Sarah Holt already has her sights on Rio and 2016 Olympic Games

When Holt met Bolt: Sarah Holt, right, pictured with Usain Bolt in Glasgow

Holt at the closing ceremony with Louis Smith

First published in Sport
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AFTER a bitter-sweet Commonwealth Games, hammer thrower Sarah Holt is already looking forward to Rio.

The 27-year-old from Cleckheaton had a disrupted preparation for Glasgow due to a torn calf muscle but still finished fourth in the final with a season's-best throw of 65.67 metres.

Holt said: "I tore my calf on March 26 and it cost me 12 weeks of training, so I felt like I was playing catch-up rather than building on my solid base of fitness.

"But overall I am happy with fourth place, although I felt that third was within me if I had not missed a chunk of training."

As for the atmosphere at Hampden Park, the former Whitcliffe Mount School pupil said: "It was amazing – the best I have ever experienced – and the crowd were shouting for the English as much as the Scots.

"Also the village was more integrated and you got to meet people from different sports.

"My event was quite early, so I took the opportunity to watch other sports, such as weightlifting, gymnastics, diving, boxing, badminton and swimming."

Holt added: "Because of my disrupted year, I have decided that it is the end of my season now, so I will soon be sitting down with my coach John Pearson and planning what is the best way forward up to Rio in 2016.

"I work 30 hours a week in the Sports Development Centre as sports business co-ordinator at Loughborough University, which ideally is a little too many hours, but it is a question of paying the bills and everything.

"Maybe the Commonwealth Games will open some doors for me but there are still things that I can work on in the hammer, and there is definitely room for improvement."

As expected, in another great global event for Yorkshire, the medal rush was again led by former Bradford Grammar School pupils the Brownlee brothers, with Alistair and Jonny taking gold and silver in the men's triathlon before combining to win gold for England in the mixed relay.

Otley's Lizzie Armitstead, another Team GB star from the 2012 Olympic Games, won the women's road race to turn so many previous silvers into gold, while former Bradford College student Nicola Adams, who is used to being on the top step of the podium, just survived a barrage from Northern Ireland's Michaela Walsh to add another gold to her collection as she became the Commonwealth Games' first female boxing champion.

Burley-in-Wharfedale's Scott Thwaites took a bronze in the Glasgow rain in the men's road race on the final day of competition, Keighley's Tom Moses falling foul of a puncture when he was well set, while 18-year-old Pudsey gymnast Nile Wilson made the bridge between junior and senior competition look comparatively easy by winning the high bars on a tie-break from team-mate Kristian Thomas to follow a team gold, parallel bars silver and bronze in the men's overall.

However, perhaps the hardest place to finish in a major championships is fourth – ask Holt – which is where Denholme 15-year-old Rebekah Tiler ended up in the women's weightlifting.

Major championship newcomer Racheal Bamford, from Otley AC, was a plucky seventh in the women's 3000 metre steeplechase, while two competitors were flying the flag for Wales from our region.

Ilkley's Sian Morgan helped the 4x100 metres freestyle team to a national record in coming sixth in the final, while Bradford's Tommy Hawthorn beat Dipu Ray (Bangladesh) 4-0 in the preliminary round of the men's 74kg wrestling before losing by the same score in the quarter-finals to Nigeria's Melvin Bibo.

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