SAMANTHA Peace was not going to let a blister on her finger get in the way of taking gold at the NSW CHS State Athletics Carnival in Homebush on September 7.
The 15-year-old Nowra High School student pushed on through the pain to win the under 15s girls discus title.
Apart from a bit of early morning frost, the conditions were pretty good for Peace who won her age division for the third year in a row.
While she has dominated in the event in previous years, Peace said she was surprised she managed to win it again.
“We weren’t actually going to compete until probably the morning before, we tried all these things but nothing was working, but I was really determined,” she said.
“There’s also another girl who is really competitive with me and especially with my finger I wasn’t expecting to win.
“I would’ve been happy just to podium, but it all came good.”
Peace said she felt a lot of added pressure being the defending champion and it was a crazy feeling to be able to win it again.
“It’s one thing winning the championship, but defending it is another,” she said.
“I think the best thing is when you’re up on the podium and everyone’s looking at you.
“You get your name called and you get your name known with the athletics people.”
Although she is giving herself every chance of defending her title again next year, she knows it will only get tougher and tougher.
“Definitely next year they’ll be training hard and I’ll have to work really hard to keep up and be able to defeat them.
“I just have to make sure I prepare as best as I can.”
The next stop on the list is the NSW All Schools next month, where Peace will be hoping to book her place in the state squad for nationals, which will be held in Townsville in December.
She has been to nationals for the past two years and said it would be a great honour to represent her state again.
All of this does not come without a lot of hard work and Peace spends about five days a week training in the ring and doing weights and drills at home.
This also involves travelling to Cowra for training sessions with her coach Ernie Shackleton, but in her mind it is all worth it.
“I love what I do, so it makes training really easy.
“I’m still not in it really to win, it’s just a bonus.”
Since hearing the 2018 Commonwealth Games will be held on the Gold Coast, it has become one of her goals for the future to get there.
“That’s always been a big goal, because it is here and I’d love to get to represent my country in front of a local crowd.”
And the Olympics are also on her radar.
“They were announced in Tokyo and my little sister loves Japan, so she’s begging me to keep going, because she wants to get over there,” she laughed.
“That would be an ultimate dream for me.”