Youth Olympic Games just start of whirlwind 2014 for Summers

15 August 2014 / 18:31

From Abinger to Paris via the Youth Olympic Games in China, it’s going to be an interesting few months for Francesca Summers.

The 18-year-old modern pentathlete will head to Paris’ American Academy in September to study fashion design, but first there is the small matter of representing Team GB at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing which gets underway on August 16.

Britain’s women have won medals in every senior Olympic modern pentathlon event since they were allowed to compete in 2000, and Summers admits she harbours ambitions to maintain that stellar record.

However, the teenager knows Rio 2016 might be a bit out of reach and is targeting Tokyo 2020 as her time to shine.

But for now Summers is only focusing on doing her nation proud out in Nanjing – so much so that she hasn’t had time to think about moving to Paris.

“I’m really happy to be selected and so excited to be going to China,” she said. “I want to go there now and really push hard and try and get into those medal places.

“Going out to China is such a great opportunity and I’m just going to try and take everything in and learn from it.

“I am going to need this experience in the future when it comes to hopefully competing at the Olympics.

“We have a good history at the Olympics of winning medals so I would like to be a part of that and keep it going.

“For me there is nothing as good as being on the podium and hearing the national anthem.”

Summers started her career as a runner before slowly adding swimming, shooting, horse riding and fencing to her repertoire.

It is fencing that is her passion now and part of the reason she is heading to France; however, the teenager has no plans to only focus on just one discipline.

“It’s difficult to juggle all the sports and unfortunately swimming – which is my least favourite – takes up the most of my time,” she added.

“I’m going to Paris in September to study fashion design at the American Academy. Part of the reason is that I can study with Daniel Levavasseur who is a great fencing coach.

“That’s the side I enjoy but I don’t think I’ll be making a transition into that any time soon. It’s all about pentathlon for me.  

“I want to try for Rio but I think I am maybe a bit too young so I will be looking at Tokyo as my main target.”

© Sportsbeat 2014