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Perri is handed trip to Olympics

PUBLISHED: 17:27 07 August 2008 | UPDATED: 13:30 05 October 2010

PERRI Shakes-Drayton has received a late invitation to join the British Olympic team in Beijing after she was officially named this week as one of the country s top medal hopes for London 2012. Shakes-Drayton, who was controversially omitted from the Grea

PERRI Shakes-Drayton has received a late invitation to join the British Olympic team in Beijing after she was officially named this week as one of the country's top medal hopes for London 2012.

Shakes-Drayton, who was controversially omitted from the Great Britain squad for China despite storming to victory in the 400m hurdles at the Olympic trials last month, will spend a week at the Games as part of the Olympic Ambition 2012 programme.

The Victoria Park and Tower Hamlets star is one of three athletes to benefit from the scheme, which is designed to boost the country's medal hopes in 2012 by providing promising youngsters with an opportunity to watch the Olympics up close.

Shakes-Drayton, 19, who competed at the World Junior Championships in Beijing two years ago, will now return to China with former junior international team-mates Hannah England, a middle distance runner from Oxford, and sprinter Asha Phillip.

The trio will visit the Team GB preparation camp in Macau, the Olympic Village and the Athletes' Lodge in a bid to replicate, as closely as possible, an athlete's overall Olympic experience.

She will also attend two competition sessions for the 400m hurdles, her specific event.

"I'm very excited to be selected and it's nice that the selectors thought of me," said Shakes-Drayton.

"I've been to Beijing before for the World Juniors so I know what to expect but I've been told that the Olympics are on a totally different scale.

"I will go there to see what I can grasp and hopefully I can pick up some little things that will help me in the future. It'll be good to get a taste of what it will be like before I hopefully compete in London 2012."

Shakes-Drayton, who finished an impressive fifth in the Aviva London Grand Prix at Crystal Palace last month, will travel to China on August 17 before returning to Britain on August 23.

She will compete at the British Grand Prix at Gateshead the following week as coach Chris Zah plots her preparation for next year's world championships in Berlin and the European Under-23 championships in Lithuania.

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