The long jump is one of the tough competitions in the British Trials…this is the second piece on Day 2 by Stuart Weir.
Women’s long jump
Britain is strong in women’s long jump with two 7-metre jumpers in the field on Sunday. The winner was Abigail Irozuru. I’ll let you into a secret. I had been spending my weekends with Abi recently. Three weeks ago we went to Poland for the European team championship. Abi jumped well recording 6.70 plus a windy 6.75 – against a world championship qualifying standard of 6.72.
Then last week I watched her in the Birmingham Diamond League where she produced a legal 6.75. At the British championship Abi took an early lead with 6.71. Then in round three Shara Proctor (British record holder with 7.07) jumped 6.84 which not only took the lead but secured the world championship qualifier. Irozuru responded with a PR of 6.86 which was enough to win.
Jazmin Sawyers, photo by Getty Images / British Athletics
Jazmin Sawyers, now based in America, was third with 6.71, tantalisingly one centimetre short of the Doha standard. Lorraine Ugen, with a PR of 7:05, achieved at last year’s national championships was fourth in 6:68. And a special mention for fifth place Alice Hopkins, from my city, Oxford, who equalled her PR of 6.51 and then beat it with 6.52 – and she is only 20.
What made Irozuru’s performance more impressive was that she retired due to injury in 2016 before returning to long jump more than two years later.
Irozuru said afterwards: “I feel really amazing. I just wanted to make sure I was top two – I got the standard last week so it took a lot of pressure off and allowed me to perform really consistently. I got a few over 6.70m so I can’t complain. I think I’ve learned and practised a lot of resilience and to come back here after seven years to finally get a PR is an amazing feeling”.
Proctor said: “I came here with one goal and that was to qualify for Doha. I did that. Now I can go back and continue training before the big dance”.
Sawyers said that immediately she finished her media duties she would be on the phone to her agent saying “find me a long jump competition this week”. I imagine Lorraine Ugen will being having similar thoughts.