Lancing’s Anna races to gold for England

Anna Short
Anna Short

LANCING athlete Anna Short won gold when representing England in the 100m at the Welsh International last Wednesday.

Sprinting in one of the most important championship races of her athletics career, Anna did not disappoint as she won in a time of 12.10 seconds in a strong -1.7 headwind.

She said: “I was pleased with how I executed the race and the result, rather than the time itself, but it was an amazing experience and probably my biggest achievement to date.”

Looking forward to winter training, Anna hopes to continue improving and return stronger next year.

In a successful summer, Anna had gained silver in the 100m at the English Championships in Gateshead last month.

The 18-year-old competed in the competition for the sixth and last time as she has successfully qualified every year. She had previously won a gold medal in the 4x100m but had never won an individual medal.

A speedy heat took her through to the semi­-final but a dodgy race meant Anna only just scraped through to the final. Although this was a nerve-wracking experience, it spurred her on as she knew there was much more in the tank.

After the final, many spectators believed Anna had run to victory owing to the race being so close, with the girls themselves not knowing where they had finished.

After much deliberation from officials, the photo finish ruled that Anna had missed out on the title by just one hundredth of a second, clocking an impressive 12.00 seconds, close to her personal best of 11.95.

She said: “I was over the moon to realise I gained a silver medal as it has always been a dream to medal at English schools in an individual event, however, at the same time, it was gutting to be so close to gold.”

The previous week, Anna, who is ranked 11th in the UK for her under-20 age group, had made her second appearance at the Sainsburys British Championships in Birmingham.

Racing alongside some of the best British female sprinters, Anna donned her club vest of Brighton & Hove and took to the track hoping to impress.

The event was televised on BBC2, which meant that family and friends could watch tentatively as Anna stepped into her blocks in the heat of the 100m sprint. Clocking 12.12 seconds, Anna successfully qualified for the semi-finals, where she found herself racing alongside Dina Asher-­Smith, Britain’s fastest-ever female sprinter.

Despite knocking off valuable time in her semi-final race, recording a time of 12.08 seconds, she was unsuccessful in gaining a place in the final.

Anna said: “I began to get a taste of what it is like to be a professional. It felt amazing to be warming up in the same area, and competing alongside athletes whom as a child I really idolised, such as Jessica Ennis and Christine Ohuruogu.”