Sports Awards: Jazmin Sawyers claims success in all conditions
JAZMIN Sawyers is hardly taking a giant leap of faith by becoming a full-time long jumper.
The 18-year-old, from Trentham, is turning her back on various other athletic events, not to mention a possible bobsleigh career, to concentrate on what is now her strongest discipline.
The past year has certainly demonstrated as much after winning the McCain Challenge Series, taking gold at the England under-20s Championships and claiming bronze at the World Junior Championships.
Her jump at the World Juniors in Barcelona was a personal best of 6.67 metres – a leap good enough to place her fourth in the senior British rankings and just eight centimetres off the Olympic A standard.
Call WHITEGATES Today 01782 209935 ..Limited offer. Available only up on production of voucher. Sell your home for £399 plus vat.* #EPC is required to market your home not included in offer.
Terms: *Upfront payment, non-refundable in the event of property remaining unsold, being withdrawn from the market or being sold by another agent, yourself or by any other means.#EPC £62.50 plus vat
Contact: 01782 209 935
Valid until: Thursday, July 04 2013
She also threw her hat into the ring for London 2012 by competing against Britain's senior jumpers in the Olympic trials.
"In many ways the trials were the highlight for me," said Jazmin, who had started the year by winning silver for Great Britain in the two-woman bobsleigh at the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck.
"It was the first time I had competed against the seniors and I was only 11 centimetres off qualifying.
"I have taken that step of deciding what to concentrate on... I'm going to be a long jumper, although I will probably do a bit of sprinting and hurdling in the summer.
"I think it makes sense when you see how last season went for me."
Since then she has upped sticks and upped her game by moving to Sheffield to not only start a three-year degree, but also to train alongside Britain's golden girl Jessica Ennis in her own backyard.
"It's been going really well up here and training with Jess is a massive inspiration," she added. "I am training four or five times-a-week with her and there is so much to admire by just seeing how she does things.
"She can also pass on all her wisdom because she has been where I am now."
Her training time is being arranged around her pursuit of an intriguing joint degree in criminology and law.
"It's difficult and there's a lot of reading, but I'm getting through it," she said.
"I've always found criminology really interesting," she explained, "and the law part of it is always good as a solid back-up for later."
This summer sees a big red ring in her diary around a few days in July when she is due in Italy for the European Junior Championships.
"I want to compete in that because I've only got one year left as a junior," she explains.
"I'd also like to compete in our national championships as well because I won an unexpected bronze there last year."
Jazmin has been nominated in the Senior Individual category of The Sentinel/City of Stoke-on-Trent Sports Personality of the Year Awards by her former coach Tony Williams, someone who knows her better than most.
"I've known her since the age of nine," said the City of Stoke Athletics Club coach, "and not only is she a fantastic athlete, but she is also a beautiful person.
"And as long as she stays injury-free and maintains a strong training regime, the world is at her feet."