JAZMIN SAWYERS may be a long jump silver medallist from Glasgow 2014, but she is taking a leap in a new direction as she takes part in STV's Saturday night entertainment show The Voice.
Sawyers has already proven herself beyond doubt as a performer of note and is hoping to go the distance in a completely new direction.
Eighth in last year’s Olympic final in Rio, just months after claiming silver at the European Championships in Amsterdam, the 22-year-old is not one to settle for a solitary goal. Desperate to make tracks as a recording artist, she is delving into an utterly different field. But she Sawyers insists athletics comes first.
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“The first thing I told the coaches when I auditioned was that I was an Olympic athlete,” Sawyers reveals. “So they’re aware of that being my priority. Should I win we’d be looking to fit that around athletics.”
Confidentiality clauses are behind a reluctance to elaborate on how far down the pre-recorded road she is to vocal victory. Despite establishing a new coaching partnership with the Olympic medallist Kelly Sotherton, she would still have time unused.
Having completed her law degree last year, she needed something – other than rest and recovery – to fill the void, so why not The Voice, she argues.
“If I came home from training and then spent five hours in the afternoon thinking about athletics, it would drive me crazy. It helps bring me back to training relaxed and refreshed.”
And ready to perform flawlessly, especially amid a strong internal battle for British supremacy with Shara Proctor and Lorraine Ugen that will intensify at this coming weekend’s Indoor trials in Sheffield and then at the Muller Grand Prix in Birmingham before next month’s Europeans in Belgrade.
And despite being diminutive in stature, Sawyers has thus far disproved the theory that size matters.
“[It] should be enough to say, 'Look, you don’t have to be a giant, you don’t need to be 6ft tall'. I’m 5ft3 and I’m doing it, so you probably can too.
"Often when I meet other athletes and tell them what I do, long jump, they say: ‘No, really, what event do you do?’ It’s not conventional but it’s not something I think too much about because I’m competing with these girls.
“Nobody’s said anything, at least not to my face, luckily. I’m sure people have discussed it and said, ‘That’s brave of her’. But never to me because I’ve always been springy since I’ve been a kid and done gymnastics, which must have helped.”