Sat, 30 Jan 2021
Louise Sugden won a medal in Manchester last year Picture: SWpix.com
PARA-powerlifter Louise Sugden admitted that it’s been "difficult to stay motivated" during training sessions since the coronavirus pandemic began.
Sugden has not been in competition since achieving gold at last year’s Para Powerlifting World Cup in the up to 86kg category.
The lockdown restrictions have had a huge effect on her normal schedule so a return to action is something she is relishing.
She said: "After almost a year of no competitions I’m delighted to have been selected for the Manchester 2021 World Cup and I’m very much looking forward to representing Great Britain again.
"Having a competition to work towards is exactly what I need at this point in time.
"It has been difficult to stay motivated without a competition in the diary and with all the Covid-19 restrictions," she added.
Sugden, who is from Newbury, is again due to represent Team GB at the World Cup from March 25 to 28 and the event will be behind closed doors.
The World Cup is a chance to achieve an opportunity to compete at this summer’s re-arranged Tokyo Paralympic Games.
She said: "I’m currently in a strong qualifying position for Tokyo which I just need to maintain right now.
"It’s difficult to say how standards have changed and how the pandemic has affected each country differently so I need to just focus on improving on my performance from 2020."
Sugden explained how she has been dealing with the constraints during the pandemic.
"Each lockdown has been challenging in a different way," said the 36-year-old.
"In the current lockdown I’m able to attend training with my coaches in Loughborough under the elite sport exemption.
"Without this exemption I would really struggle to train as I need help with training sessions and my other half is away a lot for work at the moment."
Sugden, who has won a silver medal in the 2018 Commonwealth Games, has set her sights on improving her personal best in order to strengthen her grip on a place in Tokyo.
She said: "My goal for Manchester is to increase my PB and my British record which I hope will also increase my Tokyo ranking."