POPPY Lake says the next step is a Great Britain vest after she won gold on her debut for England.
The 16-year-old Southend High School for Girls pupil not only won the high jump at the under-17 SIAB schools international , but smashed her personal best in the process.
Lake cleared 1.75m for the first time – a height that she hopes will be good enough to secure a place at the World Youth Championships in Ukraine next summer.
“That height was good enough to make the GB team for the last World Youths so hopefully that will stay the same,” said Lake.
“That’s definitely going to be my aim and will keep me motivated throughout the winter. Getting that GB vest is my next goal and I’ll be doing extra squats, extra crunches and sticking to a strict diet to give me the best chance possible.”
Lake’s getting pretty good at achieving her goals.
This year she set herself the target of representing England for the first time and clearing 1.75m – and she’s done both.
And after finding herself runner-up to rival Robyn Pettit in her last two major competitions, the teenager bounced back to win convincingly at the schools’ international – despite making a drastic overhaul of her jumping technique just weeks earlier.
“I’ve gone from a nine stride run up to a seven stride,” explained Lake. “I was getting pretty bored with my old run and said that to my coach and he said ‘right, we’ll change it’.
“The new run up suits me more. I’m not the tallest jumper or the slimmest jumper, my strength is my power and this seems to work for me.
“To jump a PB and win on my England debut was just perfect. I’m really, really happy.”