Podcast #59: Abi Pawlett, Georgia Bell and the Nielsen twins

In the latest England Athletics Podcast, multi-eventer Abi Pawlett discusses a whirlwind few weeks which have seen her make the British squad for the World Athletics Indoor Championships, following a brilliant personal best in the pentathlon as part of an England team in Tallinn.

The 21-year-old scored 4419 points in Estonia, moving her up to eighth on the UK all-time list and improving on the 4325 points scored to win the England title in January.

"It was just shock, really," says Pawlett on being selected for Glasgow. "It took a while to sink in, probably a couple of days. I rang my coach (Ashley Bryant) and then I rang my parents. They were a bit shell-shocked."

Pawlett tells host Alex Seftel about realising her potential that impressed many at age group level, including during the 2019 season in which she won national high jump, long jump, hurdles, pentathlon and heptathlon titles across the England U17 Championships that year.

But the Trafford club athlete isn't the only one in the family enjoying international success, with sister Emily a rising star on England Netball's junior pathway.

"We are very competitive, we would be in the garden and just throw netballs at each other as hard as we can. I think it helps my shot (put) and helps with her."

This episode also catches up with 1500m runner Georgia Bell, who won the UK title to make the World Indoors team, despite leaving the sport in 2017 and going five years without a race on the track. She was previously an English Schools 800m winner in 2008. 

"I got in touch with my old coach to get back on track and that's been a year now and it's going really well and I'm so happy that I did! Trevor and Jenny (Meadows), as a coaching group, are fantastic, they really know what they are doing. I feel really lucky to be a part of it."

Other UK indoor champions Laviai and Lina Nielsen, Owen Heard, Thomas Hewes and Kevin Santos also feature in the podcast.

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