Tiffany Porter has a new strategy for IAAF World Championships year.

She says: “I’m just taking my time a little bit. In the past, sometimes I got so worked up that it was a hindrance so I’m trying to take a different approach and we’ll see how it goes.”

She is also relishing being based in Michigan and seeing more of her family. After Rio she left Rana Reider’s group in Arnhem and is now coached by husband Jeff – who is also a hurdler and competed in the London and Rio Olympics – and training with younger sister, Cindy, who won an Olympic bronze in Rio last year.

She says of the new arrangements: “I’m really enjoying our new training set up. Having a training partner of her calibre is awesome.”

In the Olympic final Porter lined up against her sister. Is that hard to handle? “It’s an interesting dynamic now that we train together,” she says. “We warm up together and do stuff together before the race. When the starter says ‘on your marks’, Cindy is just another competitor that I have to beat but when we cross the line she becomes my sister again!”

Porter is really looking forward to a home championship. She has an impressive record in major events, having won medals at the world championships indoors and outdoors, European indoors and outdoors and Commonwealth Games.

“I think [championships] bring out the best in me,” she says. “It steps up my level of focus, and brings out a different side of me that is sometimes a bit hard to achieve in smaller races.”

The fact that the 2017 World Championships are in London, adds to the excitement: “I’m looking forward to it. I just want to make sure that I put myself in the best position to do well.

“As long as I’m fit and healthy, I feel the sky’s the limit. I’m looking forward to putting down some better times. It’s just about finding my rhythm and doing my best.

“I know I might be a bit biased but I think GB is second to none at putting on athletics events. I think most people would agree that here in Britain we put on great meets and put on a great show. I really think that no one can compare. London 2017 is going to be a very special event.”

One spin-off of being based in Michigan is that she can practise pharmacy professionally. “I find pharmacy a great distraction from track and field,” she explains. “I am very passionate about pharmacy and it has been good to be able to co-ordinate the two better and it’s been working out great.”

All things considered, 2017 could be a great year for Tiffany Porter.

Source: Stuart Weir| AW