Former world youth champion is back on the GB team after a long road back from career-threatening injury
Asha Philip, whose individual selection for the World Indoor Championships completed a fairytale comeback from injury, admits she thought of quitting every day during her three-year battle with injury.
The Newham & Essex Beagle, who suffered a career-threatening injury in a trampolining accident in 2007 just months after winning the world youth 100m title, secured selection with her PB of 7.19 in the 60m in Birmingham on Saturday.
Philip lives just a mile away from the London Olympic stadium but could have been forgiven for giving up on her dream of competing there after landing awkwardly in the Double Mini Trampoline World Championships in Quebec five years ago. A world age-group champion in that sport too, the active youngster was reduced to an invalid when she shattered her knee. She ruptured her cruciate ligament and was out of action for a year.
It was not until last year that she started to show a semblance of the form that took her to 11.37 as a 16-year-old.
After moving to equal fourth on the UK all-time list for the short sprint at the Aviva Grand Prix, she explained how much the injury affected her.
“Almost every day (she thought of giving up),” said Philip, who was part of the GB women’s 4x100m squad at the World Championships last year. “I sunk into my chair. I didn’t want to get back up. I was so depressed. I was upset. It’s all thanks to my mum, my brother and sister, my auntie, my closest family and friends who came to see me on most days and tried to keep me lifted.
“I’ve done trampolining, netball, swimming and everything you can think of. I was there doing it and to have that all taken away from me because of my leg, it was depressing. It put me in a dark place but I was strong enough to pull through.”
So is the trampolining now well and truly in the past, she was asked? “Um…” she said after a pause for thought long enough to worry UKA head coach Charles van Commenee. “I still coach. I still love it. I get on, but I won’t compete at that level again because I don’t think I could take it. But I like to watch the competitions.”
And she insists she has no regrets about having tried to mix both sports in the past.
“No, I regret not landing properly,” she said. “I don’t regret anything I’ve done with that. I love that to bits.”
Her performance on Saturday came despite her having been ill with a cold all week. “I thought I was going to die on Tuesday,” she joked.