The truth of our jobs is that journalists enjoy the company of the focus of their writing. We form relationships and enjoy seeing the athletes do well, and we are concerned when the athletes get injured or have a hard time.

Stuart Weir wrote this thoughtful piece on the charming Jazmin Sawyers, who was recently injured, keeping her out of the Paris Olympics. Injuries come with the territory of pushing one’s body to see what one can achieve.

Jazmin Sawyers out of Paris

As an athletics writer, one is supposed to be balanced, neutral, unemotional, and unbiased. Today, I write with a heavy heart.  I am just so sad that Jazmin Sawyers is injured and missing the Olympics.  Jazmin is a great athlete, a lovely person, and the only athlete who has stood me up for an interview because she had to sing at a function!

Jazmin Sawyers, photo by Chiara Montesano for European Athletics

I have seen her compete in two Olympics, 4 World Championships, 4 Europeans (indoor and out) and 3 Commonwealth Games.  And I was there – and watching – when she jumped seven meters. I say ‘watching’ because often, in this job, one is in the stadium but watching something else! And who will ever forget the look of shock, incredulity, turning to ecstasy she took in 7.00.

Returning to my earlier line about her standing me up because she had been invited to sing at a function in Oslo, she did the interview the following day. I’ve had the privilege of doing three significant interviews and always found her an engaging interviewee. I remember speaking to her in the mixed zone at the Zurich Weltklasse Street meet mixed zone, which, appropriately for an almost professional singer, was in the Opera House!

Jazmin Sawyers is congratulated by newly crowned 800m champ Keely Hodgkinson, photo by Chiara Montesano.

Jazmin has worked hard to maximize her talent, including taking the courageous step of relocating to the USA.  She explains: “I always thought that my take-off was good and my jumping was good. My weakness was my speed.  Several people said to me ‘if you want someone with a jumps background who will make you faster, Lance Braumann is the man’.  I wanted to do whatever would make me jump better”. She spent 3-4 months a year in the USA, not long enough to feel that she was living there and not long enough to be worth buying a car.  She benefitted from Lance’s coaching and also from the challenge of training day in and day out with athletes like Noah Lyles.

Jazmin Sawyers, yes, she made this dress too!

Then, she returned to the UK to work with Aston Moore.  I spoke to her just after that 7-meter jump and was interested in how she talked so much about it as a work in progress: “Aston brings such a level of jumping expertise. He knows and sees so much you think you’ll get away with something, but not if Aston Moore is watching. He could have just glanced over, and he would see exactly what you did wrong. Aston’s training program is structured, but work must be done. No crazy changes. We’re still working on things. There are things that I went into this [2023] indoor championships knowing I didn’t have right. And so we just keep going. I don’t want to treat it like some crazy thing. And that’s what’s nice? That 7m jump didn’t feel like crazy; it didn’t feel different as a jump. It just felt like a good jump. I think like, technically, I’m running better, which is making me run faster. I think the way that I’m striking the ground is better, and that is just producing speed”.

Jazmin Sawyers singing (she made the dress)

2023 started brilliantly but ended with frustration, as she picked up an injury jumping in Stockholm in the rain. In the World Champs, she was well off her best and did not make the final.

Jazmin Sawyers, Ivana Vuleta, Malaika Mihambo, 2022 European Outdoor Championships, photo by European Athletics

As she recovers, she will not be bored.  In addition to singing, she is an experienced seamstress who is really into dressmaking and sewing.   She explained last year: “I’m loving how fashion is moving into the athletics world, where we’re seeing more focus on athletes outside of just the track, doing the walk-ins, for example. I’ve been making my own outfits for those. It’s a hobby of mine.  I think it’s important for athletes to have hobbies that are completely separate from the sport because it keeps you an all-around person and helps you take your mind completely off the pressures of elite sport, which can be all-consuming if you let them”.

She is dressmaking and singing for now, but she will be back jumping and pushing beyond 7 meters next year.

Watch Jazmin talk about the injury; here is the link:  https://twitter.com/i/status/1783538450462875987,

and the embed:

Jazmin Sawyers announces she won’t be competing at the Paris Olympics after rupturing her achilles.

(: jazminsawyers / IG) pic.twitter.com/k4dTys26j3

— Travis Miller (@travismillerx13) April 25, 2024

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