Thamesmead's Lorraine Ugen feeling 'ready' ahead of Rio 2016 long-jump qualifiers
PUBLISHED: 09:43 09 August 2016 | UPDATED: 09:43 09 August 2016
The former Townley Grammar student will be competing in Rio next week
Thamesmead Olympian and British-record holder Lorraine Ugen is gearing up for her Olympic debut next week.
The long-jump competitor missed out on a place at London 2012 after failing to qualify by just 1cm.
But as the borough rallies behind her, the former Townley Grammar student is feeling ready to impress on the world stage.
The 24-year-old said: “I’ve never been more ready than I am now, mentally, emotionally and most importantly physically.
“I was so disappointed about missing out on London 2012 by 1cm.
“I’ve used that as motivation and four years on I’m here, I’ve made it!
“I know I have it in me to do well in Rio. I’ve prayed about it and I have faith that my practice has been going well and my body has been feeling good and ready to go.”
“If you had told me 10 years ago when I was just 14 and living in Thamesmead with my parents that I’d be in the Olympics right now, I would have said you’re lying.
Whilst at the Bexleyheath school, Ugen took up gymnastics, before moving onto athletics where she found her strength in long-jump.
She since joined Bexley Athletics Club, then moving onto Blackheath and Bromley Harriers, which has also produced fellow Olympic athletes, Adam Gemili from Dartford and Orpington’s Dina Asher-Smith.
The Texas Christian University alumni smashed her personal best and set a British record earlier this year when she won a bronze medal at the World Indoor Championships in Portland, USA, by jumping 6.93m.
Local Thamesmead and Erith MP Teresa Pearce voiced her support for our local Olympian:
The Labour MP said: “Lorraine is already a Thamesmead hero, as it’s an incredible achievement getting to the Olympics.
“All of Britain is willing her on and wishing her well.
“Should she win a medal the cheer from Thamesmead will be so loud they may even hear it in Rio”
Qualifiers for the women’s long jump begin on Wednesday, August 17.