Norwich’s Barbara Parker believes Daegu has been the making of her
At 28, Barbara Parker is too long in the tooth for the phrase coming of age – but the City of Norwich steeplechaser believes the trip to South Korea for the World Athletics Championships has been the making of her ahead of next year's Olympics in London.
It was all doom and gloom for Parker at last year's European Championships in Barcelona when she failed to make it out of the 3,000m steeplechase qualifying rounds.
However, that gloom was well and truly lifted in Daegu when Parker progressed through to Tuesday's medal showdown with a gutsy performance in the heats on Saturday.
Ultimately the final was a bridge too far for Britain's solitary steeplechase representative, with Russian Yuliya Zaripova a class apart – her winning time just shy of 50 seconds quicker than Parker.
However with the positive experience of the Far East under her belt Parker, who finished 14th, is confident a different woman will take to the track at London 2012.
'Top ten was my goal going into the final and I felt good going in,' said Parker. 'But I knew that they would go out fast and I didn't want to go out too hard.
'Overall though I have to be happy because I felt really good in the heat. Hopefully I can build on that. I think this year I focused a lot on the heats and making it to the final so I think next year I can be more confident and know I'm going to make it into the final and then that can be my focus.'
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Parker spent much of the race isolated as the battle for gold raged ahead of her but after clocking 9:56.66 in the Daegu heat she insisted her lack of companions hadn't affected her time.
'I wanted to work my way up the field but I was just never in touch with any of the pack and so it was a bit of a drag,' she added.
'I didn't mind being on my own and I wanted it to go fast so that it wasn't too bunched and then you get a clear run.'
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