Jade Lally was ‘relieved’ to retain her title when she won the discus event at the British Athletics Championships in Birmingham.
In doing so the former Crawley based athlete completed her target which was an essential requirement towards qualifying for both the European Championships in August and the World Cup in two weeks’ time.
It was also a key moment in her career, having only four weeks earlier parted company with her lead coach of the last 17 years, Andy Neal.
She put the move as being down not able to agree on her future approach as she prepares for the next Olympics in Tokyo in 2020.
Instead she appointed male discus thrower Zane Duquemin, 26, from Jersey who is a young coach based at Loughborough University.
Following a disappointing display at the Commonwealth Games in Australia in April where she finished seventh while struggling with a long-term back injury. She needed to show her new regime was producing the results.
Lally, 31, said: “It was super important for me. There was pressure on me to get that as I haven’t had the best form this year.
“I have also got a new coach (Zane Duquemin) and a new set-up and I didn’t know how it would go.
“I am relieved and happy it went to plan. A win is a win and I’m always happy to win.”
She lifted her crown for the seventh time with a throw of 56.81m.
The Horsham resident finished 2.18m ahead of runner-up Kirsty Law (Sale), who led the field until the third throw when Lally overtook her with a distance of 55.56m.
Lally explained: “In terms of distance it wasn’t the best but to be honest I only needed to be better than anyone else, which obviously it was.
“I hope from now on I can hit 56m in training which means 58m in competition.
“Over the next two weeks I have back-to-back competitions so I hope I can hit the big 60m in the Europeans in August. So I’ve got time and I’m confident that it will happen.”
By finishing in the top two, 2014 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Lally earned automatic selection to represent Britain at the European Championships.
She had already reached the qualifying distance of 56m when she recorded 59.11m while competing in Sydney in March.
Her first place also qualifies her to represent Team GB contesting the inaugural World Cup at the London Stadium on July 14-15.
This Sunday Lally represents Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers at the UK Women’s Athletics League match at K2.