Swansea Harrier Caryl Granville epitomizes persistence and hard work, as she prepares to make her Commonwealth Games debut for Team Wales on the Gold Coast. Granville missed out on selection for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, after rupturing her plantar fascia whilst chasing a second B standard in a 400m hurdles race at Loughborough that would likely have been enough to guarantee her selection. But rather than allowing that setback to affect her in a negative way, Granville has used her injury as motivation to drive her towards her Gold Coast dream.
“It’s always been the pipe dream, to make a comeback from my injury and qualify for the Commonwealth Games in 2 events, so to actually pull it off is a little bit surreal. I don’t think many people would have predicted me being a part of Team Wales going to the Gold Coast this time last year!”
Granville first tackled the 300m hurdles race as an under 17 athlete but has been racing the 100m hurdles since she was in primary school. “I was the second fastest girl in the school, so the sports teacher suggested I try the hurdles as only one person could represent the school in the sprint events, and since then I’ve never really looked back”
When it comes to training for the hurdle events, the Swansea Harrier offers three key points to focus on towards improvement:
- “Get as quick as possible on the flat first - this applies to both 100m hurdles and 400m hurdles. Being able to run a fast flat 100 or 400 is essential!”
- “For the 400m hurdles you need to be able to hurdle efficiently with both legs as lead. I spent the winter of 2016 focussing on my left leg lead hurdling. It’s made a huge difference to my stride patterns and speed over the hurdles which definitely adds up by the end of the 10 hurdles!”
- “Try to forget that the hurdles are there - I try to make a hurdle as small an interruption to my sprinting as possible. A lot of people slow down into hurdles but put a hurdle in front of me and I’ll run a lot faster!”
With just 5 days to go until Granville steps on to the track at the Carrara Stadium for her first event (400m Hurdles heat), she’s been fine tuning her hurdling technique at the Welsh Athletics holding camp on the Sunshine Coast and admits she’s been soaking up the atmosphere down under so far.
“Feeding kangaroos, hugging koala bears, meeting so many excited locals and school children, and of course the Australian sunshine have been amazing.” She will be hopeful of carrying that excitement on to the track as she represents Team Wales in both the 100m Hurdles and 400m Hurdles over the forthcoming 10 days on the Gold Coast.
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