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Newbury's Charlotte Payne full of pride after impressive European Championship performances

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Newbury athlete Charlotte Payne expressed her delight at finishing fourth in the women’s hammer throw at the U20 European Championships in Estonia.

The 19-year-old old threw a distance of 62.13m, with the event being won by Finland’s Silja Kosonen who threw a championship record of 71.06m.

Since her performance, Payne has had time to reflect on her achievements in Tallinn, Estonia.

Charlotte Payne
Charlotte Payne

“I'm over the moon with my performance,” admitted Payne. “I headed into the championships ranked 8th place so was really pleased to get so close to the medals.

“I was so happy with how I performed across the competition too, remaining consistent across both days (qualifying rounds and final).

“The standard of U20 hammer this year is insane, with two girls heading off to the Olympics next week, so to be able to hold my own amongst some really talented girls is really reassuring.”

Whilst in Estonia, Payne was named as a co-captain of the British team and it’s an experience she said she’ll never forget.

“I was one of the few athletes who had previous international experience, but I am so grateful to be recognised by British Athletics.

“I had to deliver several speeches throughout the trip and I hope some of the athletes found some value in those.

“The whole team are so talented so to take on such a big role was a huge confidence boost. It's something I'll always remember.”

Although Payne has represented Team GB before, the experience of competing during a pandemic was challenging.

“The key thing in this trip was being able to deal with added mental stresses.

“The start of the week was tough as we had to have a lot of tests and had to self-isolate for 24 hours whilst we waited for test results.

“Those who had developed mental strategies to deal with obstacles found it the easiest as they adapted their training plans.

“There were a lot of things we couldn't prepare for, but the whole team did so well considering.”

The hammer thrower has also watched back her performances in the championships to see what areas she can improve in.

“I've re-watched every single throw about 10 times at this point,” she said. “I can see so many things I want to work on but I can also see what I am proud of.

“Throughout the qualifying round, I'm really happy with how I progressed through the throws, throwing further each time.

“I wish I'd had more throws on that day as I feel I could have built to something big.

“The final wasn't quite as strong but it's given my coach and me a lot to work on through these final few competitions of the season

“I still have goals I want to achieve so I'm looking forward to getting back training.”

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