Fitzpatrick set to jet off in a bid to run at world juniors
ABI Fitzpatrick has set her sights on playing a starring role at this summer's World Junior Championships after being selected as part of the highly successful Spar Sprints Programme for 2012.
AIMING HIGH: Abi Fitzpatrick is out to earn selection for this summer's World Junior Championships
The 400m hurdler is one of eight talented young athletes who have been chosen for the initiative which count the likes of 2008 Olympian Martyn Rooney and 60m national hurdles indoor champion Andy Pozzi among its former graduates.
The 18-year-old has plenty of reason for optimism having finished fifth at last year's European Junior Championships in Estonia and reached the final of senior UK Championships.
And, while Fitzpatrick is determined to take things one step at a time in Olympic year, she has success at the World Junior Championships in Barcelona this July at the top of her agenda.
"The main goal for me this year is to compete in the Barcelona at the World Junior Championships. I'm hoping to get a medal, preferably gold," said Fitzpatrick, speaking at the launch of the 2012 Spar Sprint Stars programme in Birmingham.
"Winter's gone great; I'm running good times so I'm very confident. Between now and the summer I'm going out to Spain for warm-weather training for ten days.
"And then after that I'm coming home and training a bit in England. In May I'm going out to Arizona for four weeks to prepare for the World juniors.
"Being out at warm-weather training will definitely help - there are no distractions around, it's nice weather, there are good, fast tracks and it's an opportunity to run some fast times and come back in good shape.
"There's definitely a lot more I can give in the future in athletics as a senior athlete, as I get older and more mature and my body develops.
"Beyond the World Junior Championships my aim is to hopefully go to the 2016 Olympic Games."
For 2012, the Spar Sprints programme is working together with UKA Futures, underpinning the World Class Performance Pathway.
The programme targets young athletes with the potential to deliver global medals for Britain in the future.
Fitzpatrick need only look as far as current 60m hurdles indoor champion Pozzi as an example of how the scheme can help a young career with the sprint hurdler coming on leaps and bounds in 2011.
And Fitzpatrick believes she is perfectly placed to follow Pozzi's lead.
"It's great to be part of the Spar Sprints Stars programme because they help raise your profile which is what all athletes need," she added.
"It also provides funding and clothing which is very helpful for all the competitions you go to."
Brought to you by SPAR, Official Sponsors of UK Athletics. For more information visit www.spar.co.uk
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