'Plastic Brit' jibe propels Proctor into contention

 

The National Indoor Arena

Perhaps it was only to be expected, but after claiming her first British record and beating the host of stars on show to the athlete of the meeting award at the Aviva Grand Prix in Birmingham on Saturday – Jessica Ennis and Liu Xiang amongst them – Shara Proctor was obliged to set the record straight on the subject of her Britishness.

The fact that the 23-year-old long jumper was born and raised on the Caribbean island of Anguilla – where her mother, Wilma, is the director of sport and her father, Orris, was formerly the secretary of education – has got her stuck with the "plastic Brit" label that has been attached to overseas recruits to the British track and field team in the run-up to the London Olympics.

"Anguilla is not recognised by the International Olympics Committee, so I am not able to compete for Anguilla in the Olympics," Proctor said, after breaking the 28-year-old British indoor long-jump record of 6.70m twice over, venturing out to 6.71m in the third round and 6.80m in the last. "It's every athlete's dream to be in the Olympics so I had to do what's best for me: join the team that I could represent at the Olympics."

As Anguilla happens to be a British overseas territory, Proctor is a British passport holder and in November 2010 she switched nationality. Last August she was a member of the GB team at the World Championships in Daegu but failed to get beyond the qualifying round. Her performance on Saturday moved her to fifth place in the world rankings, hinting at medal potential for the World Indoor Championships in Istanbul, starting on 9 March, and for the home from home Olympics.

"I want to be on the podium," Proctor said. "I know I can jump further this summer."

The British outdoor record stands at 6.90m to Bev Kinch but Fiona May – born in Slough and raised in Derby – was just 2cm shy of it before she moved to Italy, changed nationality and became a double world champion and two-time Olympic silver medallist, improving to 7.11m. The Italians did not so much consider her to be plastic; they thought she was rather fantastic.

Asked whether the "Plastic Brit" tag angered her, Proctor said: "No, it doesn't. I use it for motivation. Everybody has an opinion but not everybody knows my background. My heart beats for being a British athlete."

Proctor is also a member of Birmingham's Birchfield Harriers, though her training base is Daytona Beach, Florida. She trains at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University there. One of her training partners is Danielle Carruthers, who took the 100m hurdles silver medal at the World Championships last year, but who was no match for Ennis in the 60m hurdles at the National Indoor Arena on Saturday.

The British multi-eventer beat the American hurdles specialist in 7.87sec, a lifetime best by 0.08sec and the fastest time in the world this year. Ennis also finished third in the long jump with a leap of 6.47m, an indoor personal best. "To come away with two personal bests is brilliant," she said. "It gives you a lot of confidence."

Mo Farah came away from the two miles with a European and British record time of 8min 08.07sec but with his confidence dented somewhat, as runner-up to Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge, one of his predecessors as world 5,000m champion. "It just shows you can take nothing for granted in distance races," said Farah, who will consult his coach, Alberto Salazar, before deciding whether to accept a place in the British team for the World Indoor Championships.

Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
Sport
The giant banner displayed by Legia Warsaw supporters last night
football Polish side was ejected from Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
News
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
News
i100
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
Life and Style
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Java Developer - 1 year contract

£350 - £400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Cent...

Junior Analyst - Graduate - 6 Month fixed term contract

£17000 - £20000 Per Annum Bonus, Life Insurance + Other Benefits: Clearwater P...

SAS Business Analyst - Credit Risk - Retail Banking

£450 - £500 per day: Orgtel: SAS Business Analyst, London, Banking, Credit Ris...

Project Manager - Pensions

£32000 - £38000 Per Annum Bonus, Life Insurance + Other Benefits: Clearwater P...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone