Golden girl back home
JUNIOR world champion high jumper Eleanor Patterson is back home after her gold medal performance in the Ukraine.
The Leongatha athlete is happy to be back on Australian soil and home with her family.
caught up with humble Patterson after she returned on Friday and quizzed her after she jumped 1.88m to win the world junior high championship at the IAAF Junior World Championships in the Ukraine recently.
“It was unrealistic,” she said.
“It just didn’t feel real.”
The 17 year old has competed in Australia wide competitions before and won, but jumping on the world stage was taking her sport to another level.
“It was a bit different with the whole setting and everything,” Patterson said.
“The pressure wasn’t too bad. A lot of the time I just zoned out and just concentrated on the high jump.
“There was a lot of media and cameras in your face, but I guess that’s just what you have to put up with.
“The whole thing was over so quickly though.”
Patterson does not follow a ritual before jumping but rather just trusts her body.
“All I do is just think clearly before the jump and rely on what we have done in training and have faith in what David (her coach) tells me,” she said.
Coach David Green, who is also from Leongatha and travelled to the Ukraine for the championships, has watched the teenager grow through the ranks of the athletics world and is proud of her achievements.
“I’m very happy for her,” he said.
“She is very keen and I think she gets rewards for her efforts. She never misses a training session and she is very committed and that’s what sets her apart.”
Patterson was happy Green had been there to coach her to this championship.
“David is very clever,” she said.
“It’s fair to say I couldn’t do it with any other coach because he is that much more knowledgeable.
“Also he’s local which gives us great access for training.
“He is incredibly dedicated to my program and I owe so much to David and the Green family.
“They have supported me and made sacrifices, and my whole family and I are very grateful for that.”
Patterson has been an athlete from a young age.
“I have always done athletics at school and little aths and just continued from there,” she said.
“I was always good at the jumps but I liked high jump the best so ended up just focusing on that one.”
Patterson is a current member of South Coast Athletics and grateful for the club’s support. The club can proudly claim to be the only Victorian club to host a world youth champion.
Training for the teen can vary from jumping sessions to sprinting through to strength and core work.
“It varies all the time. We do a bit of everything,” she said.
Next year will be Patterson’s last year of VCE studying at Mary MacKillop and so her competition calendar is uncertain.
“There is a possibility of a national competition at the end of the year but I may or not may do that,” she said.
“There are a number of competitions available next year like the world juniors in America or the Commonwealth Games in Scotland but we will see.”
Like most athletes, the Olympics remain her dream.
“That would be awesome. It has always been the dream,” Patterson said.
Patterson and her family would like to thank everyone who has helped and donated to allow her to reach the world championships.
“I really want to thank my family and everyone who has supported me,” she said.
“All those people who donated meant David and I could go over there, which was overwhelming actually.”
Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=7981