Katie is going for Games glory!
Friday 20th June 2014 09:57 Sports Posted by Lisa B

Katie Byres stood waving her flag at the Manchester Commonwealth Games in 2002 never expecting that one day a crowd would be cheering for her.

But 12 years on and Katie’s dream has finally come true.

PROUD: Hadfield's Katie Byres is heading to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow

PROUD: Hadfield’s Katie Byres is heading to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow

Twenty-year-old pole vaulter Katie from Hadfield has been selected to represent England at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

“I am so pleased and excited,” she said this week. “It is my first senior England vest and it is a real honour to represent my country.”

Looking back to the 2002 Commonwealth Games, she said: “I cannot believe that I am now going to be there as an athlete.

“Vaulting in Glasgow will be an amazing experience as hopefully the crowd will get right behind you.”

Katie has made a lot of changes this year.

She has moved to train at Loughborough, changed coach and is now trained by Kate Dennison who won bronze at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi four years ago.

Katie said: “Unfortunately I  was injured in the indoor season, but being selected is a real boost to my confidence.

“I have been working really hard and am now looking towards the summer. I am aiming to jump well and be in great shape for the Commonwealths.”

Katie’s parents Andy and Louise are understandably very proud of their daughter.

They told Chronicle Sport: “We are so excited for Katie, she has worked really hard since September when she moved to train at Loughborough.

“It has not been easy, but being selected for England at the Commonwealth Games in July is a fantastic reward and she can go into the Games with confidence.”

Katie was inspired to take up pole vaulting while watching the 2004 Olympics. Thanks to the legacy of the Manchester Commonwealth Games she had the opportunity to try various athletic events at Sportcity 2006. She first vaulted in 2007.

Until last September she used to train at Sportcity, Manchester with Julien Raffalli, her French coach.

Winning various age group and senior national medals over the years resulted in Katie being selected for Great Britain.

FLYING HIGH: Katie in action

FLYING HIGH: Katie in action

Her first selection was at the European Youth Festival in Finland in 2009 and she has since competed at the European Junior Championships, the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in 2010, European juniors in Estonia and the World Junior Championships in
Barcelona.

Katie achieved the Olympic A standard for the London Olympic games jumping the height once, but just missed out on
selection as UK Athletics required it to be jumped twice.

Her personal best jump of 4m 52 was jumped in 2012, and was the third highest jump in the world by an u20 woman and also represents the third highest jump ever by a UK woman.

by David Jones