Captain Goldie leads her team to success
GOLDIE Sayers began her reign as the Great Britain and Northern Ireland women s captain by leading her team to promotion to the European Cup s top flight at the weekend. The 24-year-old javelin star from Ely epitomised the determination of the British wom
GOLDIE Sayers began her reign as the Great Britain and Northern Ireland women's captain by leading her team to promotion to the European Cup's top flight at the weekend.
The 24-year-old javelin star from Ely epitomised the determination of the British women as they ran out convincing winners in the First League Group A match in Vaasa, Finland.
From the moment Natasha Danvers-Smith crossed the line to win the 400m hurdles, Great Britain were in a commanding position and Sayers led by example with maximum points in the javelin.
Sayers produced three good throws of 58.84m, 59.55m and 60.41m to win the competition ahead of closest rival Barbora Spotakova, from the Czech Republic.
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Her excellent performance not only won the event but also confirmed her position as one of the gold medal favourites in the IAAF World Championships, in Osaka, in August.
The British team continued their form during the second day of competition and triumph in the final event, the 4x400m relay, secured a 21-point overall victory ahead of Sweden.
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Sayers said: "I was suffering with a back problem and I was not as good as I could have been but I was delighted to win.
"It was a very good team performance and we thoroughly deserved promotion."
Sayers admitted that her appointment as captain just 24 hours before the competition began came as a surprise.
She said: "The invitation came out of the blue on Friday and it was a surprise because the team included athletes who are much older and more experienced than me.
"But I know I will look back and count it as one of the proudest times of my life."
She added: "There was certainly a lot of extra responsibility on my shoulders but it was a privilege and I was determined to lead from the front.
"I tried to create a good atmosphere in the squad and I think I did that. I was going from event to event shouting encouragement to everyone."
She added: "There were many strong performances but I have to say that Abby Westley's win in the 1,500m was terrific.
"She was very nervous before she ran but she produced a great run on her senior international debut."
Sayers, who broke the British record with a throw of 65.05m last month, was encouraged by her own performance but revealed that she still thinks there is room for improvement. She said: "It was good to throw 60 metres but there are a few technical things to address.
"Hopefully, I can overcome the back problem and get back to where I was a few weeks ago.