Jodie Williams is holding a bar loaded with weights twice the size of her head, her elfin features set to a grimace as she lifts the load to shoulder height and down again.

As she curls the bar up, the sprinter can see the mantra she has tattooed in script across both of her wrists: ‘Pain is temporary. Victory is forever.’ She says it helps get her through arduous training sessions like this. There are a lot of them.

Last year Williams suffered a severe hamstring injury and moved up to senior competition. Since then, she has got into the shape of her life. The 20-year-old trains six days a week at the Lee Valley Athletics Centre in north London, combining strength work in the gym with gruelling, four-hour running sessions, with the aim of making the 100 and 200m finals at the European Championships and the Commonwealth Games in 2014, the Rio Olympics in 2016 and the World Championships in London in 2017.

 

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