Goldie Sayers insists she had to pinch herself in amazement after being named captain for Great Britain and Northern Ireland’s team for this month’s European Championships in Zurich.
Sayers first represented Great Britain back in 1998, just two days after her 16th birthday, and has since gone on to rack up an incredible 11 national javelin titles.
She has also competed at three Olympic Games, making her debut at Athens in 2004 before finishing fourth at Beijing four years later.
However London 2012 was difficult for Sayers as she was injured heading into the capital and failed to record a mark.
The 32-year-old has since returned from a career-threatening elbow injury and she admits she is champing at the bit to take her place among a crop of exciting, young British talent in Zurich.
"Obviously I was thrilled when Neil asked me,” she said. “Having had a fairly nightmarish past 18 months - and not knowing whether I'd ever throw or compete again - getting back into the GB vest alone has been incredible. To say captaincy is an added bonus, is a massive understatement.
“My initial instinct was to make my captain's speech the best ever, but to be honest, I just hope I can say something suitably inspiring - and be there to offer any advice. I like to think I've picked up quite a bit of experience over the years!
“I’ve been told I am a role model because of my career longevity, but looking around me, at this incredibly young team, I am in awe of how professional and motivated everyone is.
“There is so much hunger, and so many of the younger guys are already making the huge transition to world class. It’s an honour to be captain to this new crop.”
Katarina Johnson-Thompson will not compete in Zurich after not recovering sufficiently from the foot injury that forced her Commonwealth Games withdrawal.
Phillips Idowu has also withdrawn following his Glasgow 2014 appearance, with a view to getting back into training and rediscovering his best form.
Jake Wightman has ended his season having struggled last week in Glasgow with a hamstring problem, whilst Meghan Beesley – who withdrew from Team England last month with injury – will now not compete in Zurich. Shara Proctor, who pulled out of the Glasgow long jump competition, will not travel to Zurich either.
Seb Roger replaces Dai Greene in the men’s 400m hurdles after the former world champion, who was originally selected subject to achieving the qualifying standard, did not achieve the standard at the Commonwealth Games.
© Sportsbeat 2014