SHE MAY not be competing at London 2012 but Stroud sprinter Jennie Batten is already a huge part of the Olympics after carrying the Torch through Gloucester, writes Jack Zorab.
With the Olympic flame touring the length and breadth of the country over the next two months Batten got her hands on the torch on August 24.
And the 19-year-old, who is targeting a spot at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, admitted to feeling completely inspired by the whole occasion.
“Actually carrying the Torch lived up to the expectation and more,” she said.
“The whole experience of being there and having the flame handed to you in front of so many people gave me this feeling of being part of the Olympics and I just felt so honoured.
“It was a privilege and one of the best feelings of my life.
“I’m going to run at the Olympic trials this year which will be great, but to be honest I think they have come a bit too soon.
“It’s such a big event, it’s televised, there’ll be a lot of big names there - for me it’ll be more about gaining experience and then hopefully in 2016 I can go out and do something special.”
Batten, who benefits from being on the Lloyds Local Heroes Scheme, has spent the early part of this year recovering from a neck injury picked up at the BUCS Indoor Championship.
But the Birmingham University student is back to full fitness and now and has her sights set on a successful summer.
“This year has been a bit different. I’ve moved up from the Under-20s category to the Under-23s and it’s been a learning experience,” she added.
“At the end of the indoor season I had an injury which I’ve been coming back from since, so more than performing it’s been about learning to come back from a set-back and adjusting my training.
“I was worried about how long term it was going to affect me for because I couldn’t train but thankfully the physios got me back quite quickly.
“The main competitions I’m doing this summer are the Senior England Championships, the Under-23s National Championships and the Olympic trials.
“At the Under-23s event I’m running both the 100 and 200 metres and I’m looking for a medal possibly.”
AS the only National Presenting Partner of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay, Lloyds TSB is bringing the excitement of the Games and Olympic Flame closer to you. Find out what we’re doing in your community and who is carrying the Flame at lloydstsb.com/olympictorchrelay