Proctor shatters long jump record

Proctor shatters long jump record
By Eurosport

25/06/2012 at 05:55Updated 25/06/2012 at 06:55

Shara Proctor rewrote one of the longest standing British athletics records to announce herself as a serious contender for an Olympic medal this summer.

Proctor smashed Bev Kinch's 29-year old British long jump best to win her first national title with a giant leap of 6.95m.

The Anguillan athlete, who competes for Great Britain because her country is a British dependency and doesn't have a national Olympic committee, moved to sixth on the world rankings and will now travel to London 2012 as a genuine medal contender.

Lorraine Ugen also obliterated her personal best to claim second but her jump of 6.74cm fell just one centimetre short of securing her a guaranteed place on the Olympic team.

"I'm just on top of the world right now," said Proctor.

"I got the British record, I'm going to the Olympics, how good can it get?

"The conditions were not good but London might well be like this, so I need to prepare to jump far no matter what the weather is doing.

"I know I have what it takes. I've still got some technical issues to work on but I'll be fine."

Jessica Ennis declared herself satisfied with her weekend's work at the Aviva 2012 Trials - but admitted there was also more work to do.

Ennis set a season's best 1.89m to win the high jump and took gold in the 100m hurdles but her long jump is causing cause for concern.

In her six attempts, she recorded three no jumps and twice made a mess of her run-up. Her best effort of 6.27 metres was well down on her personal best and only good enough for sixth.

And she knows its the discipline the could decide her Olympic heptathlon fate, a poor performance in the long jump at the World Indoors proving one of the major differences between the silver she won and the gold she wanted.

"I'm pretty happy overall," insisted Ennis

"My high jump is moving on, my hurdles are strong but my long jump was disappointing again.

"I'm struggling with my rhythm, it needs changing a little bit because I'm just not very comfortable."

Robbie Grabarz, ranked second in the world this season, won the men's high jump but is likely to be the only British jumper - four years ago Team GB had three Olympic finalists - after Samson Oni and Tom Parsons failed to achieve the selection standard.

"I'm just happy to make the team," said Grabarz.

"The year has been perfect so far and I still think there is much more to come in London."

Ross Millington won the men's 5000m final but Nick McCormick's second place, and A standard personal best in Spain last month, means he books his Olympic selection.

World champion Mo Farah, who will this week seek to defend his European title, will join him while Chris Thompson still needs to run quicker to be considered.

Jo Jackson won her seventh national 5,000m walk title and will now focus on four times the distance at the Olympics.

Jackson is slowly returning to fitness after keyhole surgery on a knee injury but claims everything will be okay by the Games.

"I still feel a bit rusty but every race is a massive leap forward for me," she said.

"Missing the whole of winter training did really set me back but everything is coming together and every race I can see massive improvements. I should be back at my best by the Olympics."

Elsewhere, Carl Myerscough won the men's shot title for the 11th consecutive time but still needs to throw another B standard to be considered for Team GB selection.

There are no such problems for Goldie Sayers, who will go to her third Games after winning the women's javelin title she has dominated every year since 2003.

Holly Bleasdale delivered under the most extreme pressure to secure her spot on Team GB - and claim a new British pole vault record.

The 20-year old underlined her Olympic credentials when she soared to a massive 4.87 metre personal best earlier this season.

But that performance was indoors and didn't count towards Olympic selection and she arrived at Alexander Stadium with an outdoor best this season of 4.43m - outside the required standard.

Needing to finish in the top two and clear 4.50m to book her place, Bleasdale failed her first two attempts at the height.

But she saved her best for last - creeping over the bar to also defend her national title ahead of Kate Dennison, who also qualified for the Games.

And still she wasn't finished, soaring over a championship record 4.60m and then clearing a British record 4.71m at her second attempt.

Perri Shakes Drayton held off the challenge of this year's British number one Eilidh Child to retain her 400m hurdles title- although both athletes booked their Olympic places with the top two finish.

"It was a bit bittersweet because obviously I’d like to have won the race but I hit that last hurdle," said Child.

"I crossed the finish line a bit gutted but then I’m going to the Olympics so I’m really happy at the same time. It’s a bit of a funny feeling."

Martyn Rooney and Conrad Williams finished one two in the men's 400m and James Ellington and Christian Malcolm took top slots over 200m to also secure their Team GB berths.

"The race was great, it was competitive," said Rooney.

"I can’t say I ran amazingly but I’m happy just to get a result and qualify for the Olympics.

"Now I can go into the next couple of weeks knowing what I need to do. I’ve got to run 44-low, simple as that. It’s a nice place to be."

Eilish McColgan, the daughter of former world 10,000 champion Liz, shruggled off an illness to win the 3,000m steeplechase and qualify for a first Games.

"I still can’t quite believe it, to be honest," said McColgan.

"I knew that top two would secure my place but there’s a difference between thinking about doing it and actually doing it so I’m so pleased with that.

"The way I was feeling this week, to come out and run the way I did, I’m so happy that I’ve done it now. I can just rest and prepare for the games now. I’m so excited about it, I can’t wait."

Barbara Parker, who smashed the British steeplechase record earlier this month, will join her on the team but opted to contest the 5,000m - which Jo Pavey won to secure her fourth consecutive Games appearance, although her Olympic target remains the 10,000m.

Laura Weightman produced a devastating final lap to obliterate her rivals in the 1500m - a performance which also guarantees Olympic selection.

Coached by Steve Cram, Weightman has enjoyed a breakthrough year and won by a clear margin, with former world medallist Lisa Dobriskey edging to second in a photo finish, although her selection is far from assured.

Rising stars Andy Pozzi and Lawrence Clarke left European champion Andy Turner sweating on his Olympic place after claiming the top two sprint hurdle slots at the Aviva 2012 Trials in Birmingham.

Training partners and close friends, despite their very different backgrounds - Clarke is the heir apparent to the baronetcy - they have respected no reputations this season.

And they claimed the two guaranteed Olympic qualifying slots in the 110m hurdles, ahead of world medallist Turner and two-time world finalist Will Sharman.

“Obviously I didn’t come here for third place, I hope that was enough to qualify for the team,” said Turner.

“I’ve got work to do, I’m not in the best shape but I feel like I’m booking more competitive. I felt good in the first half of the race and then I hit a hurdle and the both of them came through.

“I know I’ve got something in me but it’s no good having something inside you if you can’t put it out there. I’ve got work to do but I hope that’s enough.”

Winner Pozzi could barely contain his delight at a breakthrough season that started with a fourth place at the European Indoor Championships.

He said: "I’m on top of the world. My preparation in the last week or so has been quite disturbed and I was unsure whether I could come here and achieve what I wanted. To get that done, get that all out the way and come here and win, I’m absolutely chuffed.

"I’m looking forward to the Olympics like you wouldn’t believe. It’s been building for years and years with so much media coverage, you can’t help but buy into the dream so I can’t wait."

Margaret Adeoye ran the Olympic A standard in the heats and then won the 200m title to also book her Olympic place.

She will be joined by Anyika Onuora, who had run the A standard earlier this season and claimed second place.

"I would have liked to win but getting that Olympic place is all that really mattered this weekend," said Onoura, who also confirmed her place in Team GB's 4x100m squad.

"I wasn't too nervous, I've been here a million times before so I knew what to expect.

"I just need to keep myself ticking over, there is nothing major or alarming that needs to be worked on. It's about staying fit and healthy now and making the training count."

Andrew Osagie defended his 800m title and Mukhtar Mohammed pipped four-time national champion Michael Rimmer on the line to take second - meaning he will travel to the European Championships in search of the A standard time.

Rimmer has that time and his reputation should surely earn him a slot on the team.

Elsewhere, British record holder Lawrence Okoye won the discus while Laura Samuel took the triple jump - although she lacks the standard required to earn election.