Despite focusing on the high jump this season, the double world junior gold medallist wants to return to the seven-discipline event in the future
Morgan Lake insists she wants to have “one last shot” at the heptathlon, despite the success she has enjoyed competing solely in the high jump this season.
The 20-year-old had a slightly disappointing end to her year with an eighth-place finish in the Diamond League final. However, sixth place at the IAAF World Championships this summer and a personal best in an impressive performance at the trials have pointed to an increasingly upward performance trajectory.
Her performances have been all the more impressive considering she had what she describes as a ‘rocky time’ to begin with, completing the first year of a psychology degree at Loughborough, dealing with a new training environment and working with a new coach in Fuzz Ahmed rather than her father, who had always guided her up until that switch.
“I am really happy with the season I have had,” says the 2014 world junior heptathlon and high jump champion. “I had quite a rocky time at the beginning because I wasn’t sure if I was doing heptathlon or high jump. Then I had quite a lot of change to my training structure so to come out of it sixth in the world championships, yes I was happy.”
She adds: “I do want to have one last shot at the heptathlon. It is something I have always loved doing but this year and last year I have had a lot of focus on high jump because of circumstances like injury and training structures.
“High jump is my go-to back-up event. I’ve been lucky that it has been going well and I am really enjoying it. I will do another winter of heptathlon work and see where that takes me.”
Her work in 2017 took Lake to some rather impressive places. She secured selection for London 2017 with a PB of 1.96m. “I have had a couple of years where I was at the same level but I knew I had improved because I was consistently jumping the height week in week out but there was just that extra edge and mentally,” she says. “I think it helped as well to get the PB.”
Then on to the London World Championships. “I absolutely loved London 2017 – the home crowd was absolutely ridiculous,” she adds. The home crowd, atmosphere and expectations help but can also add to the pressure on athletes, but the psychology student was ready.
“High jump is definitely a psychological event,” says Lake. “What I kept telling myself through the qualifying was that I’d trained so hard this year and it was my home town so I wanted to make everyone proud and myself proud as well by getting to the final. That was a big aim of mine all season. And I did it.”