FOR CAITLIN Chang the book has been mightier than the sword as studies have got in the way of the Harrogate fencer taking on the world’s best.
But the 19-year-old insists she will make up for lost time as she bids to carry her successful junior career into the senior ranks.
Chang, a former pupil at St Aidan’s Church of England High School, has long been seen as one for the future, highlighting her dominance in the junior ranks with epee gold at February’s Commonwealth Youth Games in Jersey.
And she shows no signs of slowing down in senior competition, earning selection for the U-20 World Championships only for university studies to mean she had to sit it out – Chang is currently doing a geography and planning degree at Sheffield Hallam University.
But Chang isn’t too worried, insisting she is more than happy to bide her time with all roads for her leading to Rio and the 2016 Olympics.
“Things have gone quite well for me so far this season and I currently sit top of both the under-17 and under-20 British rankings,” she said.
“I also earned selection for the Great Britain team at the Under-20 World Championships but because of all my university work I couldn’t go.
“It was frustrating but when I look at the big picture I am not too worried as I am concentrating on performing consistently well in the seniors and that is what I have to do.
“I still compete in a few junior competitions but my aim is to make my mark in the seniors ahead of the Rio Olympics in four years time.
“The seniors is a massive step up and although I have been doing well it is a strange feeling because I am use to winning in the juniors, but my aim is to sort that out in plenty of time for Rio.”
Despite admitting that at her age London 2012 has come too soon, Chang won’t miss out completely after being selected to carry the Olympic Torch.
And Chang, who will strut her stuff with the Flame on June 19 through Harrogate, insists she will have plenty of fans to cheer her on.
“It is such an honour to carry the Olympic Torch, especially in my home town,” she added.
“I never imagined I would be doing something like this and it really is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
“I am getting loads of my friends and family down on the day to watch me do it – I can’t wait.”
As the only National Presenting Partner of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay, Lloyds TSB is bringing the excitement of the Games and Olympic Flame closer. Find out what’s happening in your community and who is carrying the Flame at lloydstsb.com/carrytheflame.