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.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
love + sex
Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Sport
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle 0 Man United 1: Last minute strike seals precious victory
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Seth Rogan is one of America’s most famous pot smokers
filmAmy Pascal resigned after her personal emails were leaked following a cyber-attack sparked by the actor's film The Interview
News
Benjamin Netanyahu and his cartoon bomb – the Israeli PM shows his ‘evidence’
people
Arts and Entertainment
80s trailblazer: comedian Tracey Ullman
tv
News
i100
Life and Style
A statue of the Flemish geographer Gerard Kremer, Geradus Mercator (1512 - 1594) which was unveiled at the Geographical Congree at Anvers. He was the first person to use the word atlas to describe a book of maps.
techThe 16th century cartographer created the atlas
Arts and Entertainment
Stephen Tompkinson is back as DCI Banks
tvReview: Episode one of the new series played it safe, but at least this drama has a winning formula
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: UI / UX Designer

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This firm are focussed on assis...

Recruitment Genius: General Processor

£7 per hour: Recruitment Genius: A vacancy has arisen for a General Processor ...

Recruitment Genius: Outbound Sales Executive - B2B

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A great opportunity has arisen ...

Recruitment Genius: Online Sales and Customer Services Associate

£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Full time and Part time positio...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot