2 Aug 2017
Jess Judd back on the biggest stage of all
Despite still only being 22 years old, Jess Judd has already been on an incredible journey and finally she’s back where she wants to be, competing with the best in the world.
On Friday she’ll line-up for the first round of the London 2017 World Athletics Championships. All being well, she’ll advance to the 1500m semi-finals, where she’ll bid for a final place, which would be her best ever finish at a senior global championship.
Bursting onto the scene in 2011, Judd took bronze at the World Youth Championships over her then specialist distance of 800m. Fast forward 12 months and she’d upgraded that bronze to silver at the World Junior Championships, and broken the UK age 17 record for 800m with a 2.00.96 run. London 2012 came a little too soon.
In 2013 Judd really started to make her mark on the senior stage, winning the European Team Championships and breaking two minutes for the first time to win the Birmingham Grand Prix, one of 14 prestigious Diamond League meetings held all over the world each year. That good form earned her selection for her first senior World Championships, meaning that in just three years she’d gone from youths, to juniors, to seniors.
The success continued in 2014, but despite that Judd was gutted to finish fourth at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, just one place shy of the medals.
The end of the season marked change. Judd relocated to Loughborough University, switching coaches and starting her Human Biology degree, from which she has just graduated with flying colours. Her form on the track has undergone a similar three year journey, with 2017 marking a return to the big time over 1500m.
“This year my dad has started coaching me again, and I owe a lot of my success to him. Because he’s my dad he can push me a little bit more and I can always tell him exactly what I feel! He believed in me when no one else did, as did everyone here at Loughborough, and it’s all worked out really well.
“I’m really proud of myself for not giving up and I did think about whether to carry on a lot, because I was working really hard and training really hard and not getting the results. This has made it all worth it though.”
When she toes the line at 7:35pm on Friday evening what would success look like, on her return to the big time in her new event?
“I’m not going to put too much pressure on myself as I’m still learning all the time. If I go out there and run how I know I can then I’ll leave the track happy, whatever happens. As long as I give myself the best possible chance of progressing through the rounds then I can’t be disappointed.”
For more information on the Loughborough athletes in action at London 2017 head to www.lboro.ac.uk/london2017