Hollie Arnold looking to Rio Paralympics after setting personal best in London
HOLLIE Arnold has wasted no time in setting her sights on Paralympic glory at Rio in four years time after her London 2012 experience ended in tears.
The javelin thrower, from Holton-le-Clay, could only manage fifth place in the Olympic Stadium, despite landing a personal best throw of 36.27m on Saturday night.
That came in the former Cleethorpes Athletic Club member’s very last throw after five efforts.
And immediately after, Arnold was overcome with emotion in front of a capacity home crowd.
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Arnold, who has moved to Wales to be closer to her coach Anthony Hughes, will now take a break and plans a trip back to her home town to be comforted by friends and family.
“I’m quite disappointed with what I have come away with but I got a personal best so I shouldn’t be too upset,” said the 18-year-old.
“I wish I had more throws because that last throw felt right for me and if I had probably one more throw I might have gone up to third position.
“The crowd was amazing and I could see my mum and dad and that made me smile inside and I just got a bit emotional.
“I am going to take about three weeks off now and chill out. I plan to go and see my family for a few weeks but then I will be straight back into the training.
“I’m living in Wales now so I’m looking forward to seeing my family back in Grimsby and I know they will all comfort me.
“I will come back stronger and already Rio is in my thoughts.”
Arnold’s performance was still a vast improvement on her first Paralympic Games in Beijing four years ago, in which she placed 11th.
Poland’s Katarzyna Piekart claimed a new world record of 41.15m to win the gold medal in London, with Arnold managing over 34m just once – her final throw.
“There were some incredible athletes out there and I am only young,” she said.
“I will just have to forget about this now and concentrate on Rio.
“Rio is going to be my time I’m going to be so much older, stronger and fitter. I am looking forward to it underneath the tears.
“I was a bit nervous coming into the competition as I’m only very young.
“And I did not expect to win a gold.
“But Rio is going to be my time, so watch out.”
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