The British international long jumper, Jonathan Moore, has returned home from a UK Athletics warm-weather training camp in South Africa after jumping naked off the roof of a house in Potchefstroom. The incident occurred on Saturday, a day after the 24-year-old Birchfield Harrier had competed at a track meeting in the university town, where he placed fourth in the long jump.
According to Lappies Labuschagne, a local school teacher, Moore climbed on to the roof of his house, spread his arms and jumped – falling "easily six or seven metres" before hitting the canopy of Labuschagne's Ford Bantam pick up truck. The impact blew out one of the windows of the vehicle but Moore did not appear to suffer any physical damage.
"If the canopy roof hadn't broken his fall he could have hurt himself really badly," Labuschagne said. Moore had earlier wandered past the house owner wearing a tracksuit and "in a trance," failing to respond to verbal engagement. After returning naked and jumping off the roof, he remained silent, picking himself up and sitting on a pile of bricks before police arrived at the scene.
Labuschagne withdrew a charge of malicious damage to property after meeting Moore's father, Aston – a former Commonwealth Games triple jump bronze medallist and now one of Britain's leading coaches – because he "felt terribly sorry" for him. The Moores flew back to Britain on Sunday evening and a UKA spokesman said yesterday: "UK Athletics' primary concern is for Jonathan Moore and his family at this sensitive time. UKA will do all they can to provide – or where necessary identify – the appropriate support to help nurse the athlete back to health."
Jonathan, a former European junior silver medallist and world youth champion, has struggled with injury in his senior career and received a public warning in 2004 after testing positive for cannabis. He is a cousin of Justin Hoyte, the Arsenal full-back.
*Kelly Sotherton has withdrawn from Saturday's Aviva International in Glasgow with a sore back. The injury was picked up during a final training session at the UK Athletics warm weather training camp in South Africa. "It's not wise to compete in Glasgow," Sotherton said. "It would be too much of a risk so I've decided to withdraw as a precaution." Sotherton was due to compete for the Great Britain & Northern Ireland team in the long jump and also had a guest lane in the 60 metres hurdles.