A picture of Isabelle Boffey at the UK Athletics Indoor Championships.

Isabelle Boffey confident she can achieve her childhood dream of qualifying for the 2024 Paris Olympics

Isabelle Boffey has said she is confident of qualifying for the Olympic Games in Paris this year.

The 23-year-old 800m runner from Enfield, North London qualified for the World Athletics Championships in Budapest in 2023 but dreams of calling herself an Olympian.

And after securing the Olympic qualification time in Madrid last year, the former European Under-23 and Under-20 champion is confident of making the grade for Paris 2024. 

Boffey said: “I’m definitely confident, getting the time last year was great.

“You do have to prove your form and you’ll probably have to run that time again this year to be considered because it’s that competitive, but it’s nice to have secured the time so early on and it gives me confidence that I’ll be able to rank this year.

“Not everyone can say that they’re an Olympian so getting there and running a race would be a tick on the childhood dreams.”

Isabelle Boffey at the 2023 European Athletics Team Championships First Division (Credit: James Rhodes)

But in order to qualify, Boffey knows that she’ll have to fend off strong British competition to make the games.

Diamond League champion and world silver medallist, 21-year-old Keely Hodgkinson, is hotly tipped to become Olympic champion whilst fellow Brit Jemma Reekie also qualified for the World Athletics Championships last year.

Boffey said: “There are six of us who have the time [to qualify for the games] so far and there’s only three spots.

“It’s an Olympic year so people will step up, they’ll pull something completely out of the bag and I guarantee there will be someone from a couple of events that at the beginning of the year you would never have thought they would have made the team but they have.”

Boffey’s 2023 could not have gone much better after winning the UK Athletics Indoor Championships in Birmingham and qualifying for the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest.

She reached the World Championships by seeing off competition from former Olympic finalist Alexandra Bell, for which she received some criticism on social media.

Boffey said: “I got the time and definitely deserved to be there but there was a lot of noise in the background which is just not what you need.

“I turned my social media off which definitely helped and I have a great coach and friends which definitely makes a difference, you just have to ignore it.”

After breaking the 800m two-minute barrier in Madrid and qualifying for the World Championships, Boffey headed for the biggest tournament of her life.

As she walked into the 36,000 seater National Athletics Centre in Hungary’s capital, she was left gobsmacked at the enormity of the event.

Boffey said: “It was all just on another level, the crowds are just insane.

“The British supporters are amazing, I was walking out to my heat and I could hear people screaming my name which was pretty cool.”

Isabelle Boffey in action on the track (Credit: James Rhodes)

Boffey is currently preparing for the summer ahead by attending a warm-weather winter training camp in Murcia, Spain where the temperature is 23°C, much hotter than the sub-zero temperatures back in London.

Her camp in Spain is Boffey’s second of the winter as she prepares for the running season less than a week away. 

She said that she’s currently training twice a day on most days, saying that the workload is a big step up from what she has experienced before.

Boffey said: “I’m excited to race and see where I’m at because I definitely feel super fit.

“I’ve been with my coach since I was 18 and looking at the training back then compared to the training I’m doing now is crazy.

To qualify for the Olympics, Boffey will either need to place in the top two at the British Championships with a qualification standard time, or as an alternative convince the selection panel that she’s deserving of a place, judged on her results from the preceding months.

If Boffey does make the grade and qualify for her first ever Olympic Games, it will without question be the greatest achievement of her career so far.

Feature image credit: James Rhodes

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