JADE O’Dowda finished seventh overall in the heptathlon at the European Athletics Championships in Rome.

The 24-year-old, from Kidlington, went sixth on the UK all-time list after finishing with 6,314 points, her personal best.

That was secured alongside a personal best time in the final event, a gruelling 800m at the end of the sprints, hurdles, jumps and throws.

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She said: “I feel good. It’s a personal best, so I can’t tell you it’s bad. The best I have ever done, but I have had ups, I have had downs.

“I am proud of how I managed to channel my frustration at day one into day two. My shot put was definitely a down, a metre less than what I threw a couple of weeks ago.

“The hurdles was good and the high jump, I was very happy with it, not the third attempt, but I got what I got.

“The 200m was nothing to sing and dance about, but I am very proud of my day two. A good long jump and the javelin, I have been struggling with it, so it was a confidence boost to get a couple of decent throws.

“The 800m was all about getting 2:12 and I just locked onto whoever was in front of me, I can’t remember who it was.”

The top 24 ranked heptathletes in the world will be invited to this summer’s Olympics in Paris, with O’Dowda currently among the 24 qualifiers.

She said: “I believe I am in the top 24 and have the British Athletics standard. It is just about seeing where I am in the rankings when the time comes and hopefully that is enough to get me to Paris.”

Speaking to Athletics Weekly, she added: “It can get quite hard in training sometimes because it’s a little bit like Groundhog Day, but then it’s these moments where you want to try and piece it all together.

“Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but I’m just happy I’ve done it.

“I came here knowing that I’ve done the hard work. I’m happy I put something together that is a bit of a reflection of what I can do, so I’m very happy.

“To get here was one job done, and then to compete here at a very good standard is another thing, so overall I’m very content.”

O’Dowda is the younger sister of former Oxford United winger Callum O’Dowda.

The 29-year-old came through the academy at United, before joining Bristol City in July 2016. He then signed for Cardiff City in June 2022 on a three-year deal.