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Perri Shakes-Drayton dreams of a European medal in Barcelona

PUBLISHED: 13:46 29 April 2010 | UPDATED: 15:57 05 October 2010

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – APRIL 8 ; The Aviva Elevating Athletics session at the Alexander Stadium on April 8, 2010 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Gary M Prior - Getty Images for Aviva)

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – APRIL 8 ; The Aviva Elevating Athletics session at the Alexander Stadium on April 8, 2010 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Gary M Prior - Getty Images for Aviva)

2010 Getty Images

Victoria Park and Tower Hamlets 400 metre athlete Perri Shakes-Drayton is dreaming of a medal at the European Championships this summer.

Victoria Park and Tower Hamlets 400 metre athlete Perri Shakes-Drayton is dreaming of a medal at the European Championships this summer.

The event takes place in Barcelona this July and with the 21-year-old improving all the time, who knows what she could achieve under the spotlight in a Great Britain jersey.

"The Europeans are my main focus right now and I am really looking forward to the outdoor season," she said.

"I would love to make the final and to get a medal would be 'wow'. I am really concentrating on running the 400m, but I am also training for the hurdles.

"I'm heading to Italy soon for some warm weather training, which is something I have never done before and it will put me in good stead for the championships.

"I'm fit and healthy, I'm in good shape and getting older and stronger all the time."

The talented athlete has already represented her country earlier in the year at the World Indoor Championships in Doha, Qatar as part of the Great Britain 4 x 100m relay team which finished fifth.

"It was a really good experience and hopefully I'll be on many more, but I want to come back with a medal next time," she said.

"I was happy with my performance, I had a good split time and it was the fastest split time of the relay.

"My experience has really built up my confidence."

In a tough field amongst the world's best, Shakes-Drayton admitted to being in awe of the world champions on the track around her and believes the British team could have left the middle-east with bronze medals around their necks.

"I'm not too sure if fifth was a good result. It was a straight final and it was difficult because we were competing against the Americans, Russians and Jamaicans who are all very strong," she said.

"A medal would have been great, but we were against the best. I admit I was a little bit star-struck at first being so close to some amazing athletes, but I'm hoping to see those faces more and more and soon enough it will become second nature to compete against them."

Perri Shakes-Drayton is an Aviva GB & NI Team athlete, supporting Aviva's commitment to get all children active by 2012. View her video at aviva.co.uk/athletics.

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