Crouch End fitness instructor Corinne Humphreys gears up for Olympic 100m trials

A Haringey fitness instructor will be aiming her realise her Olympic dream on Sunday when she competes in the British 100m trials in Birmingham.

Corinne Humphreys works at Fusion Lifestyle’s Park Road Pools and Fitness leisure centre in Crouch End and competes for Enfield & Haringey Athletic Club.

The 24-year-old won a silver medal in the 4x100m relay at the Under-23 European Championships in July 2013 – and she is now targeting a place in the senior relay squad in Rio.

While spots in the individual event are also up for grabs at the outdoor British Championships in Birmingham this weekend, the competition is fierce. Only the top two British finishers will automatically earn seats on the plane to Brazil – and even then they will have to record a time of 11.32 seconds or better, or go on to achieve that qualifying standard before July 12.

Humphreys’ personal best is a wind-assisted 11.59 so it would take a special performance to make up the gap.

However, that PB came recently, at an indoor event in Newham on May 25 – when she finished second behind Ivory Coast’s Adeline Gouenon – and she believes she has a chance of being selected for the relay squad.

“I’m definitely in the form of my life,” she told Ham&High Sport. “In a final anything can happen [in terms of selection for the individual 100m event] but my hope is to get a spot for the relay team.

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“They take six people and you don’t have to get the individual qualifying standard. That’s where it’s quite hopeful.

“I reckon if I can get in the top six and get around 11.4, I reckon they’d look at taking me, and I feel confident I can do that.

“Women’s British sprinting at the moment is very competitive. You’ve got Dina Asher-Smith, Asha Philip and Desiree Henry – and then there’s Ashleigh Nelson, who has run faster than Asha. They’ll all be in Birmingham at the weekend. After that there’s Montell Douglas, Nicola Gilbert and then there’s me.

“I’m just judging by the indoor season and, in that second field, Nicola, Montell and a few others were in the race in Newham and I beat them and got a PB.”

Humphreys added: “The Olympics is definitely something I’ve been dreaming of, but because of how well sprinting in general has come up – especially with women – every competition is Olympic standard really.

“I think it’s almost a misconception sometimes, that there’s just the Olympics and that’s all. We’ve got the World Championships in London next year, which is another very big one that I really want to be involved in. The dream has just been to compete for my country at as many international competitions as possible.”

The growth of British women’s sprinting has made that a difficult goal to achieve these days, but Humphreys feels fortunate to be competing in this era.

“It’s definitely the hardest time to be trying to break through at international level, 100 per cent,” she said. “But it’s lucky because it’s opened the door.

“People like Asha Phillip, when she started getting times of 11.1, I thought she really opened the door and said ‘it’s not only the Jamaicans and Americans that can run fast’, and everyone just followed.

“Dina ran 10.99 last year and I think people are seeing that now and we’ve got over a mental barrier that we gave ourselves as British female sprinters.

“Now you see British females contending against the world’s best and not just against the clock, so I think it’s the perfect time to be competing – I think it’s just the right time actually.”

Humphreys, who trains six days a week under her coach Christine Bowmaker, has to manage her time carefully and feels indebted to her employers for their help.

“It’s very hectic,” she said. “If it wasn’t for Fusion and how flexible they’ve been, I definitely wouldn’t have been in the position I’m in now.

“I’m also a student at the University of East London. I’m on a sport scholarship programme there, studying advertising, so again the help they’ve provided me with has been very good.”