News & Updates

17 November 2021 • General

Q and A with Anna Percy

Anna Percy competing at the New Zealand Track & Field Championships 2021 (Photo: Alisha Lovrich)

The two-time national 400m hurdles champion has in more recent times converted into a highly promising sprinter. The 24-year-old from Old Boys United AC takes time out from her training schedule to take our regular questions.

Why did you start athletics?

Not quite sure. I was a trampolinist until the age of 11 and I probably trained way too hard. I think I needed a slightly more relaxed sport, so I took up athletics just for fun.

What was the last piece of athletics advice you received?

“The reward has to be in the journey and not the outcome.” I think it’s very easy to get caught up in times/distances/heights, so I try to take each day as it comes and enjoy everything that running brings to my life. 

What has been your career highlight?

Breaking the U20 Women’s 400m hurdle record in Belgium. It gave me the confidence that I could be a competitive athlete both nationally and internationally.

What has been your athletics low?

Post the 2019 World University Games where I performed well below my best and was dealing with multiple injuries. I took a step back from running for a few months to determine whether I wanted to keep going.  

Where do you see your athletics career ten years from now?

Depending on how the body holds up, I’d love to still be running. I see the likes of Allyson Felix and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce who are well into their 30’s and still at the top of their game and think why couldn’t that be me?!

What is your greatest mistake in athletics?

Not making the switch to 100m earlier. I felt like I had to keep hurdling because that’s what I’ve always done, even though hurdling led to injuries and I didn’t enjoy it as much as sprinting.  

Which athlete is the most interesting to follow on social media?

Jazmin Sawyers, a long jumper from Britain. All her posts are hilarious and I feel like I can relate to a lot of her content.  

Do you have a favourite athletics social media post?

Not a favourite post but the World Athletics Instagram page was on absolute fire during the Olympics.

If you could change one thing about the sport, what would it be and why?

The media coverage athletics gets. I feel a lot of people assume that athletics doesn’t really exist outside of the Olympics. I may be biased but I think our sport has a lot to offer and New Zealand has offered some really cool events over the past few years.

Which athlete do you most admire from your event?

Probably Ajla Del Ponte the Swiss 100m record holder (10.90). I’ve followed her for years and it’s so inspiring to see her progression all the way to become one of the top sprinters in the world.

Outside of athletics what is your greatest accomplishment this year?

Graduating from university with an engineering degree.

What was your most embarrassing moment in high school?

Probably being sent off the court in a netball game for ‘aggressive tactics.” I quit netball shortly after that and played rugby!

If you were an animal, what would you be and why?

A sloth – I love doing nothing.

Do you have a nickname?

Not really, a few people call me Percy though!

If you could have a superpower what would it be and why?

Definitely invisibility – I’m an introvert, so I’m quite happy going unnoticed most of the time!

What is the funniest joke you know?

Why are ghosts the worst liars? You can see right through them.

Where do you see yourself when you are 50?

Hopefully happy and healthy with an athletics career that I can look back on and be proud of. Also having a job that is stimulating and purposeful.

What is the most ridiculous fact you know?

Snails can sleep for up to three years.

If you could change one thing in the world what would it be and why?

The way we measure success.

If you could host a talk show what three guests would you invite and why?

Sydney Mclaughlin (the Olympic 400m hurdles champion), Leonardo da Vinci and Freddie Mercury.

Three very different people but all absolute legends in their field.