Decathlete John Lane is hoping to use former training partner and Olympic champion Jessica Ennis-Hill as inspiration ahead of this month’s World University Games.
The 28-year-old, living in Sheffield, narrowly missed out on a podium finish at the Commonwealth Games in 2014 and is eyeing a top three finish at the Games in Chinese Taipei.
Held biennially in major cities across the globe the World University Games (WUGs) sees athletes come together to compete across numerous sports, with the Summer Universiade the second largest multi-sport event after the Olympics.
At the last Games held in Gwangju, South Korea, Team GBR recorded its biggest medal haul in ten years, with 12 per cent of athletes medalling – a total of 11 podium finishes split between three gold, four silver and four bronze.
Having training with Ennis since 2010 after moving to Sheffield from Australia, Lane is relishing another opportunity to show what he’s capable of.
He said: “I’m really excited to be going to Taipei.I’ve never been before. I’ve been to China and Japan but not Taipei, it’s another country to tick off the list.
“We’re there for a couple of days and hopefully we can see a few sights and experience some of it. Tthere’s a village environment as well so you’re not just stuck in the hotel, you can get out and walk about with other athletes.
“My aim is to get a medal, I haven’t seen who I am competing against. If I compete near my best I think I’ll be pretty close.It will be a very high level of competition. It’s the second largest sporting event behind the Olympics so we know it will be good.
“I’m looking forward to it and I’m against people who I face week in week out at European competition so will be nice to face them in a big tournament stage.”
Lane is confident of putting in a good performance at the WUGs and revealed former training partner Ennis had a few words of advice for competing at a major competition.
The sports development student said: “Long term goal is Tokyo 2020, I’m quite lucky that I started the sport quite late so I could potentially be there or there about in 2020.
“I trained with Jess pretty much every day from 2010 until she retired so I consider myself very lucky to have done that day-in-day-out and you don’t get a better person to look up to. She’s been there and done it in everything. She was just amazing and to watch how she did stuff was something you’re not going to get anywhere else.
“She’s enjoying retirement and just tells me to keep going and working hard. Keeping doing what I’m doing and my coach is the same, he knows how to get someone to peak at a championships.”
* British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) is the national governing body for Higher Education (HE) sport in the UK, organising leagues and competitions for more than 150 institutions across 52 different sports. Over 110 athletes will represent the GB team at the 29th FISU Summer World University Games 2017 from 19-30 August.