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Jade Lally swept aside thoughts of retirement and was vindicated in her decision by winning Commonwealth silver in Birmingham.
The experienced discus thrower, who hails from Horsham originally, has had it tougher than most during the pandemic, trying to combine competing in elite sport with bringing up a young child.
Her daughter Nyla is now three, but Lally had not seen her for a month before a medal at the Alexander Stadium allowed her to enjoy an emotional reunion.
She said: “I just saw my daughter, who I haven’t seen for four weeks. The only reason I got to do that lap of honour was because of the medal, otherwise I wouldn’t have seen her. Our contact this year has been in and out, I’m here for a few weeks, then gone – same with my partner, he’s had to deal with a lot as well. But I’ve got one more Championship this month, the Europeans, then I’m done.
“There have been a few moments of thinking about retirement as my body wasn’t holding on, moving country during Covid, trying to compete with the best in the world when you’re training by yourself is hard. But nights like this make it all worth it.”
Lally won bronze in Glasgow eight years ago and led at the halfway stage of the discus thanks to her opening throw of 57.33m.
She saw Nigeria’s Chioma Onyekwere overhaul her with a throw of 61.70m, and while Lally produced her best throw of the night with her last attempt, it was not enough for gold, managing 58.42m.
And having struggled over the past 12 months, Lally was over the moon to come away with the silver.
She added: “It’s phenomenal. It has been a difficult year, living in Australia and travelling to England four times this year off my own back is expensive. To come away with something tangible is so important and means so much. I knew it was worth it anyway but now we have proof.”
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