Athletics: Javelin star Hollie Arnold awaits Paralympic Games selection fate
HOLLIE Arnold is facing a nervous few weeks as she waits to find out if she will represent her country at the 2012 Paralympics.
The former Holton-le-Clay resident, pictured, has been in personal best form in recent weeks as she bids to seal her spot in London this summer.
The ex-pupil of Cordeaux School, Louth, who specialises in javelin, is currently busy getting herself in top shape.
She relocated to the South Wales town of Ystrad Mynach to be closer to her lead coach, Anthony Hughes – and the months of hard work and top-class training now appear to be paying off for the 17-year-old as she attempts to peak at just the right time.
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Speaking about her selection chances, she said: "I feel nervous, I don't like talking about it.
"There is quite a lot of pressure on me. My family moved to Wales to help my training, so I feel I owe them for that.
"I can't say I am definitely going to be there until I am officially selected.
"I recently set a new personal best at Gateshead of 34.50m. The weather was horrendous. There was a strong cross-wind and I know there is plenty of scope for me to throw further. I just want to be in the best shape I can be for the Games.
"It has been a case of train, eat, sleep, train this year."
Arnold, a former Cleethorpes Athletic Club competitor, has big events in Berlin and Holland on the horizon, where most of her rivals will also be in action.
And with a selection decision due within the next month, Arnold has been training doubly hard for this important time in her career.
She explained: "I am on a new eating regime. Rather than eating three times a day, I am eating five smaller, healthy meals a day.
"I weigh it all out to make sure I am getting the right amount. After moving onto the new diet I lost a kilogram in under a week.
"I am allowed one treat meal a week.
"Often it is 8.30pm by the time I get home from training, so I do not want anything too heavy. I will often have something like an omelette.
"Most things I eat, I really enjoy anyway, so it is not too difficult to eat well – I love things like vegetables, nuts and natural yoghurt.
"I am happy with how I am, but I think all girls want to be skinnier.
"I have always been quite powerfully-built, which you need for javelin. I am not built to be a long-distance runner."
Arnold trains six days a week, with Saturday usually her recovery day.
As well as technical throwing training, she also incorporates two-hour gym sessions, cross training and zumba into her routine.
It is all geared towards making her as fit and strong as possible for this summer.
"You don't have much of a social life," she said.
"When I moved to Wales, I did not know anybody. I have since met my boyfriend, James Ball, who is also an athlete. He is a visually impaired 100m/200m runner and we spur each other on.
"My best friends are all back home in Lincolnshire. I miss them a lot.
"We speak over the phone, but I miss doing things together like the girly shopping trips.
"Hopefully the hard training and sacrifices will all been worthwhile in the end."