Record-breaking Proctor jumps at chance of Games


Alexander Stadium

The agony and ecstasy of striving to make the home Olympics did not get any more acute than the drama that unfolded in the women's long jump on the final day of the 2012 trials in Birmingham yesterday.

For Shara Proctor, the 23-year-old from the Caribbean who cannot compete for Anguilla because her homeland does not have a National Olympic Committee, there was the unbridled joy of clinching her place in the British team by breaking a UK record which had stood since 1983. "It's older than me," she said after a 6.95m leap that eclipsed Bev Kinch's 29-year-old mark by 5cm. "It's a dream come true. I'm on top of the world right now. It couldn't be a better feeling right now – British record, Olympic place. What more can you ask for?"

One centimetre more would have done for poor Lorraine Ugen. The 20-year-old Londoner, a student at Texas Christian University, rose to the big occasion with a 20cm improvement on her lifetime best to finish runner-up. Her second-round effort of 6.74cm, however, fell a single tantalising centimetre short of the Olympic A standard qualifying mark.

"To come so close is very disappointing," Ugen said. "I'm going to have to go out next week and hit it hard again."

Ugen – the latest class act to emerge from the stable of jumpers guided by Frank Attoh, the guru behind world indoor triple jump champion Yamilé Aldama – has until midnight on Sunday to achieve the A grade. Having not been among the provisional list entered for the European Championships, which open in Helsinki on Wednesday, the Blackheath & Bromley Harrier will probably have to go for broke in a UK Women's League meeting on Saturday.

In keeping with a trials event of a Johnny Nash nature – throwing up more questions than answers – Abigail Irozuru failed to lay claim to a place with a top-two spot, finishing down in fourth with 6.48m, but has an A standard to her name this summer. At least the equation was already resolved for Jessica Ennis, who finished a disappointing sixth with 6.27m.

Her British record performance in Austria last month having effectively secured selection for the heptathlon, the great all-rounder was multi-tasking at the trials purely as preparation for London.

The Sheffield woman won the high jump and 100m hurdles on Saturday but struggled with her run-up yesterday, registering three fouls and two run-throughs. "I think it's to do with my rhythm and the way I'm attacking the board," she said. "I've just got to go away and work on it a bit."

Holly Bleasdale had a bit to work on when she failed to negotiate the pole vault qualifying height of 4.50m at the first two attempts. The emerging British star of the indoor season nailed it at the third attempt and proceeded to show her world class mettle, clearing 4.71m, breaking her own British outdoor record.

There were tears of joy for mother and daughter when Eilish McColgan, with an A standard already under her belt, clinched her place with a convincing win in the 3,000m steeplechase. "To be her coach is an honour but to be her mother is something else," said mum Liz McColgan, a 10,000m silver medallist at the 1988 Olympics.

At 38, Jo Pavey booked her ticket in the 5,000m, outkicking Barbara Parker in the home straight. As expected, Andy Pozzi and Lawrence Clarke claimed the two automatic spots in the 110m hurdles, the Bath-based training partners finishing one and two respectively. Third place went to the injury-plagued Andy Turner.

32 days to go until the Olympics

32: Age of Chris Hoy when he won three cycling golds at the 2008 Beijing Games - in the sprint, team sprint and keirin.

Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
charity appeal
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Nabil Bentaleb (centre) celebrates putting Tottenham ahead
footballTottenham 4 Newcastle 0: Spurs fans dreaming of Wembley final after dominant win
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established media firm based in Surrey is ...

Ashdown Group: Java Developer - Hertfordshire - £47,000 + bonus + benefits

£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...

Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Director - London - £70,000

£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive - Nationwide - OTE £65,000

£30000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small technology business ...

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum
France's Front National and the fear of a ‘gay lobby’ around Marine Le Pen

Front National fear of ‘gay lobby’

Marine Le Pen appoints Sébastien Chenu as cultural adviser
'Enhanced interrogation techniques?' When language is distorted to hide state crimes

Robert Fisk on the CIA 'torture report'

Once again language is distorted in order to hide US state wrongdoing
Radio 1’s new chart host must placate the Swifties and Azaleans

Radio 1 to mediate between the Swifties and Azaleans

New chart host Clara Amfo must placate pop's fan armies
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'It's life, and not the Forces, that gets you'

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'It's life, and not the Forces, that gets you'

The head of Veterans Aid on how his charity is changing perceptions of ex-servicemen and women in need