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Jenny Meadows belives Desiree Henry can make Olympic sprint relay team
1:01pm Tuesday 1st May 2012 in Sport
World bronze medallist Jenny Meadows believes Edmonton sprinter Desiree Henry has what it takes to gatecrash the Olympic party this summer and book herself a 4x100m relay spot.
The 16-year-old has already stated that her main aim for the upcoming outdoor season is reaching the World Junior Championships in July, having won the global youth 200m title last year.
Henry should travel to Barcelona as her 200m personal best is well inside the qualifying standard but if the Olympics are to be brought into the equation she will need to factor in some 100m races.
Her wind-assisted personal best of 11.51secs is just 0.22 shy of the Olympic A standard with a maximum of three to be selected individually but six entered in the 4x100m relay.
Like most, Meadows was drawn to Henry after her efforts last summer and the world 800m bronze medallist from Berlin 2009 has backed her to earn London 2012 selection in the sprint relay.
“Desiree has really come through in the last couple of years, especially in 2011,” said Meadows, who is an ambassador for the Spar Sprints Stars scheme that Henry receives support from.
“She improved her personal best by absolutely massive margins. Running at the World Youth Championships, she screamed when she crossed the line she literally couldn’t believe she had won.
“She works with Jodie Williams, another great sprinter who is a slightly older, and Mike McFarlane, and she could get into the relay team for this year’s Olympics, she is a very top prospect.”
Henry has already achieved more than Meadows did at her age, however she proved that counts for little after adding European 800m bronze to her world medal of the same colour in 2010.
But Meadows insists, either way, a continued hunger is all the Enfield and Haringey AC sprinter needs to live up to the potential she showed on the way to winning the world youth 200m title last year.
“My role with Spar is to try and teach guys like Desiree to dream big and to work hard. If they do that they can achieve what they want,” she added.
“I’ve not always won medals and the journey has been hard but if you keep that drive and determination then you can achieve things.
“That’s the positive message Spar helps me deliver and it is those good ethics and morals that aspiring athletes, such as Desiree, can learn from.”
Brought to you by SPAR, Official Sponsors of UK Athletics. For more information visit www.spar.co.uk
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