Womens GB Judo team are pushing for continuous improvement - says Sally Conway
Olympic medalist Sally Conway is heading up a 14 strong line up for Team GB Judo at the upcoming World Judo Championships in Baku.
She's had quite an incredible year results wise, the highlight of which was a mighty impressive Gold at the Paris Grand Slam. Now the Scottish Judoka is looking to build on her Olympic medal by adding further World acclaim.
"Since February it's been a really busy competition year, I've been getting some great results so I guess my training must be going well." Said Conway.
"In some recent competitions I've maybe not felt as sharp as I'd have liked, although I've still been picking up medals. It is a good sign when you're not performance 100% and still achieve success."
After a recent Bronze medal win in Budapest, Sally now wants to push on.
"It was brilliant to take a medal, most of all because it gives me more points towards Olympic qualification. There are aspects of my overall performance which I know can be better.
The day got better as it went on, having started a little slow in the opening fights I was improving with every fight. In the bronze medal match I felt completely sharp and performed well."
She's realistic about achieving her maximal performance at all times, but hopes to manage herself better in the future to improve her consistency.
"It's impossible to peak at every competition, so I was delighted with the way I was able to take a slow start and turn it around to deliver a medal.
We've been trying to manage my rest more effectively. It's been a long year and so after Budapest, instead of staying on for a training camp as planned, I had a week off and recharged a bit.
Now I'm feeling much better and cannot wait to get stuck into the World Championships."
According to Sally, the entire Women's Judo GB team are helping to push her along.
"The British Judo women's team is extremely strong, and as we all train together in Walsall, we all help each other.
Every single member of the squad wants to qualify for 2020, so we push each other along to improve.
Every day there's an attitude of being better than yesterday, we're all aiming for continuous improvement.
Like many other athletes around the world, the attention is already beginning to turn to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
"The big goal is the Olympics but I think it's important to take each competition and then each fight as they come.
In the past I've been guilty of looking ahead and seeing who is my side of the draw and who I might face in the semi finals or finals, and then I've lost out before that and not made it that far.
That's the approach I'm taking to the World Championships, where hopefully I can put on a good performance which in turn will eventually lead me to the 2020 Olympics."
Should she reach the Tokyo games, Sally only has one result on her mind.
"When i'm performing at my best, and I know I've done all the hard work required, I do believe I could claim an Olympic Gold.
Every athlete who makes it to the Olympics is capable of taking gold, it comes down to what happens on the day, who has got their head right."
Image Source - Mike Varey, elitepix