Perri Shakes-Drayton keen for further medal success

East London hurdler Perri Shakes-Drayton insists her World Championship experience has made her hungrier than ever ahead of what could prove a huge year in her blossoming career.

East London hurdler Perri Shakes-Drayton insists her World Championship experience has made her hungrier than ever ahead of what could prove a huge year in her blossoming career.

The 21-year-old Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets AC athlete lived up to her billing as a potential London 2012 star last year as she claimed European under-23 gold in the 400m hurdles a week after finishing second at the Aviva World Trials and National Championships.

The east Londoner's heroics saw her gain selection for the World Championships in Berlin, where she performed well and went on to reach the semi-final, earning a host of plaudits in the process.

And with a season that includes the European Championships in Barcelona and the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in October, Shakes-Drayton can't wait for the action to begin.

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"It feels like I will be let out of the cage when I start competing this year," said Shakes-Drayton, who is a part of the NikeWomen 'Victory' campaign.

"Last year was a good year and I can't complain with being a European Under-23 champion.

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"And getting selected for the World Championships after that was a good experience and it has made me hungry for the next World Championships in 2011 competing against those top international girls and that is where I want to be.

"I never expected to do what I did at all, I surprised myself quite a lot but it turned out well. I have just learnt not to change things, just keep doing the same things.

"People have definitely warmed to me more and people have begun to notice me more but I just want to keep low at the moment.

"The Europeans come first so they are my first aim and it would be nice to make the final in Barcelona, but the Commonwealth Games are also an option and again the aim there would be to get in the final and take it from there because anything can happen."

Shakes-Drayton is one of two talented young hurdlers in the British ranks, with domestic rival Eilidh Child finishing second at the European Under-23 Championships and also impressing in Berlin.

Olympic bronze medalist Tasha Danvers is also in the mix, and while Shakes-Drayton is aiming high in 2010, she admits 2011 will be a better reflection of her London 2012 credentials.

"The World Championships in 2011 will be more serious for me and take up more of a focus and more might be expected of me when they actually come along," she added.

"I know that the European Under-23s and the actual senior Europeans will be different just because of the nature and calibre of people of all ages you are coming up against, so I am under no illusion it will be easy.

"Tasha Danvers should be back and I am looking forward to competing against her against so it should make for an interesting year, Eilidh Child is also around so it will be just us three hurdlers going at it.

"I wouldn't say I know them that well, I kind of stay in competition mode all the time and we hardly see each other because we don't train together.

"But it is great to have that competition otherwise you get too comfortable and it makes you want to push harder and go harder."

Perri Shakes-Drayton is training for victory in the new NikeWomen Fly Sister One shoe, featuring Diamond FLX technology, created especially for women to enhance multi-directional movement.

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