Shakes-Drayton eyes World Championship success after Olympic disappointment

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Perri Shakes-Drayton says she will use the disappointment of missing out on the 400m hurdles final at the London Olympics last summer to drive her towards success at the World Championships later this year.

The promising 24-year-old went into the Olympics as a genuine medal hope having set a personal best time in the lead up to the games.

However an injury in her preparations meant she was unable to progress beyond the semi-finals, and was forced to watch the final from the sidelines.

The injury came as a double-blow for Shakes-Drayton, who grew up around the corner from the Olympic Park in East London.

Shakes-Drayton has bounced back from her disappointment well, but she admits it was a bitter pill to swallow having missed out on the final on home soil at the Olympics.

“I sat and watched,” she told Sport Magazine. “I wanted to know what time they won it in. I felt a bit better afterwards, because my personal best wouldn’t have got me a medal.”

Shakes-Drayton won two golds in Gothenburg at the 2013 European Athletics Indoor Championships in March, and set a new personal best in the unfamiliar discipline of the 400m.

She says her success there, coupled with her disappointment from last summer, will spur her on to greater things.

"Obviously the Olympics didn’t go the way I would have loved it to have gone,” she explains. “But I channelled the disappointment I had into the winter season, trained hard as I always do, and it paid off at the European Indoors.”

“It’s nice to be reminded of it [the two golds in Sweden]. “It kind of went to the back of my head – when people remind me, it puts a smile on my face.”

Now all eyes are on Shakes-Drayton as she gears up for the World Championships in Moscow, but the 24-year-old is careful not to get too carried away just yet, especially when it comes to life away from the track.

“A lot of the girl hurdlers are a lot older than me,” says the 400m hurdler. “So we’ll have to see [if they are still competing] when the season starts.”

She added of her growing popularity: “I’ve seen a lot of people more interested – even in the amount of followers I’ve got on Twitter. 

“They are always asking when my next competition is.”

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