Chesterfield’s Hallamshire Harriers athlete Alicia Barrett upbeat despite low-key World Championship performance

Alicia Barrett
Alicia Barrett
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British sprint hurdles champions Alicia Barrett is looking to the future after failing to make it out of the heats at the World Athletics Championships, in London.

The 19-year-old Chesterfield athlete, who won the national title in Birmingham last month, could only manage a time of 13.42s, which placed her last in her heat.

This weekend she is in Taipei for the World University Games where she competes in the 100m hurdles for Hallamshire University.

After the London race, however, Barrett revealed that she almost did not make the championships after picking up a niggle at the European Junior Championships last month.

“I never thought I would be here in London at the start of the season, so to get invited was a shock and we debated it quite a lot and I’ve been in physio appointments at 7am to get here,” said the Toni Minichiello-coached hurdler.

“I had a really tight neural system and it pulled on my hamstring at the Europeans. So I came off thinking it was cramp at first, but it wasn’t.

“Which was a good and bad thing. Because it takes a lot of rehab to sort out, but it’s better to get it sorted.

“I would like to come back to a stage like this and be a bit more prepared and have a lot better technique, but it’s great to be here at this stage.

“I’d love to go to the Commonwealths and the Europeans, but I really want to focus on my technique too.

“I need to get quicker and get the technique working better. So I want to do that, but I’d love to go to both the Europeans and Commonwealths too.”

Barrett - who won the 60m hurdles indoor BUCS title for Sheffield Hallam in February - has a personal best time of 13.07s set twice earlier this year in winning the England Junior Championships.

But she could not get close to that time on Friday and she lamented the fact she could not perform in front of her home crowd, in spite of her injury troubles: “ I didn’t really drive out and I hit a few hurdles, I did enjoy it though,” she added.

“It was nice to be in the stadium, that reception I got from the crowd was cool.

“I was feeling ok, then after the European Juniors I just had that niggle, so we did debate coming, but I’m glad I did, so that I could experience it.

“Even with the niggle I am in better shape than that but I just didn’t show it today.”

* You can help the next generation of young British athletes by getting involved in SportsAid Week this September with London 2012 hero Greg Rutherford MBE. Find out more about how you can support the week of fun and fundraising by visiting www.sportsaid.org.uk/sportsaidweek