2014 world junior heptathlon and high jump champion Morgan Lake talks to Ato Boldon for the latest episode of IAAF Inside Athletics.

Two years ago this week Morgan Lake was celebrating winning a pair of gold medals at the Eugene World Junior Championships.

She did not get the chance to defend her titles in the heptathlon and high jump at last week’s Bydgoszcz World U20s. In 2016 one trumps all.

Lake, 19, is the youngest member of the Team GB team entered for athletics events at the Rio Olympics, where she will compete in the high jump. 

“Just seeing the word Olympics is just crazy,” she tells Ato Boldon of moving up to the biggest of stages.

When she said those words, Rio was still a dream. The Olympic rings winking on the horizon were something that fuelled her in every session.

“It’s something that I’ve really relished in my training,” she admits. “That one extra rep you know is one extra rep towards Rio.

“I think it’s helped me a lot in pushing through the harder sessions.”

Now the Olympics are no longer just a dream. She flies to Brazil fresh off a season’s best 1.92m at the London Diamond League.

Lake had vague ambitions of competing in the heptathlon in Rio. She set the best mark in the world by a U20 athlete in the indoor pentathlon in Salamanca (4519 points). Less than a month later she finished seventh overall in the five-eventer at the Portland World Indoors (4499 points).

Outdoors she has only completed one heptathlon, amassing 5951 points in Kladno. That ranks her third in the U20 lists this year.

That total also ranks her third in the UK senior lists behind Olympic champion Jessica Ennis-Hill and European indoor champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson.

Great Britain is a nation that produces world-class heptathletes on a regular basis. Lake recalls watching Kelly Sotherton win Olympic heptathlon bronze at Athens 2004.

“She’s the one I remember the most seeing compete,” she says. “I was too young to see [Sydney Olympic heptathlon champion] Denise Lewis. I was only three in 2000! Watching her videos back is incredible.”

These figures are “such great role models” and Lake admits that she strives to “recreate what they’ve done”.

Another figure who pushes her is closer to home. Lake’s father, former triple jumper Eldon, acts as her main coach. “He has been for as long as I remember,” she says.

Nonethless, outside help is called upon to cover the vast range of skills and training required for the seven events.

“Obviously he doesn’t have the same depth of knowledge [in certain areas] as other coaches. We bring other people in and get a different insight.”

Her high jump coach is former Commonwealth Games finalist Richard Aspden. He will be watching on when Lake makes her Olympic debut in qualifying on 12th August.

Lake insists that she hasn’t “quite got to the stage” of being recognised in the street. The Olympic stage – the biggest of all – could change that.

In the full interview, Lake explains how she first became involved in athletics and talks about her love of photography and food. Watch it below: