Mandy Gault is determined to rectify her British Championships ‘disappointment’ and prove she can mix it with Britain’s elite.
The City of Portsmouth ace was unhappy with her time of 59.70sec as she failed to progress to the final of the women’s 400m hurdles at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium at the weekend.
It was the second fastest time Gault has ever run in the event but only saw her finish fourth in a heat won by UK number one Perri Shakes-Drayton (55.74).
The 29-year-old was hoping to continue an excellent season that has seen her rise through the ranks and move into contention of representing home country Northern Ireland at next year’s Commonwealth Games.
However, her first major setback of the year has been quickly forgotten.
And with her confident of ironing out the technical glitches she feels were to blame – with City coach Terry Price – the British-ranked number 14 believes she can continue to chase down those above her in the rankings.
‘I was disappointed with my performance as I was hoping to run sub-59 seconds,’ admitted Gault.
‘But the good thing is I’m consistent – and with consistency comes faster times eventually. I know I have a lot to work on from a technical point of view – I was actually supposed to try a new stride pattern out on Saturday but chickened out of it.
‘It’s supposed to get me to hurdle four about three quarters of a second quicker and at the same time conserve energy as I’m meant to be taking less strides.
‘In my first warm-up run I didn’t do it, so decided not to do it in the race itself.
‘However, if I work on it over the next couple of weeks, hopefully I’ll be confident in executing it – which will bring my times down even further.’
Gault admitted she can also take heart from her times in the 400m.
They are normally a good indicator of what can be achieved over hurdles.
And with the current Hampshire and Northern Ireland 400m hurdle champion having a flat-four best of 54.61, she knows more PBs are not far away.
‘There is definitely more to come from me,’ she said.
‘There is usually around a three-and-a-half seconds difference between 400m flat times and the hurdles.
‘At the moment my difference is about five seconds and that comes down purely to technical ability over hurdles.
‘I’m still learning with every race, so I’m not panicking yet about getting the qualifying time of 57.9sec for the Commonwealths as I do think it is there.
‘Some of the people above me in the hurdles rankings aren’t as fast as me over 400m.
‘So I just need to get to work on the technical stuff.’