While the last few seasons were about battling back from injury, javelin thrower Goldie Sayers insists the next campaign will be all about returning to the scene of one of her fondest memories.
The 32-year-old made her Olympic debut back at Athens 2004 before travelling to Beijing four years later where she set a new British record in the Birds’ Nest on the way to finishing fourth in the final.
A third Olympics followed at London 2012 but the home Games would prove a difficult experience as an injury to her right arm left her unable to record a distance.
It would be the first of a series of injury problems for Sayers whose 2012-2013 season was written off by multiple elbow surgeries.
She made her return this summer though, winning the British title, finishing seventh at the Commonwealth Games before captaining Team GB at the European Championships, where she came eighth despite still struggling to rediscover her top form.
But with her eyes firmly fixed on next season and the added carrot of a return to Beijing for the World Athletics Championships in August up for grabs, Sayers insists it’s all systems go.
“Getting to the World Championships next year would be almost like coming full circle,” said Sayers, who was speaking at a Get Set to Make a Change event, a programme that looks to keep the spirit of London 2012 alive.
“Beijing holds very special memories for me. It was where I broke the British record in the Birds’ Nest and where I just missed out on a medal in the Olympics. So hopefully I can put that right and get a medal.
“I’m really happy with how training has been going and touch wood I can stay injury free. I’m near where I need to be at this stage but I need to be my best around August.
“The automatic nature of the throw was not there when it needed to be this year. But saying that, I had a career threatening injury, came back and had a summer where I won the British title, made the Commonwealth Game and captained the European team so I am proud of what I managed to achieve.
“To be the captain of the most successful European team, it was quite a proud moment.
“And where I am now compared to where I was this time last year is night and day really.”
Despite her injury toils, Sayers’ British Championships success earlier this summer handed her an 11th domestic title.
And she admits she is eagerly awaiting the next generation of javelin throwers to come through.
“I’d loved to be pushed a little bit more domestically. For example if we had a few more girls throwing over 60m that would be great,” she added.
“There are a couple of younger girls such as Isabelle Jeffs and Freya James and I’m excited about seeing those girls develop onto the senior scene.”
© Sportsbeat 2014