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Owls need to fight to the end like me

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Katy Livingston and Frank Songo'o

GB modern pentathlete Katy Livingston is working hard to earn her Olympic place. Over the coming months the 24-year-old will be providing an insight into her bid to reach Beijing.

She took gold at a World Cup event in Egypt in February, but has suffered a dip in form since - and now has May's World Championships in her sights. But not before the Sheffield Wednesday v Norwich game...

Since Egypt the season has not gone quite as smoothly as I had hoped.

I've had some bad luck in the horse-riding event, which isn't my strongest anyway.

At the Millfield World Cup, I drew a very tough horse that didn't seem able to clear the jumps - I'm not really an expert so it's hard to tell but a few people have told me they thought he could have been lame.

My horse threw me off during the warm-up, jumped out of the arena, and galloped off down the road
It was nice being on British soil but I wasn't particularly looking forward to the competition because I felt quite a lot of pressure following my victory in Cairo, especially in front of the home crowd.

The next World Cup was in Madrid and I was competing strongly in eighth place before the riding.

I drew a horse which decided to throw me off during the warm-up. He then jumped out of the arena, and galloped off down the road out of sight. I was left standing there without a horse, my warm-up time ticking away.

They got it back but it shook me up a bit and mentally I kind of wobbled. I didn't ride to the best of my abilities and had three refusals. It was my fault - the horse was a good one (when it wasn't running away from me) and it was a very good opportunity wasted.

I was hoping for a top eight finish in one of the World Cups since Egypt and I haven't had that. But apart from Heather Fell winning in Millfield, the other girls haven't put in any challenging performances, so Beijing places will come down to the World Championships.

If I get on the podium at the World Championships in Hungary in May then I'll definitely be going to Beijing, but if someone else finishes ahead of me on the podium, they'll leapfrog me to the top of the queue. It makes sense - if someone is good enough to medal at the World Championships eight weeks before the Games, they should be going.

In Hungary people ask for your autograph and take photos - it's nice to be so well-known for a week
The World Championships are going to be massive this year, not just due to the importance of results. They actually sell tickets for modern pentathlon there, rather than trying to invite people to spectate! Thousands and thousands of tickets have been sold already.

It is strange competing in Hungary. When you are out there, people ask for your autograph, take photos and ask you to sign them. It's nice attention as it comes without pressure because they're Hungarian public, not British, so you can leave the country and come away from it all. But it's nice to be so well-known for one week.

My aim in Hungary is a podium finish. Although a top ten finish would be good result, it is no use to me if another Brit gets on the podium in terms of selection for Beijing.

I'm a big Sheffield Wednesday fan and I've already got my tickets for the Hillsborough this Sunday. I'm glad I bought them early as it is already nearly a sell-out. It's going to be a brilliant atmosphere and I'm really looking forward to it.

My boyfriend's a Hartlepool fan - he wouldn't talk to me after Wednesday beat them in Cardiff
Wednesday lost their first six games this season, but fought back and got themselves into a much better position. It's all been so tight this year, a win or defeat can move you up or down a few places, and losing a few games in a row was quite damaging, keeping them in the relegation dogfight.

I am optimistic though as some of the other relegation contenders have much harder games than Wednesday have on Sunday.

My advice to the club is to keep fighting until the final whistle of every game. That's what I have to do in pentathlon - it's never over for me until I cross that running finish line!

This season has been a world away from my favourite Wednesday moment of all time, winning at Cardiff in the play-off final against Hartlepool in 2005. My boyfriend's a Hartlepool fan so we went to the game together - going our separate ways once arriving in Cardiff. He wouldn't talk to me after the game. He's never got over it but is trying to put it behind him... haha!

Thanks for your questions last time. To 'i'll do it juande': We get very good support from UK Sport, which is lottery-funded, and luckily from our past results at the Olympics we're quite well-funded. They provide enough money for me to train full-time. The more medals we get, the keener they are to give us money - the Olympics is a big competition for the sport and the results are quite important.

Katy Livingston was talking to BBC Sport's Ollie Williams

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comment by U11898374

posted May 15, 2008


Dude we should form a tag team!!

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posted May 15, 2008

Why oh why did I post that???? <doh>


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posted May 15, 2008

I think she goes out with Jeff Stelling anyway lads.

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comment by U11898374

posted May 15, 2008

Hibee!!! How ya doin matey?? long time no chat!

Have ya got a hug for the Bigshot?? x

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posted May 15, 2008


you seem to know a lot about that.

Hiding something?? ;)


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comment by mort (U13127985)

posted Aug 21, 2008

Why oh Why do people always say "the horse THREW me off" when what they mean is "I FELL off"

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