SHE may be a fresh-faced 20-year-old, but Commonwealth Games-bound Freya Jones says she has the back of a woman of 70!
The stresses and strains of throwing the javelin have taken a heavy toll on the Southampton AC athlete over the last couple of years.
But although she has competed sparingly, the quality has shone through for the Chandler’s Ford throws ace during her time studying ‘across the pond’ at the University of Georgia.
Jones announced her arrival on American soil by launching a personal best 54.95 metres at the National Collegiate Championships in Eugene, Oregon last summer.
This year nagging back problems meant she started the season later than planned, but she quickly made up for lost time by extending her pb to 55.36 on the campus track in Georgia in April.
Crucially it exceeded the Commonwealth Games qualifying mark, ensuring that Jones, currently ranked third in Great Britain, joins 32-year-old national No1 Goldie Sayers – sixth at the 2002 Commonwealths – and North Devon’s Izzy Jeffs, 22, in a strong looking Team England trio.
“The Commonwealths have always been in my sights, but it’s been a long haul over the past two years because I’ve had a lot of injuries and back problems and I started this season later than I should have,” Jones explained.
“Thankfully I was able to achieve the qualifying standard in my first competition of the year.
“I’ve taken time off recently because of my back and threw for the first time in a while in training last week. I was well over 50m and I’m hoping I can get into the high 50s training alongside Goldie and Izzy.
“Goldie’s had a few comebacks from injury herself and hopefully she can give me some advice.
“I’m lucky to have a great physio, Peter Lindsel, who lives in the New Forest and works with the Southampton AC squad.”
The women’s javelin takes place on the evening of Wednesday, July 30 at Glasgow’s Hampden Park Stadium.
“It’s a three-hour competition with heats and finals in one because there aren’t as many javelin throwers as expected,” said Jones. “I’m ranked top ten, so I’m pretty happy with that, and I look forward to going for a personal best.”