Hastings AC ace earns Great Britain call-up

Elise Lovell (left) on the podium after finishing second in the senior women's pentathlon at the England Athletics Indoor Combined Events Championships. Picture courtesy Andy Chubb
Elise Lovell (left) on the podium after finishing second in the senior women's pentathlon at the England Athletics Indoor Combined Events Championships. Picture courtesy Andy Chubb
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Elise Lovell has been selected to represent British Athletics in an international fixture after winning a brilliant silver medal in a national competition.

The Hastings Athletic Club talent surpassed her own expectations with a superb second place in the senior women's pentathlon at the England Athletics Senior and Under 20 Indoor Combined Events Championships last weekend.

And following on from that, Lovell was named in the 14-strong British team for the Combined Events International Indoor Match in Prague, Czech Republic, on January 28-29.

She said: "We knew they were going to select the team on that performance (at last weekend's championships), but with such a strong field, I wasn't really thinking about getting in the team.

"I only really targeted a top eight finish so to come away with a silver was a massive achievement.

"My speed and spring felt good (before the event), but you're in the middle of training so you don't really know what form you're going to go into the competition with."

Lovell, who finished fifth in the Combined Events Championships last year, made a good start at the EIS Sheffield with a 60m hurdles personal best of 8.65.

She then recorded an average high jump (1.57m) and shot (9.79m) to lie ninth after the first three events, but soared to third after registering the best long jump of anyone and a new indoor PB of 5.96m.

Last summer Lovell became the first Sussex woman ever to break the six-metre barriers outdoors so to get within four centimetres of the mark indoors, bodes well for the 2017 summer season.

Lovell went into the concluding 800m aiming to clock a decent time to stay in the medals, but ended up running it so well - crossing the line in 2:26 - that she managed to gain another place.

She took silver with 3778 points - 13 more than Wigan athlete Danielle McGifford, who finished third. Commonwealth Games heptathlon bronze medallist Jessica Taylor-Jemmett (Sale Harriers) was the champion with 4090 points.

Lovell, who is coached by Stephen King, Taylor-Jemmett and Katie Stainton were the three senior women selected for the Combined Events International Indoor Match in Prague.

The British squad also contains three senior men, an under-23 man, three under-20 men, three under-20 women and an under-23 woman. Britain will face off against teams from the Czech Republic, Poland, France and Spain.

It will be Lovell's second overseas international appearance and her first indoors as her previous outing came outdoors at the European Cup Combined Events Super League in France during July 2015.

Her indoor selection is all the more impressive given that Lovell describes herself as 'a lot stronger outdoors' seeing as the pentathlon doesn't contain two of her stronger heptathlon disciplines, the 200m and javelin.

And if that wasn't enough, Lovell has done it while having to combine her training with studying for a PGCE and being on a work placement. She's still training as much as she was previously, but fatigue is inevitable given the extent of her endeavours.

Looking ahead to the summer, Lovell will be targeting the outdoor England Combined Events Championships, and hoping to qualify for the 100m hurdles and long jump at the British Championships.

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