Fit Walker eyes BMX gold
Wed, 08 Aug 2012 3:02a.m.
By Sean Martin
Sarah Walker is unequivocal.
Asked if London was going to be her Games the BMX rider has a one word answer: "Yes."
Favoured to win a medal at Beijing after heading to the Olympics as the number one ranked rider in the world, the then 20-year-old finished a disappointing fourth.
This time around things are different - she is bubbling with confidence after recovering from a dislocated left shoulder that threatened to hinder her London campaign.
"I'm stronger than I've ever been, I'm faster than I've ever been, I'm confident - I actually believe in myself this time. I think that's extremely important, to line up on that gate knowing I can (win)," she said.
"In BMX, confidence and belief is just a whole another gear. It is everything.
"I'm confident that if I can put everything together on the day and perform at 100 per cent I do believe that it's worthy of a gold medal," the 24-year-old told NZ Newswire.
A crash at a world cup event in Norway in April threatened to derail her preparation for London and for a while she feared her Games may be over before they had started.
"At that moment I though some shoulder injuries could be six months or so and there was only three months until London.
"There were thoughts at the moment of `crap'," she said.
But after a patient recuperation at home in Cambridge she now believes she's in the best shape of her life, declaring the shoulder 100 per cent, and believes the setback may have been beneficial.
"It made me just really drive for the last couple of months and I worked as hard as I possibly could just to give myself the best chance."
After a three week block of training in Europe, which included practising the all-important start out of the gate to get to the first corner first, Walker is calm ahead of Wednesday's seeding run.
"I usually can't sleep before riding but I've been sleeping well which I see as an indication that I'm ready."
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