Final year Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) student, Jessica Penney will be representing Australia and ANU in long jump at the World University Summer Games in Kazan, Russia later this month.
The event will be held from the 6 to 17July and will see over 12,000 athletes compete in 27 categories, including swimming, athletics, judo, rugby and rowing to name a few.
Jessica had been focused on athletics since she was seven years old, but started exclusively training for long jump at the age of 14. This will be her first time representing ANU and Australia.
In preparation for the competition Jessica has been training six days a week at the AIS track and gym, under the watchful eye of coach, Craig Hilliard.
Jessica will be staying in Kazan at the Universiade Village for two and a half weeks with the other Australian competitors. Despite the length of her stay, Jessica notes that she won’t have much spare time, “In the lead up to the long jump final I will be concentrating on training and what I need to do to make the final and do my best,” she says.
“It would be nice to stay and travel on afterwards around Europe however I have to come back to finish my degree considering I’m so close to finishing!”
Despite the reputation of her Russian competitors, Jessica maintains her confidence.
“I’ve trained hard for this competition and I’m on track to jump a personal best and potentially even bring home a medal!” she says.
Originally from Wellington, New Zealand, Jessica transferred to ANU and moved to Canberra in 2009.
“I chose to complete my degree at ANU as it was ranked the top university in Australia and living in Canberra gave me the opportunity to pursue my athletics with a prestigious long jump coach, have great facilities and weather to train in and be closer to my family who are also now based in Australia.”
After the World University Games Jessica’s attention will turn to the 2014 Commonwealth Games, she hopes to make the team and travel to Glasgow to compete, and finally get some spare time to explore Europe.
More information on the World University Games can be found here.