Glittering Grabarz eyes perfect end to breakthrough season

 

Beating Ivan Ukhov was reason enough for Robbie Grabarz to be happy with his afternoon shift yesterday at the Birmingham track where he puts in his daily graft. Still, there are prizes other than the scalp of the Olympic high jump champion.

Such as the Diamond League high jump jackpot of $40,000 [£25,300] that the 24-year-old Briton is now on course to claim. After securing victory in the Aviva Birmingham Grand Prix yesterday with a 2.32m clearance – ahead of the Russian Ukhov, the runner up with 2.28m – Grabarz stands top of the rankings with just one event to go.

If he finishes ahead of the out-of-sorts world champion Jesse Williams in Zurich on Thursday, the Cambridgeshire athlete who was dropped from Lottery funding a year ago will land the big cash prize. "Hooray!" the Olympic bronze medallist exclaimed, when the scenario was put to him. "That sounds good. Four days of concentration left."

Grabarz grabbed a $10,000 payout just for his victory in the Diamond League meeting yesterday. If he wins again in Zurich he will get $50,000. Asked how that compared to his earnings from the whole of 2011, he replied: "About $50,000."

This time last year Grabarz was competing for nothing in the McCain UK Challenge Final at the Alexander Stadium. He was ranked 44th in the world and lost his Lottery funding. "I was pretty skint in January," he reflected. "I've worked my ass off to get where I am now. I feel like I deserve it."

It was a tougher afternoon for Greg Rutherford. The newly crowned Olympic long jump champion was troubled by a groin problem and missed three of his efforts in mid-completion to have emergency treatment. He eventually finished third with a disappointing 7.88m.

"I haven't stopped since the Olympics," he said. "There's been no respite at all. I was out on the pitch at Old Trafford last night. I'm a big Manchester United fan, so for me that was really special."

There might have been a British victory in the women's 400m hurdles but after being promoted from runner-up when Kaliese Spencer was disqualified for failing to properly clear one of the 10 hurdles with her trailing leg, Perri Shakes-Drayton was knocked back down to second after a successful appeal by the Jamaican athlete. Still, the Briton, who clocked 54.08sec, did finish ahead of the Olympic bronze medallist Zuzana Hejnova of the Czech Republic (54.14sec) and the Olympic champion Natalya Antyukh of Russia (54.95sec).

Having failed to get past the Olympic semi-finals after being hit by an ill-timed hamstring problem, that came as some post-Games compensation. "It gives me confidence," Shakes-Drayton said. "I would have been happy with my race today, no matter if I came first or second. I've put the disappointment of the Olympics behind me."

Christine Ohuruogu had a far from disappointing Olympics, backing up her gold medal 400m run in Beijing with a silver in the one-lap event. The Londoner finished second again yesterday, clocking 50.67sec behind the victorious Rosemarie Whyte of Jamaica (56.20sec). The 18-year-old sprinter Adam Gemili ran a personal best 20.53sec to finish sixth in the 200m.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Clinical Lead / RGN

£40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: IT Sales Consultant

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...

Recruitment Genius: Works Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Hire Manager - Tool Hire

£21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is seeking someone w...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference