Article courtesy of Vinco Sport.
In an exclusive interview with Vinco Sport, Emelia Gorecka reflects on her junior track career, plans her final cross country season in the younger ranks and sets her sights to her senior progression.
In recent years, Gorecka has been a junior distance running phenomenon, dominating her age group on both the British and European stage.
At 19 years of age though, the Aldershot athlete if fast approaching the senior ranks after an impressive stint as a minor.
Gorecka concluded her track season with a European 3,000 metre gold in Rieti, a title that loomed over her ever since she marginally missed out on glory in 2011.
“It was nice to end on a high, but also the journey there has been really good, there’s been lots of learning curves,” the 19-year-old spoke.
“At the previous European Championships I came second, I learnt a lot from that, I’ve learnt a lot over the country as well. It was nice to finish it on a high after such a long journey because I started as a junior quite young as well.”
Head and shoulders above the rest, Gorecka has ran away from her competitors her entire junior career, to rack up seven consecutive titles on both the National and Inter-Counties scene.
Her senior career will no doubt bring the prospect of stiffer competition, though: “It should be really good [competing as a senior], there will be a lot more girls there to give me a good challenge,” she spoke.
“What I’ve been used to in my junior career is generally knowing my opposition and I know roughly how the race will be run, and therefore there are a lot of things I can learn from running in the senior ranks.
“When I came away from the World Cross Country Championships last winter the one thing that I knew was evident was that it was a different type of race when you’re running hard from the start, with a lot more people around you and a lot more different tactics involved.”
In her first senior international debut at the European Team Championships in Gateshead, a superb second place finish, which has now been upgraded to first, already cemented her ability to compete with the elders, though.
“Just to be selected for the championships was a massive deal for me, it was fantastic to be able to go out and prove that I can be a good senior competitor,” Gorecka beamed.
The Aldershot runner will make her senior cross country debut at the inter-counties, before making the move to a fully pledged elder athlete in the summer.
The Mick Woods coached athlete spoke: “It will be really interesting to see how I respond there, and I’m really looking forward to that especially.
“I think it’s about making the transition slowly this winter and finishing the season on a high, and seeing where I am in the senior ranks as well.
“The training that Mick has given me over the years I’ve been here has slowly built up over time, and that’s what we’re going to continue to do as I move into the senior ranks, it’s not going to be a sudden hit of training it’s going to be a progressive momentum forwards which will hopefully involve me getting quicker.”
For now though, Gorecka has her final junior cross country season to contend with where she hopes to remain at the pinnacle of her age group, as she has done for so many years.
“First of all I think I’ve got a few relays to get out of the way with the club, part of my season is always to run for the club team, I think it’s a great team atmosphere so I’m looking forward to doing that,” said the 19-year-old.
“The first half of my season is all geared towards the euro cross so I’ll be building up to that to hopefully come away with a gold, and having a good team championship as well because we’re renowned for running well there as a team.
“And then the second half of the season I am still geared towards the junior championships.
“My aim is to go the English Championships, that would be my eighth consecutive title there so that will be a massive aim for me.”
At just 19 years of age Gorecka has already had an incredibly fruitful career, but in the capable hands of Woods the future looks extremely bright for the youngster.
To listen to a transcript of the interview please visit Vinco Sport