By Shelby Brooks
HIGH jump sensation Eleanor Patterson’s desire to make another Olympics is growing stronger by the day since Tokyo 2020 was postponed.
Eleanor now lives in Sydney where she trains with coach Alex Stewart with the NSW Institute of Sport.
The 24-year-old said she was initially “heartbroken” when she learnt of Tokyo’s postponement to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but she now sees it as a blessing to have another year’s coaching and training under her belt.
“I do feel like it will benefit my career and trajectory in the long run,” Eleanor told the Sentinel-Times.
“While it’s frustrating not to be able to compete it just keeps that fire burning.”
Eleanor is back into a pre-season style training, undertaking a mixed program of gym work, running and biometrics.
“I haven’t high jumped for a while, it’s less of a priority in pre-season,” she said.
The Leongatha local has not been named a part of the Olympic team yet because the national championships, which double as the Olympic trials, were cancelled in April.
Hoping her childhood dream of winning a medal at an Olympics can come true next year, Eleanor and her coach are taking the opportunity to work on some flaws they wouldn’t have had the chance to if the Olympics had gone ahead this year.
“We’re using the time to work on weaknesses- you never have nothing to work on,” Eleanor said.
“Hopefully, I can maintain the form I had in February- I felt I was on a roll.”
Reflecting on Rio 2016, Eleanor said the experience was a “whirlwind”, but she was ultimately left disappointed by her performance.
“It was a bit heartbreaking, but Rio was such a fantastic event,” Eleanor said.
“It was very eye-opening to have such a high calibre of athletes around and to spend time in the village and around the athletes getting to know them was crazy.
“I was very young at the time and you try to downplay it a bit like it’s just another competition, but for track and field it’s the pinnacle event for us.”