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Hayley hoping the pressure will be off in Belgium
HAYLEY McLean is hoping getting away from these shores will help her forget about the pressure of achieving the qualifying time for the World Junior Championships.
The 17-year-old 400m hurdler admits she is feeling the pressure of making the qualifying standard for the under-20 world championships in Barcelona in July.
McLean, from Stanford-le-Hope, came agonisingly close to achieving the mark of 57.50s at the Olympic Stadium earlier this month, when she ran a personal best of 57.57s.
She admits “things didn’t go quite to plan” last Sunday when she ran 60.04s at the Loughborough International and is now hoping everything will come together when she races in the Flanders Cup, in Belgium, tomorrow.
“I do feel quite pressured at the moment,” said McLean, who was sixth in the World Youth Championships last summer. “A lot of other under-20s have already got their standards. It feels like they are all waiting for me now.
“I think I’m probably trying too hard to get the time. I think the key in Belgium is going to be not trying too hard, if that makes sense. I’m so close to the time, I’ve just got to relax, forget about it and concentrate on the race.”
And she is hoping getting away from it all by travelling to Belgium with just her coach Steve Mitchell will prove beneficial.
“Hopefully it will be more laid back,” she said. “It will just be and my coach. The weather is supposed to be good too and I need conditions to be good in my race.
“Also the whole going away, sleeping in a hotel the night before really helps me get the adrenalin going even before I’m on the track. And I need that before I run. So hopefully that will all help.”