The Tokyo Olympics may be five years away but Sheffield’s Millie Haffety is already taking steps to prepare for a dream first Games as she visits China on a training camp.
The 16-year-old is one of Great Britain’s brightest diving hopes and next week she will be travelling to East Asia for a week-long camp.
It isn’t Haffety’s first big trip as earlier this year she flew to Baku, Azerbaijan, for the inaugural European Games.
And while she won’t be competing in China, Haffetysays the trip is just as important.
The City of Sheffield Diving Club member said: “I am looking forward to it and it will be really exciting because I have never been to China.
“At Tokyo 2020 the time difference between England and Japan will be really big so it will help us with learning to deal with tiredness and the flight.
“Going to the Tokyo Olympics is my dream and with me being half Japanese, I have been to Tokyo before and it is such an amazing city.
“I would love to represent Great Britain at the Olympics. I think Rio 2016 will come a bit too soon so I am aiming for 2020.”
Haffety will be hoping to build on a year of huge highs and lows.
After winning the senior 3m synchro event at the British Championships and the junior 7 Nations title in Sweden alongside partner Millie Fowler, the pair were confident heading into the inaugural European Games in Baku this summer.
However, after a positive start where a medal was a realistic possibility, Haffety fell off the diving board, receiving a zero score and a ninth-place finish.
The Silverdale School pupil has taken the positives from the devastating blow though and believes it will help improve her as an athlete.
“It was my biggest disappointment so far. I was really upset and it was live on TV and it was such a big deal - I didn’t realise it would be such a big deal,” Haffety added. “But it happens to the best of us.
“It was one of those unfortunate things that happen but at the same time, I could also work on dealing with nerves better and coming back from it, I will know to deal with things like that better in the future.
“What happened in Baku was heartbreaking but I look at it like a learning experience. The whole trip was amazing and there were so many different venues and the crowds were brilliant, even at a sport like diving which maybe isn’t as popular as some others.
“It was a great experience which will help build me as an athlete and provided me with more experience.”
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