Thames Valley Harriers' Amelia Strickler confident in Olympics bid

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 04: In this handout image provided by British Athletics, Amelia Stri

Amelia Strickler of Great Britain takes part in the Women's Shot Put during day one of Muller British Athletics Championships at Manchester Regional Arena - Credit: British Athletics via Getty Imag

Thames Valley Harriers Amelia Strickler's performance at the Müller Grand Prix Gateshead last Sunday has given her confidence in her bid to qualify for Tokyo 2020.

Athletics was the latest sport in this country to welcome back live audiences to stadiums, with around 2,000 treated to a top opening round night of 2021 Wanda Diamond League action.

The chilly and wet conditions at the Gateshead International Stadium did not deter the 27-year-old American-born Team GB representative from twice improving her PB outdoors to 17.90m to end seventh in a highly competitive women's shot put - an event that is part of this season's Wanda Diamond League. She finished ahead of Germany's current world champion, Christina Schwanitz, who had a rare off-day with her 17.86 effort.

Great Yarmouth's Sophie McKinna threw a season’s best 18.36m to take fourth. Twice African champion Cameroon-born Portuguese Auriol Dongmo clinched victory with a season’s best 19.08 ahead of Jamaica's Danniel Thomas-Dodd (18.46) and Maggie Ewan (18.54).

"It was a very high class field of ladies and I’m pretty happy with how I performed and rose to the occasion despite the weather," said Strickler. "Not everyday you beat a world champion like Christina Schwanitz.

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"The performance definitely gives me confidence moving forward because it wasn’t technically great so we have some work to do. I fully believe I can throw the Olympic qualifying standard and I'm going to keep working hard till I get there.

"I knew I was in good shape and was determined to compete well no matter what the weather! I just brought lots of layers and kept warm in between throws."

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Fellow Thames Valley Harrier Nicole Kendall was also on Tyneside, where she clocked 59.34sec in women's 400m hurdles. Denmark's former European champion, Sara Slott Petersen, triumphed in 56.32 while East Midlander Jessica Turner finished second (56.56) and Janieve Russell from Jamaica third (57.16).

At Loughborough international TVH's Zoey Clark captained Scotland as she won her individual women's 400m event in 52.57, ahead of England's Meghan Beesley.

The 26-year-old led her Scottish outfit to fourth place with 69 points while England were the runaway winners once again with 122 points, 33 ahead of hosts Loughborough University.

"I was so proud to be captain for Scotland for the event," Clark told Scottish Athletics official website.

"It’s about ten years now that I’ve been running for Scotland through the age group levels and so on and, if I look back, I could never ever have imagined that I’d be team captain for Scotland in the Loughborough International. I feel it's a big honour."

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