A year ago Sarah McDonald was left wondering if she had a future in athletics after missing out on the European Games – but after rebuilding her career in the past 12 months, her focus is now on the Olympics.
Before that McDonald has the small matter of the 1500m at the World Championships in Doha to contend with and she is determined to grab her chance.
It was at the same event in London in 2017 that McDonald made her mark on the world scene, but it has been a rocky road since then.
She missed out on qualification for the European Games in Berlin and was forced to watch Laura Muir, Laura Weightman and Jemma Reekie compete from afar.
And that has made her more determined than ever to take her chance in Doha.
McDonald said: “I have come a long way since the last World Championships in London and that was my first major and I am a completely different athlete now.
“I am looking forward to going out there and testing myself.
“I have been working with my coach David Harmer for the past two and a half years and he has changed the way that I look at how I compete and the way I compete.
“We have worked on so many things in both sessions and races that I feel completely different about how I approach things. I am a lot more confident now.”
It’s time! Tomorrow I line up in heat 1 of the 1500m at the World Champs. Tune in at 3.35pm British time. 🙌 pic.twitter.com/h0ldxb1pap— Sarah McDonald (@SarahAMcDonald) October 1, 2019
Athletics is full of peaks and troughs and for the disappointment of 2018, this year looks to be by far her best yet.
She has jumped to second in the British rankings this year over her favoured distance with a time of 4:00.46 for 1500m.
And so maybe the disappointment of last year can fuel her to go on and achieve more in the next 12 months.
She added: “It was very difficult to miss out on Berlin and everyone around me knows how hard I found it.
“I went away for a few days to Devon and reflected on myself and the sport and then came back and managed to turn my season around.
“I ran a personal best in the 800m and 1500m last summer and went to winter training and worked on making sure that I would not miss out again.
“I went to the trials and put the past behind me and wanted to feel like it felt to win again and it was great.
“I want to go out there and know that I have done everything possible to make the final. I am not here to make up the numbers I want to show the world what I have got.
“To make the final would be a great boost for me and would give me a lot of confidence walking away from this season – especially with the Olympics only 10 months away.”