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Abi looks to Perri for inspiration
4:46pm Tuesday 10th April 2012 in Sport
SALE Harrier Abi Fitzpatrick is looking to fellow British 400m hurdler Perri Shakes-Drayton for inspiration as she prepares for her first outdoor appearance of 2012.
The 18-year-old is yet to take to the blocks this year, unlike Shakes-Drayton whose first outing last month involved helping Britain’s 4x400m relay team to gold at the World Indoor Championships.
A hamstring injury prevented Fitzpatrick from opening her 2012 account indoors however she has still put in the hard work – travelling to Spain for 10 days warm-weather training.
She will also spend a month in Arizona next month, putting in the final preparations for a season that she hopes will involve a trip back to Spain for the World Junior Championships in Barcelona in July.
And Fitzpatrick insists she has got the perfect motivation to ensure it happens – charting British champion and double European bronze medallist Shakes-Drayton’s every move past, present and future.
“Perri is definitely an inspiration, she is just amazing,” said Fitzpatrick, who is benefitting from the Spar Sprints Stars programme throughout this year.
“I look up to her and I want to be like her, but clearly I know I will have to put in a lot of hard work to get to where she is.
“I am always looking on the Power of 10 website to see what times she was running at my age so that I can try and do the same.
“I finished second behind her in the heats at the British Championships last year and then I finished eighth in the final which she also won.
“I was feeling a bit ill in the changing rooms afterwards from the exhaustion and she came over to see how I was doing. It was really kind of her.”
Fitzpatrick is no stranger to foreign excursions and competed at the European Junior Championships in Estonia last summer – finishing fifth in the 400m hurdles final.
And, while this time last year she had already taken to the track in anger, Fitzpatrick believes she is performing better in training than ever before.
Brought to you by SPAR, official sponsors of UK Athletics. For more information visit www.spar.co.uk