Javelin thrower Goldie Sayers targeting Commonwealth Games place
- Credit: PA
Newmarket javelin thrower Goldie Sayers is confident her best is yet to come after over-coming a career-threatening injury.
The 31-year-old headed into the London 2012 Olympics as a big home medal hope after recording a new British record, but she tore elbow ligaments on the eve of the Games and was unable to throw through the pain in front of a worldwide audience.
Three bouts of surgery and 21 months later, Sayers finally returned to competitive action last weekend – a throw of 62.03m at Loughborough putting her back at No.8 in the world rankings and hitting the A standard for July’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and August’s European Championships in Zurich.
“I still feel as if I haven’t thrown as far as I can – I’ve always felt as though I can throw close to 70m if the conditions were right,” she said.
“I think people think it’s weird that you think you can improve once you get into your 30s. Well I threw my PB (66.17m) just before the injury and I believe I’m a better athlete now than I was 10 years ago.
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“Realistically, the Commonwealths are going to be really tough because the Aussies are going so well. Ironically, they are probably going to be harder than the European Championships. I’m definitely aiming to medal at both though.”
Sayers, who finished fourth at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, continued: “It was great to be back out there competing again – a relief more than anything. There were a couple of moments where I thought it might not happen.
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“I underwent surgery for the first time two weeks after the Olympics. Nine months later they opened it back up to tighten up a screw and discovered the ligament was too lax. I was told I needed another full reconstruction and that my chances of a full recovery were slim. That was the lowest point. If I didn’t have the passion and desire for it then that would have been the moment to walk away, but I was determined to finish my career on my own terms.
“I knew I needed to see the best in the world so I went over to America to see a guy called Dr Andrews in Florida. He did the surgery in April 2013 and I was throwing again by the October.”