Annabel McDermott races in Poland
Annabel McDermott racing in the 5000m in the IAFF U20 World Championships in July.
Abbotsleigh is very proud of our Year 12 student Annabel McDermott who has recently returned from the IAAF World U20 championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland at the end of July.
Annabel competed in the 5000m final (12.5 laps of the track), placing 14th with a time of 16:08:44.
The youngest student in her race and running against six girls who will now compete in the Rio 2016 Olympics, this is an amazing effort and achievement.
Annabel and the team travelled throughout Germany and Poland for four weeks to train and acclimatise prior to the competition. ‘This was fun as it was a pretty chilled atmosphere before we got into the intense competition phase where everyone gets really serious,’ said Annabel.
One week out from the event, the lead up to the race is one of the one of the most important parts of racing. ‘All the training is done and it’s all about getting mentally prepared (especially for the longer distance races), and making sure you get enough sleep, eat well with lots of rest so you can finish off the preparation by getting all the one-percenters right,’ said Annabel.
‘Leading up to the race I was just excited to run! I was so nervous last year in Colombia when I went to world youths but this year I knew I was the youngest in the race and I am not very experienced over the 5000m so I went in with the mentality to just have a go and see what I could do. I didn’t place too much pressure on myself which helped me to stay calm in the few hours leading up to the race.'
Annabel and her sister Sarah McDermott (Year 10).
‘I am happy with my performance. 16:08 is not a PB (only 11 seconds shy) but it was a different race to any I have experienced domestically. The African countries that took the lead for the first few laps did a lot of ‘speed play’ where they would take one lap slow then one lap fast which was a great way to race as it broke up the field pretty quickly! Looking back, I am so happy I had the opportunity to go away and I am very grateful for my family and friends who supported me through it.'
‘Now I’m back in Australia I am focusing on my HSC trial exams which I am completing this week and next week with the rest of my cohort. It has been a challenge keeping up with the work load of HSC and athletics but I love it and it is worth every bit of stress. After the trials, I will enjoy some sleep, good brunches and leisure time watching my training partners race in Rio. My next race is the City2surf on 14 August and I will then have a break from racing until after 3 November (the day of my last exam!!).’
You can watch Annabel’s trackside interview above in which she shares a true Abbotsleigh sentiment, ‘If I can keep loving it…. I’ll be back.’