Souths striker Mariah Williams on the run at Lake Macquarie with view to Tokyo Olympics

PAUSE: Hockeyroos striker Mariah Williams playing the Oceania Cup at Rockhampton in September. Picture: Getty Images
PAUSE: Hockeyroos striker Mariah Williams playing the Oceania Cup at Rockhampton in September. Picture: Getty Images

Mariah Williams has been running.

Jogs around the northern end of Lake Macquarie at Speers Point and sprints at Tulkaba Park nearby her parents place in Teralba.

The Hockeyroos striker, who turns 25 next weekend, has tried to make the most of her time at home during the forced coronavirus break and hopes to reap the rewards when the postponed Olympic Games open in Tokyo next year.

"I've been running around the path along Lake Mac and [down at] the oval in Teralba for sprints," Williams told the Newcastle Herald.

"I'm just trying to stay fit and active during the break. The challenge will be those explosive movements, which we use all the time [in hockey]. Hopefully, though, I'll get a really good block of running under my belt now and it will set me up well for the year ahead."

Williams, who had returned from an ankle injury in March, was eyeing off a second Olympic appearance for Australia in 2020 before COVID-19 saw the Games pushed back 12 months.

The women's Hockeyroos and men's Kookaburras squads, both based in Perth, were preparing to fly to Europe for the next stage of their now on-hold Pro League campaigns when the global pandemic took over.

"Everything happened quite quickly," Williams said.

"We'd played a couple of games in Perth and were getting ready to fly to Europe.

"Then we were told we weren't leaving Australia, but we were still preparing for whatever games might come up next.

"Then all of our training just stopped. We were in the gym one morning and they made the announcement. So it was a bit of a shock.

"I decided to jump on a plane that night and head home [to Newcastle] before the 14-day quarantine came in. I've been here ever since."

Williams, who has mainly been doing solo sessions, says her next goal will be linking up to train with the NSW Institute of Sport in the state capital before eventually returning to WA.

Outside trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand, international fixtures may be difficult to schedule in the lead up to Tokyo, which is set to start on July 23, 2021.

"I don't think it has really hit me yet, because we were only four or five months out from the Olympics when we were told," she said. "Hopefully it gives us the opportunity to work on a few more things for another year."

The former Hunter Sports High School student hasn't ruled out a game with Newcastle club Souths later this year, depending on whether that competition starts on July 18.

This story Mariah Williams on the run at Lake Macquarie with view to Tokyo first appeared on Newcastle Herald.