Please enjoy Laura's story below 

 

My first introduction to athletics was competing for my primary school in the Harrow Borough Championships. After finishing second, my school teacher suggested my parents took me to the local athletics track. I started to train at Bannister Sports Centre and joined the local club, Harrow Athletics Club (formerly Parkside Athletics Club). Competing for Parkside A.C as a 13 year old, I loved the short sprints, long jump and hurdles. This passion continued as I got older, competing for Middlesex in the 100m and the 100m hurdles.

It wasn't until 2003 that I made my big break on the athletics scene. Competing for Great Britain at the European Under 23 Championships in the 4 x 100m relay, I ran the last leg as the team finished 6th. This was also the year I graduated from Brunel University with a BSc Hons in Sport Sciences.

In 2004 my progression continued, winning the National Under 23 200m title and finishing 2nd in the National Under 23 100m. I once again represented Great Britain in an Under 23 International match.

In 2005, I won selection for my first senior international appearance, competing for Great Britain in the 100m. Later that year I won the UK senior 100m title and then competed for Great Britain at the World Athletics Championships in the 4 x 100m relay. I then flew to the World University Games where I finished 5th in the 100m.

By 2006 I had taken a huge chunk of time off my 60m PB as I prepared for the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. At the Commonwealth Games, I surprised many by running a new PB in every round of the 100m. I finished a brilliant but heart breaking 4th place in the 100m but was delighted to win a silver medal in the 4 x 100m relay. The year was topped off nicely when I graduated from Brunel University with an MSc in Sport Sciences.

The 2007 season started well, I competed at the UK Indoor Championships in Sheffield where I won the final of the 60m by one hundredth of a second, smashing my lifetime best with 7.25 seconds, putting me 11th on the UK All time list. I had a very successful domestic outdoor season in 2007 where I won the Bedford International Games (100m & 200m), South of England Championships (100m), Crystal Palace Grand Prix (UK 100m) and finished second in the UK Championships 100m. My season moved from strength to strength as my consistent performances led to selection for the World Championships in Osaka. In my final race before I left for the holding camp in Macau, I competed at the Loughborough EAP Meeting where I won the 100m and 200m. My 100m time of 11.19 was a huge PB, putting me 7th on the UK All Time list and only 0.09 of a second away from the British record. Competing at the World Championships I was the only Briton to make it through to the semi-finals of the 100m, the best ever performance by a British women in the 100m at the World Championships. I then ran the first leg of the 4 x 100m relay where the team finished an agonizing 4th place, running the third fastest time ever by a British team. This was a great year for me where I finished as Britain's fastest female.

 

The 2008 season started strongly as I retained my UK Indoor 60m title. This secured my selection for the World Indoor Championships in Valencia where I eventually made it through to the semi finals. The outdoor season saw me racing on the European athletics circuit. Returning to the UK, I finished 3rd at the UK Championships 100m, sealing selection for the 100m at the Beijing Olympic Games. The 2008 season saw me fulfill a lifelong dream, to become an Olympian. Following the Olympic Games, I made a coaching move. I had been with my coach Madeleine McGovern (formerly Madeleine Cobb, herself an Olympian) for 10 years. Madeleine had bought me from a club athlete to an Olympian. It was time for a new challenge so I joined Linford Christie's training group.

My first season in Linford's group was a rocky road. I suffered a serious foot injury which saw me miss winter training. I still qualified for the World Championships in Berlin, running the sprint relay. We finished a creditable 6th place.       

The 2010 seson got off to a slow start! Once again I missed the indoor season with a foot injury (not the same foot as last year!) So the plan was to race myself fit. This quest started in America in April. When I came back to the UK my season went from strength to strength. I won the Manchester Street Race 100m then went on to represent GB in the European Team Championships where I won the B race and finished 3rd overall. Then I went onto the UK Championships where I won both the 100 metres and 200 metres, a fantastic weekend for me. This good form continued onto the next week where I went to a notoriously fast track in Switzerland and ran a personal best of 11.11 for the 100 metres. This secured my place in the team for the European Championships and put me 3rd on the UK all time list. The European Championships did not go as well I had hoped, being knocked out in the semi final. We also failed to qualify for the final of the sprint relay

The Commonwealth Games in Delhi were a rollercoaster for me. After progressing well into the final of the 100 metres, I false started and was later disqualified after running the final under protest. I had to pull out of the 200 metres semi final with a quad injury, as a precaution so I could run the relay. When the relay came around we were in good spirits. After some very safe baton changing England won the gold medal and we couldn't of been happier, well done girls (Katherine Endacott, Montell Douglass, myself, Abi Oyepitan).

The 2011 season started with an indoor season, the first time since joining Linford. I finished the season with a solid 7.33, deciding not to pursue a spot at the European Indoor Championships. The outdoor season started, as usual, in America. This time in Arizona. I raced 3 times and left there running faster than I had run in America before. I returned to the UK and continued to get faster. This culminated in a 100m and 200m double at the England Championships, at this point I was the 100m and 200m England and UK Champion. A few weeks later I finished a creditable 3rd at the UK Championships (100m) and secured my place at the World Championships in the 100m and relay. A back spasm and calf strain later, I raced at the World Championships in Daegu. Performing not as I had hoped gave me the fuel I needed to start my Olympic winter training.

Olympic season started well and I spent most of the winter training in Arizona. I love training over there, I feel at home and the facilities and weather are second to none. My indoor season was the best I have had since training with Linford, I ran 7.29s for the 60m and finished 3rd in the UK Indoor Championships. My outdoor season once again started in Arizona and set new records. Running 11.47s and 23.71s it was my best ever start to a season. I went on to run 11.31s and 23.52s at Mt SAC Relays before an 11.27s which was unofficial as there was no wind gauge. Disaster then struck and I picked up a stress fracture in my foot which not only ended my Olympic dream but also my 2012 season and threatened my future career. 

In my comeback season I managed to race well. My best performances coming at the South Of England Championships where I won the 100m and came 2nd in the 200m. I managed to finish 5th in the 100m at the UK Championships. I did not run well enough to gain selection for the World Championships team in 2013. I was happy to complete a full season with help that year from Daniel Plummer, Linford Christie, Ron Roddan and Mike Antoniades.

In 2014 I was re-united with my former coach Madeleine Weston. I had an average indoor season running 7.55 secs for 60m. I then picked up a serious foot injury in April which required surgery and therefore I decided to call time on my athletics career. 

 It was disappointing to have to retire slightly earlier than planned, I was making good progress with Madeleine and it was a shame not to see the fruits of our labour. I had a wonderful athletics career where I achieved much more than I thought possible as a 10 year old starting out in the sport. I met some wonderful people and am truly grateful for all my experiences over the years.

I now have an exciting new career to look forward to.

Click here for more information on my performances over the years.

International Record

 2002: International Debut - GB Under 23 International, Wales. 100m & 4 x 100m. 

 2003: European U23 Championships, Poland. 4 x 100m 6th.

2004: GB Under 23 International, Manchester. 200m & 4 x 100m. 

2005: Senior International Debut - GB vs USA vs Russia, Glasgow. 100m & 4 x                                          100m. World University Games, Turku. 100m 5th. World Championships, Helsinki.  4 x 100m heat. 

2006: Commonwealth Games, Melbourne. 100m 4th, 4 x 100m Silver. European Championships, Gothenburg. 4 x 100m Silver (ran in heat).

2007:  World Championships, Osaka. 4 x 100m 4th, 100m semi final.

2008:  Olympic Games, Beijing. 100m heat. World Indoor Championships, Madrid. 60m semi final.

2009:  World Championships, Berlin. 4 x 100m 6th.

2010:  Commonwealth Games, Delhi. 4 x 100m Gold. European Team Championships, Bergen. 100m 3rd. 4 x 100m 4th. European Championships, Barcelona. 100m semi final, 4 x 100m heat

2011:  World Championships, Daegu. 100m heat, 4 x 100m heat. 

UK Championships

1st:  2005 100m, 2007 & 2008 60m, 2010 100m & 200m

2nd:  2007 100m

3rd:  2008 & 2011 100m, 2012 60m

England Championships

1st:   2011 100m & 200m

Personal Best performances

100m:  11.11 (11.09w) UK All Time 5th

200m:  23.29

60m:    7.25 

400m:  56.55

100m hurdles: 14.35