A last-minute shopping spree in Paris might sound like a dream day for many but it made for a stressful preparation for Kiwi sprinter Zoe Hobbs ahead of her first Diamond League event over the weekend.
Hobbs impressed at the Diamond League Paris meeting as she continues preparation for the World Athletics Championships in Oregon next month followed by the Commonwealth Games.
Appearing in the 100m event, she was just 0.01 seconds outside of her personal best in a time of 11.10 seconds, finishing in sixth place behind three-time Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.
"It was an incredible opportunity and when I got the call up, I was absolutely over the moon. I found out a week before, so it was bit of a last-minute shift in plans, but I thought absolutely no one's going to turn the opportunity to go to the Diamond League and being my first as well it was super exciting," the 24-year-old told NZME.
However, lost luggage left her scrambling to pull together kit and training apparel for the event.
"The last thing you want to be doing before a Diamond League is shopping and spending time in the heat and on your feet at all. All the k's sort of rack up and it does take it out of your legs. So I try and stay off them as much as possible," Hobbs said.
"I'm pretty happy with how it went. It had been a pretty stressful week … so considering all, I'm actually happy that I got close to my PB and managed to execute okay, against a pretty top field."
Fraser-Pryce won the race in a meeting record 10.67 seconds as the Jamaican continues to dominate the 100 metre event at 35 years old.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
To race against one of the greats in the sport and an idol was a thrill for Hobbs.
"It was a pretty incredible opportunity to run against Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. She was my idol as a kid and the fact that I'm now at the point where I was able to race her was just incredible," Hobbs said.
"I wanted to make the most of it because I knew that if I managed to run okay then more likely a chance to be asked to come back again. So I thought I don't want to waste the opportunity. So to run 11.1 and consistent with two weeks ago at the Oceania Champs, I'm pretty happy with that and hopefully it keeps tracking down as we lead into the world champs and Commonwealth Games later in the year."
Hobbs has put her name forward for a few more Diamond League events later in the year but being invite-only events she knows she has to keep improving her times.
"The faster you go the higher chance you have of being invited. If I hadn't run the Oceania record two weeks ago then I probably wouldn't have got the opportunity … if we can keep getting the times down then it gives you more assurance you're in a better position to be asked to come back again."