SUSAN McKelvie believes she took a major step closer to realising her Rio 2016 Olympic dream after finally getting one over on her rivals at the McCain Jumps & Throws Fest in Birmingham on Saturday.
The 27-year-old Edinburgh AC hammer thrower secured victory in the Alexander Stadium in the company of a host of London 2012 Olympians with a best throw of 64.05m.
It was 99cm short of her personal best, but it was good enough to defeat 2010 Commonwealth bronze medallist Zoe Derham as well as former European Under-23 bronze medallist Sarah Holt.
And McKelvie is convinced that she can add an extra metre to her Birmingham performance and bring the curtain down on her season with a new personal best in Belgium this week.
“I feel really good. This was my last chance to throw against Zoe and Sarah this year, and they’ve beaten me all year. It was a really close competition, which made it more exciting,” said McKelvie.
“We’ve been competing against each other for years, but I hadn’t beaten either Zoe or Sarah this season. This was my last chance, so it means a lot.”
Derham is also the former British record holder, but that title now belongs to world junior champion Sophie Hitchon, who reached the London 2012 final, aged 21.
And McKelvie revealed that watching Hitchon perform in front of 80,000 people in a jam-packed Olympic Stadium in Stratford served as the perfect motivation in Birmingham.
“My training has been going really well, and I feel in good shape,” she added. “I knew I’d have to get near a personal best or season’s best to beat the other girls because they’re both going well. I had a bit of extra determination after watching the Olympics and I managed to catch a good throw.
“The conditions were really good. It was warm and the wind was good. We haven’t always had the best conditions this season, but they were really good.”
n The McCain Challenge Competition – which covers Indoor, Outdoor track and field and Cross Country – is the country’s premier domestic athletics series. Supported generously by UKA’s Principal Partner McCain, the series provides top quality competition opportunities.