Zoe Thompson's Gold Medal Performance

Fourth Year pupil Zoe Thompson - our new English Schools 200m champion - talks us through her Gold-medal performance: 

"Before the coach journey...

I got to school, put my bags down and went to the Vincent Room; there were many other athletes and most of them I knew which was nice. Before we left for the coach we collected our kit and were told what was going to happen for the next 3 days and how and why we were chosen to represent Essex.

At the hotel...

So we got onto the coach and oh my, it was very cramped but we lived, we were fine. We had one stop during the journey and then were off to the hotel. When we arrived we were paired with another athlete and were given instructions on our curfew and dinner etc. I was paired with one of my friends which was very handy as I was able to talk to her without feeling awkward.

The days of the competition...

The first day, I had to wake up early even though I wasn’t competing because I had to support my other team mates.

On the second day my race wasn’t until late so I didn’t have to get the coach until 8 which was nice because I had a longer rest. When we got to the stadium I suddenly became really nervous and realised that it was English Schools and I was actually going to do it so the nerves started to kick in. Anyway, after a few hours of warming up and preparing, it was now my time to run. I was in heat 3 so I was able to have a little peak of the times before I was going to race but my main goal was to qualify which meant coming top 3 in both heats and semi-finals.

Now it was my turn to run...

“On your marks, get set... GO!” the gun went and all I could think about was coming first, I needed to qualify and in the end I did, my heat's time was 25.08s.

The Next Day I had two races, semi’s and hopefully finals. The day before, I was feeling quite anxious as someone ran 24.96s and I thought she was going to do it again but luckily for me she didn’t. In the semi’s, I qualified in first place with a time of 25.36s.

Finals... 

The one thing that motivated me more was that if I won I would be able to sign a very special board that the Essex Team had created for their winners.

“On your marks, get set... GO!” as I was running I was very aware of my surroundings, towards the end of my race I realised that I was in fact coming second and was not going to allow that so I pushed and used my arms until I over took my opponent and just about came first with a time of 25.23s.

When I won I wasn’t really jumping for joy as my time wasn’t great but I can at least claim to be English Schools 200m champion!

In conclusion, the English Schools was a very enjoyable experience and I definitely hope I will be able to do it again in the coming years."