With a global relay medal already in her back pocket, Manchester 400m runner Seren Bundy-Davies is targeting individual glory at this summer’s Olympic Games.
The 21-year-old will make her Olympic debut in Rio next month after successful 2015 in which she won three senior medals in a GB vest.
Bundy-Davies secured her place in Rio after finishing second at the recent British Championships and, having run a personal best time in Geneva less than a month ago, will head to Brazil in confident mood.
Before Rio though, the University of Manchester student is in Amsterdam this week for the European Athletics Championships, where she will compete in the 4x400m relay, and the Anniversary Games at Stratford’s Olympic Stadium, later in July.
“It still feels a bit surreal to be selected for the Olympics, but now I’m back in training it’s getting more real,” said the world relay bronze medallist from 2015.
“I know I’m in pretty good shape and can run a lot faster than I did in Geneva, in better conditions, I’ve just got to be patient now.
“The aim has always got to be to make the final, so that will be mine.
“I want to work on a few things, mainly my speed work, and then hopefully will be in the shape of my life by the time Rio comes around.”
The Welsh athlete took home individual bronze and a relay silver from the European Indoor Championships in Prague last season, before stepping up to the world stage and teaming up with Christine Ohuruogu, Anyika Onuora and Eilidh Doyle to win bronze outdoors.
But Bundy-Davies admits the Olympic Games have not been a long-term goal for her after she only began taking the 400m seriously at the end of 2012.
After a successful 2015 as part of the relay squad though, she was determined to make her mark on the world stage as an individual.
“I was always wanting a senior individual call up and after the indoors in 2015 I kind of realised I was competing at a much higher level than I had done before – so when I continued that to outdoors, that’s when we said I’ve got a great chance of an individual spot,” she added.
Bundy-Davies has had to mix in full-time training with part-time studying as she reads for a degree in biomedical science.
Over 60 per cent of gold medallists since 1992 have participated in BUCS sport, with 56 members of Team GB at the London 2012 Olympics competing for Great Britain at the World University Games.
She will be looking to add to that statistic in Rio and credited her participation in BUCS competition as a key step in her development into an Olympic athlete.
“It has given me a platform to go off,” she added.
“It was a really high level of competition for me at the time – I finished second in 2014 – and I think it’s a really good step from club or university level to international level.
“It provides a really good level of sport for people wanting to build on that.
“It is still really competitive, more so in the shorter sprints, but there is always really great racing at BUCS, so I look forward to doing a few more BUCS championships in my time.”
British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) is the national governing body for Higher Education (HE) sport in the UK, representing more than 150 institutions. Covering 52 sports, BUCS aids grass roots participation through to supporting aspiring elite athletes en route to Commonwealth or Olympic Games www.bucs.org.uk
Image courtesy of IAAF Diamond League via YouTube, with thanks.