The 20-year-old pole vaulter from Hadfield embarks on her first Commonwealth Games in Glasgow later this month.

Hadfield pole vaulter Katie Byres in action.

Hadfield pole vaulter Katie Byres in action.

She heads into the event full of confidence and on the back of good recent form, and she believes that is partly due to her decision to move to Loughborough last year.

She re-located to the Leicestershire town so that she could be based at the High Performance Centre, which is also HQ to a number of British athletes.

She told the Advertiser: “Loughborough has top-class facilities.

“It’s home to British Athletics really and seeing top athletes achieve their goals each day is a real motivator.

“It spurs you on in your own training.

“I moved there last September and I train with Kate Dennison, who won a bronze medal in the pole vault at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.”

Katie, who studied a BTEC at Buxton and Leek College, says that she is heading into the Games full of confidence after her recent performance at the British Championships.

At the event in Birmingham, she equalled her season-best jump of 4.10m as she claimed a silver medal.

That jump also confirmed her as the 2014 England Athletics Senior champion, and she now hopes to continue in a similar vein when representing England at the Commonwealths, which begin on Wednesday July 23.

She added: “I equalled my season-best in Birmingham and that has set the ball rolling.

“Training’s been going really well and If I can replicate the form I’ve been showing and it all comes together, then you never know what can happen.

“After I got the call to confirm my place, it was a few weeks before I could actually tell anyone, which was quite hard.

“The other day I received my Team England kit which made it feel all real.

“I just have to see how it goes. If I can jump my personal-best in Glasgow then you never know!”