Athletics ace Turner overcome with emotion after sky-rocketing her way to Tokyo 2020

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Jubilant Turner, 25, set the Manchester track on fire with a searing time to secure her place on the Japanese plane
Jubilant Turner, 25, set the Manchester track on fire with a searing time to secure her place on the Japanese plane

Joyous Jessica Turner just couldn’t wipe the smile off her face after successfully booking her place at Tokyo 2020, writes Will Jennings.

The Derby 400m hurdler was officially selected in Team GB’s athletics squad for this summer’s Olympics after running a stadium record time at last weekend’s British Athletics Championships.

Turner took the Manchester track by storm as she stopped the clock in 54.83s to banish her Rio 2016 selection demons and secure her spot on the plane this summer.

The 25-year-old was presented with her Team GB kit on Tuesday and admits she couldn’t stop beaming after finally sealing her long-awaited Games debut.

She said: “The last five days have been such a whirlwind. 

“It means the absolute to me. To go to the Olympic Games has been a childhood dream of mine, so for it to come true, and actually being here, is incredible. 

TOKYO 2020 - 'IT'S INCREDIBLE' - MADDIE HINCH ON THE PROSPECT OF REPRESENTING TEAM GB AGAIN IN TOKYO
TOKYO 2020 - 'IT'S INCREDIBLE' - MADDIE HINCH ON THE PROSPECT OF REPRESENTING TEAM GB AGAIN IN TOKYO

“I can’t stop smiling. My mouth actually aches because I can’t stop smiling so much! 

“This just makes it so real – trying all the kit on, which looks amazing. I’m actually going! It’s starting to sink in a little bit. It’s just been incredible.

“I just feel so proud and so thankful that the team who supported me supported me all the way. Basically, I just feel immensely proud – I can’t wait to show my parents my kit when I get home.”

Turner missed out on a place at the Games in Brazil five years ago but has put in the hard yards on the globetrotting athletics circuit to scale the Tokyo heights.

Turner, who trains in Loughborough, scooped silver at the Under-23 European Championships in 2017 but followed that up by being eliminated in the heats at the Commonwealth Games the next year.

TOKYO 2020 - 'IT'S ALL GETTING EXCITING NOW!' - JADE JONES ON RELISHING TOKYO PRESSURE
TOKYO 2020 - 'IT'S ALL GETTING EXCITING NOW!' - JADE JONES ON RELISHING TOKYO PRESSURE

Gold and silver medals at the European Team Championships in 2019 – gold in the mixed 4x400m relay, silver in the women’s – propelled her towards Tokyo contention and after that searing time in Manchester, her place in Japan was secure.

This summer’s Games will be like no other but Turner insists that does nothing to diminish her emotion at officially being named a member of Team GB’s squad.

“I know that it’s not going to the same as previous Olympics, but I’ve got nothing to compare that to,” added Turner, whose exploits in Tokyo will be broadcast live on Eurosport and discovery+.

“For me, this is just going to be brand new and even more exciting. 

“Obviously other athletes who’ve been to other Olympics will think it’s not going to be the same, but I’m just super ecstatic to be going. 

“I’m just happy that the Olympics is still going ahead – for it to be postponed or cancelled it would have been a massive heartbreaker for everyone, especially me. 

“I’m just massively grateful that it is still going ahead.”

Stream every unmissable moment of Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 live on discovery+, The Streaming Home of the Olympics.

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