Today marks the next step of an exciting journey for Emily Coppins.
The Thornton 18-year-old will touch down on the other side of the world before donning the national colours for the first time at the World Junior Championships.
Coppins is part of the Australian women’s 4x400 metre relay squad for the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) event being held next month (July 10-15) in Barcelona, home of the 1992 Olympics.
The athletes contesting the upcoming competition, including 57 from Australia, were not born when those Games were held but there will be an Olympic feel to the World Junior Championships.
Not only are they competing in the same
stadium as the Olympics of two decades ago, Lluis Companys de Montjuic, but London 2012 is fast approaching and is just a country and the
English Channel away from where Coppins will be based.
Coppins said there had already been an Olympic tinge to the build up for the Australian 18 and under team following a four-day camp in Brisbane earlier this month.
“The camp was really good and we had the chance to bond and train together,” Coppins said.
“[Olympic hurdles favourite] Sally Pearson was up there competing which was pretty cool and while we were up there one of the guys [Steve Solomon] in our [World Junior Championships] team was named in the Olympic squad [men’s 4x400m relay].
“That was really exciting and we also had Ben Offerins [another men’s 4x400m relay team member] train with us because of the connections between his coach Lyn Foreman and our team – he will have a couple of weeks with us in Barcelona as well before the Olympics.”
Coppins could barely contain her excitement when speaking to the Maitland Mercury before taking off from Australia yesterday.