BOSTON sprint hurdler Maria Hollingsworth knew she had to seize her moment when she became one of a few athletes to compete at London’s new Olympic Stadium.
And she did just that, claiming silver as she took part in the Sainsbury’s School Games.
The 16-year-old was getting an early taste of the London 2012 atmosphere set to engulf the capital this summer as she took to the start line.
And Hollingsworth made the most of her Olympic surroundings as she sped to 80m hurdles silver with a time of 11.77 seconds, just 0.08 seconds off top spot.
But the Boston High School pupil admits her nerves nearly got the better of her at the start, until she remembered some wise words.
“I was very pleased to win a silver medal, I absolutely love it,” she said.
“I reminded myself at the beginning of what someone had told me, which was ‘great moments are born from great opportunity’.
“So, although I was competing in this big stadium and I was a little bit nervous, I just thought to myself that this is my opportunity to do that great moment.
“I just listened to what that person said and I said it at the start line, and when I went down at the start line it just felt good.
“So after all that to come away with the silver medal is fantastic, and I can’t believe what I have done.”
Hollingswort certainly enjoyed herself in the shadow of the London Olympics with her time just 0.05 seconds off her personal best - set last year.
But with the School Games marking the start of a busy summer, the Boston and District AC starlet is adamant there is plenty more to come.
“This has given me such a boost for the rest of the season and I can’t wait to get out there again and carry this on,” she added.
“This is the biggest thing I have done so far but hopefully I can do more this summer and build on this fantastic result.”
The event was won by Mhairi Patience (Scotland), with Marnie Wells-Nicholls (North West) third.
The Sainsbury’s 2012 School Games was held at the Olympic Park and other venues, with school-aged elite athletes competing across 12 sports. Visit www.2012schoolgames.com for more information.