Emelia Gorecka aiming to go one better than her silver in Tallinn two years ago at the European Junior Championships
Despite a delayed return to track action having suffered with the flu during and after the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in March, Emelia Gorecka quickly found her form and admits she has even surprised herself with her performances so far this season.
A successful cross-country season saw her unbeaten domestically this year and finish 16th in the world championships, despite being struck down with illness. Her first outing on the track came at a BMC meet in Manchester at the start of June, where a strong last lap in the 5000m A race saw her clock 15:35.82 to finish just outside her lifetime best of 15:34.21.
“When I ran in Manchester that was my first time running since the World Cross and since the flu, so I was a bit shocked to run that quick,” she explains. “That was a good marker of hopefully where I can go.
“I thought I would be slightly behind this season in terms of where I should be but I think I have caught up fairly well, got over the flu, regained fitness and I think I’m back to where I should be so it’s all going really well right now.”
If we are to use that outing in Manchester as a marker, as Gorecka suggests, then things are certainly looking good for the 19-year-old who made her senior debut at the European Athletics Team Championships in Gateshead a few weeks ago. There, a gritty performance saw her win a huge scrap for second place to gain vital points for GB.
“That was a massive bonus this season so far, to perform the way I did,” says the two-time European junior cross country champion. “I got a lot of experience from that and probably a lot of confidence as well, running a fairly decent time and beating a few good runners as well.
“I can’t wait to hopefully get to some more senior championships now and just keep feeding off the runs that I’ve done.”
But she’s wary not to get too ahead of herself and is looking forward to this weekend’s European Junior Championships in Rieti as a way to put a successful end to her junior career as she aims to go one better than her silver in Tallinn two years ago.
“It’s my last year as a junior, so despite getting my first senior vest earlier in the year, I still want to be a junior and complete my junior career on a high,” she says.
“I moved up to juniors quite early,” she adds. “Now it’s my last year, I want to finish that off. I’ve still got a gold to get.”
Entered into both the 3000m and the 5000m, the world junior bronze medallist over the shorter distance is yet to decide which she’ll contest, if not both, but something that is certain is the colour of the medal she’s got her sights set on.
“Last year at the World Juniors I wanted to go for the two, I got bronze in the 3000m and emotionally and physically that was it for me.
“The last few years I’ve done a junior championships I’ve been entered for both and I’ve ended up doing just one of the races. Going into it I always have the intention to try and do both, depending on the race and the conditions.
“It’s going to be a lot of communicating between me and Mick (Woods, her coach), and I’ll see how I feel.
“Either way I’d love to get a gold after that silver two years ago. That’s the aim.”
» You can find a preview to the European Junior Championships here