FORMER high jumper Zara Tyas hopes to crank up her British senior heptathlon bid with more marquee performances next season.
The Holmfirth star has been earmarked as one of the nation's brightest talents in the event after diligently balancing the two disciplines throughout her fledgling career.
The Loughborough University student decided to fully add six events to her roster two years ago - and, revealed how messing around with spare equipment started a love affair with the gruelling event.
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"Originally, I was just a high jumper and then in lockdown I had access to a container that had hurdles in and shot put, and javelin," Tyas explained.
"So, when I was training, I would just have a bit of fun, throw a javelin around, do some shot put.
"Then when we started competitions again after lockdown, I thought I actually do want to start competing in these events and take it seriously, so I found a coach, went and started some heptathlon training and it went from there."
Since then, Tyas has turned in eye-catching results that have propelled her towards becoming a member of Aldi's Rising Stars programme, an initiative that supports 20 young athletes by providing a financial award to help with training and competition costs, while also delivering personal development opportunities to many athletes through workshop sessions.
Chief among those displays was the English Combined Events Championship in May last year, where she secured a fourth-placed heptathlon finish in the Under-20 event.
Tyas also produced two particularly stellar high jump showings, first at the Loughborough International where she earned a silver medal before the English School Championships where she scooped the top prize for senior girls with a jump of 1.75m.
Tyas, who as an Aldi Rising Stars athlete, receives financial support through Aldi as well as a monthly food voucher to fuel her through training, competitions and hopefully onto future Paralympic Games, added: "My goal for next year is to make the European Under-23s, which are in Jerusalem.
"That's really what I'm set on.
"They haven't released the standard yet but I'm hopeful of reaching the mark.
"I'm going into winter training now so I'm going to be spending all of winter just getting fit for the indoor season.
"We'll do this for a couple of months and then in January, I'll start my indoor season and hopefully compete in some pentathlons and high jump in some singular national championships."
Aldi is the Official Supermarket Partner of Team GB and ParalympicsGB and have partnered with Team GB since 2015, ParalympicsGB since 2022 and will be supporting them through to Paris 2024
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