Sophie McKinna finds home comforts in Great Yarmouth ahead of Indoor British Championships
- Credit: PA
Sophie McKinna may still be without a coach, but the Great Yarmouth shot-putter insists she approaches this weekend's season-opening event in Sheffield with the love for her sport firmly reignited.
McKinna parted ways with previous mentor Geoff Capes last April, leaving her to prepare for her Commonwealth Games debut in Glasgow last year with one less person around supporting her.
She still put in an impressive showing, though, recording a throw of 16.59m to place fifth in the final, although things were still not right in McKinna's world.
Cue a relocation from Lincolnshire back to her family and friends in her home town of Great Yarmouth and the smile is now back on the face of the 20-year-old.
She has her first competition of the season this weekend at the Sainsbury's British Indoor Championships and, while indoor competition is not normally her forte, McKinna insists she goes into the meet with a refreshed attitude.
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'Training has been going really well and hopefully I can put in a good performance this weekend,' said McKinna, who competes for Great Yarmouth Athletics Club. 'It's very important to get off to a good start and I'll be aiming for something over 16m.
'I left my coach last year and I'm now back in Great Yarmouth, where Lynn Grove High School have been really kind and let me use their sports hall for indoor training.
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'Glasgow was a great highlight, to finish fifth at 19 years of age as the youngest competitor in the field, it was great. I would have liked to have thrown a bit further, but considering the circumstances of leaving my coach, it was still a good effort.
'I lost my enjoyment for shot put before, but now I've moved back to closer to my family, I feel like I've got a second wind and I'm feeling much more positive. 'This year we have the European under-23s and I hope I will qualify for that and then of course there are the Worlds, but if I throw well and everything comes together, I don't feel I will be far off.'
Sainsbury's is a partner of British Athletics. The partnership reflects Sainsbury's wider commitment to inspiring healthy lifestyles for all, and complements grassroots campaigns such as Active Kids and the Sainsbury's School Games. www.sainsburys.co.uk