25 JUN 2012 General News .Birmingham, UK

Proctor and Bleasdale break national records, as Britons book Olympic berths on last day of UK Trials

Holly Bleasdale set a national record at the 2012 UK Trials (Getty Images)Holly Bleasdale set a national record at the 2012 UK Trials (Getty Images) © Copyright
Birmingham, UKJust three months after winning a World Indoor bronze, Shara Proctor put herself in the frame for an Olympic medal in six weeks’ time when she broke the 29-year-old British Long Jump record at the Aviva UK Trials in Birmingham on Sunday (24).

Proctor eclipsed Bev Kinch’s mark of 6.90 metres set at the 1983 IAAF World Championships in Helsinki by 5cm in the third round after falling just 5cm short in round two.

Proctor now lies joint seventh in the world for 2012 just 17cm shy of the current world lead of 7.12 set by Britney Reese in April. Given the cool, blustery weather in Birmingham, the seven-metre mark is now within reach and the 23-year-old sent a warning to her international rivals.

"That was worth seven metres – it’s got to come, so look out everybody," she said.

"I’m just on top of the world right now. I got the British record, I’m going to the Olympics – how good can it get?"

The Anguillan-born jumper admitted she’d never heard of Kinch before she joined the British team last year but by finishing in the top two will now compete for the host nation at the London Olympic Games.

"Best of all I gained selection for London, it means so much," she said. "Growing up I had dreams of being at the Olympics and now I’m in the team.

"It was not good conditions but I said to myself 'London might be like this,’ so I have to prepare and do my best no matter what, so that’s what I did today.

"I have what it takes, I have to go back and work on some technical problems and I’ll be fine."

There were also personal bests for the athletes in second and third.

Lorraine Ugen added 20cm to her previous best to finish second with 6.74, one centimetre shy of the Olympic qualifying standard, while Jazmin Sawyers extended her PB by 22cm to claim third with 6.64, putting her top of the world junior list.

Very disappointing for Ennis

While it was all smiles for the three medallists, Jessica Ennis left the Long Jump with a puzzled scowl on her face after recording just one legitimate attempt which fell 24cm short of her best at 6.27.

That was good enough only for sixth place, but more worrying for Ennis were the three no jumps and two 'run-throughs’ in an event that ranks as one of world Heptathlon champion Tatyana Chernova’s biggest strengths.

After her successes in the High Jump and Hurdles on Saturday it was a rather sudden comedown for the poster star of British athletics who had equalled her Long Jump PB when she broke the British Heptathlon record in Götzis a month ago.

"Very disappointing," was Ennis’s verdict. "I’m not jumping what I can. My rhythm is not quite there on the runway.

"I just need to work out what needs adjusting and go away and work on it. I’ll make sure it’s right in a few weeks."

Ennis will compete in one or two more competitions before the Olympics and remains confident ahead of the Games.

"I’m pretty happy with the way things are going," she said. "I think I’m in good shape and that’s shown with my performances so far.

"It’s been a good opportunity to come here without the pressure of having to qualify for the championships, just enjoying it and seeing which areas I need to work on.

"It’s not great weather but it could rain in London – it probably will so we had better get used to it."

Beasdale shows "grit, determination"

If Proctor’s was the outstanding performance on the final day of the championships it was closely followed by Holly Bleasdale who extended her national record to 4.71 to win the women’s Pole Vault and claim her Olympic berth.

It was a huge relief for the 20-year-old who jumped the third highest ever indoors this year but has struggled to reproduce that form in the outdoor season.

"Everyone who doubted me, I’ve just shown them and vaulted a new British record," she said.

"For me, jumping 40 on the last try and 50 just shows what sort of character I am. I’ve shown grit, determination and I think it’s only a positive I can take from it."

She’s certainly in a positive frame of mind now, even eyeing up the Yelena Isinbayeva’s World record.

"I’m vaulting much better than ever before. Everything seems to flow and seems easy, so I don’t see why I can’t crack it [the record]."

Grabarz, Sayers and Okoye not at their best but book their places for London

World No.3 High Jumper Robbie Grabarz also cemented his place at London with a comfortable victory over Samson Oni. Grabarz leapt 2.36 in New York recently, but needed only 2.28 to take his first national title here.

"I think the excitement at having my first national title and qualifying for the Games was why I didn’t jump my highest," he said.

Goldie Sayers did not need to be at her best either. She won her 10th women’s Javelin title with 58.45, some six metres shy of her season’s best.

British record holder Lawrence Okoye made sure of his selection by winning the Discus, although he too was below his peak with 63.46.

Competitive flat 400m and 110m Hurdles

On the track Martyn Rooney won the race of the day when he crept ahead of Conrad Williams in the final 10 metres to claim the men’s 400m crown.

Williams was ahead with 50m to go but Rooney clawed him back to win by four hundredths as three athletes crossed the line together. The time was slow at 45.93 seconds but the win was more important.

"The race was great, it was competitive," said Rooney, who has dipped under 45 seconds four times this year. "I can’t say I ran amazingly but I’m happy just to get a result. To get Olympic qualification out of it is exciting.

"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."

Williams just held on for second from the fast-finishing Nigel Levine who missed out on automatic selection by three hundredths.

Andy Pozzi won the most competitive event of the day when he came from behind to win the men’s 110m hurdles title from his training partner Lawrence Clarke, leaving world bronze medallist Andy Turner in third.

Pozzi, who ran a breakthrough PB at the Olympic Stadium test meeting in May, ensured his presence at the main event when he dipped across the line in 13.41 ahead of a field containing four with the Olympic qualifying time.

Clarke was a fraction behind in 13.45 while Turner stumbled at the end and will now rely on the selectors’ discretion.

Andrew Osagie confirmed his status as Britain’s No.1 800m runner when he moved smoothly away from Michael Rimmer to win the two-lap title in 1:56.89. Rimmer tied up badly at the end and will rely on the selectors’ decision after being pushed into third by Mukhtar Mohammed.

A stutter at the final hurdle by Eilidh Child allowed Perri Shakes Drayton to retain her 400m hurdles title. The east Londoner, who lives less than a mile from the Olympic Stadium, sprinted home to book her place at the Games.

She came home in 55.46 with Child second in 55.53.

James Ellington is another athlete from an Olympic 'host borough’ who will now get to perform at the east London Games. Ellington, who resorted to 'selling' himself on Ebay to raise sponsorship funds earlier this year, powered home to win the men’s 200m in 20.57.

Christian Malcolm ensured selection for his fourth Games by finishing second in 20.63.

Margaret Adeoye won the women’s 200 in 23.11 after claiming the A standard with a huge PB of 23.09 in the semi-finals. Anyika Onuora also made the team when finishing second.

The McColgan family will have a second Olympian thanks to Eilish, daughter of the 1991 10,000m world champion, Liz. McColgan junior won the women’s 3000m steeplechase by opening a lead on the last lap and striding home in 9:56.89.

Laura Weightman will also be there after she dominated the women’s 1500m final. This year’s British No.1 stormed to victory with a last lap of 58.5 to win by three seconds from second placed Lisa Dobriskey.

Fellow north-esterner Nick McCormick claimed his Olympic berth finishing second in the 5000m behind Ross Millington. He’ll join Mo Farah in London after gaining the qualifying time of 13:20 earlier this month.

After failing to make Britain’s marathon team, Jo Pavey bagged her spot in the 5000m by winning the UK title ahead of Barbara Parker. Pavey sprinted home in 15:54.18 with Parker, the British steeplechase record holder, clocking 15:55.57.

Others eyeing a place on the team include Alex Smith who retained the men’s hammer title with 74.79, an Olympic B standard. No one has the A so that puts him in with a shout.

Carl Myerscough is in the same position. He won his 10th shot title with 19.42 but has a season’s best of 20.10.

In the absence of World Indoor champion Yamile Aldama, who’s nursing an injured shoulder, it was Laura Samuel who won the women’s triple jump. She leapt 13.73.

Matthew Brown for the IAAF

Click here for RESULTS