Niamh On The Comeback

Athletics Weekly|November 28, 2019

Niamh On The Comeback
ASHLEIGH SPILIOPOULOU KNOWS NIAMH EMERSON BETTER THAN MOST AND SAYS THE HEPTATHLETE IS MAKING AN ENCOURAGING RETURN FROM INJURY

SHE may be my housemate, my training partner and one of my best friends, but pinning Niamh Emerson down for an interview is no mean feat. She’s constantly on the go and always full of energy. One of the most supportive and bubbly athletes you’ll ever meet, she’s always ready to give others advice and, for her age, she’s got a lot of advice to give.

That’s because Emerson has been through her fair share of major competitions, tough training, incredible victories and devasting injuries. At the time of our interview, for example, she is in week 22 of rehab after a patella tendon repair operation.

Our conversation starts with Niamh recalling her heptathlon victory at the IAAF World Under-20 Championships in Tampere last year. She explains how beforehand she so desperately wanted a medal but due to being ranked third going into the competition, she had barely dared to dream of gold. Yet Emerson’s dramatic finish to the 800m, where she collapsed across the line, completely spent, is just one example of the way she gives her heart and soul to athletics.

This incredible moment was just the fuel the new world junior champion needed to kickstart her into a hard winter of training. She describes how she found herself progressing unexpectedly quickly during the winter of 2018-19 due to the addition of new drills.

These drills were partly possible because the Jean Pickering Olympic Scholarship had allowed her coach, David Feeney, to visit the Dutch national training camp where he had discovered new ideas and gained inspiration for his athlete’s training.

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November 28, 2019