Emily Dixon goes extra mile to win silver on England debut
Emily Dixon's selection for the Home Countries Indoor Multi-Events International at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow would have been memorable enough, even without the journey the Frome athlete took to get there.
The 17-year-old has emerged as one of the best all-round athletes in the country for her age group this year and travelled almost 7,000 miles to get to the pentathlon startline last weekend – a mammoth trip that included two flights, including one international overnight haul from the Far East.
It was not the sort of preparation you would find in any coaching manual but, such was Dixon's sheer excitement at being selected to represent her country for the first time, any negative effects of tiredness or jet lag were quickly forgotten.
"It was definitely worth it," said Dixon. "I was a little tired but it didn't turn out too badly for me in the end as I finished second overall and helped England win team gold. It was a fantastic experience."
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Dixon had been in Malaysia on a school trip with Trowbridge's St Augustine's Catholic College – one that had been planned and paid for long before she was invited to represent England.
Understandably, Dixon did not want to miss either event so special arrangements were made to get her home in time for the fixture in Scotland.
"The other students in the trip weren't flying home until Sunday but I flew home on my own overnight on Thursday and got back into London Heathrow at 5am on Friday," explained Dixon.
"My mum picked me up and took me home to Frome and then we caught a flight from Bristol to Glasgow later that day.
"There was a team meeting to attend and I felt a bit tired by 6pm as it was 2am in Malaysia."
But, after a good night's sleep, Dixon was ready for action and rose to the occasion, scoring 3,317 points to finish just 28 behind the winner and England team-mate Olivia Montez-Brown.
"The big difference between me and Olivia was the long jump as she took 150 points out of me," added Dixon.
"That was a bit annoying as I had two no-jumps and a couple of other events didn't go as well as I had hoped but overall I have to be happy with second and helping England win the team gold.
"I was very proud to win my first England vest and hopefully it won't be my last."