Proctor fails to jump on bandwagon


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The Independent Online

They had a blast of Freddie Mercury and Queen over the public address system towards the end of last night's track and field session: "Don't stop me now." "Another one bites the dust" would have been more in keeping on the domestic front.

Shara Proctor was one of the handful of remaining medal hopes as the British team looked to push towards their London 2012 target of eight. With five already in the bag – courtesy of Jessica Ennis, Greg Rutherford, Mo Farah, Christine Ohuruogu and Robbie Grabarz – the native Anguillan went into the women's long jump final with expectations of landing No 6, having registered the best effort in the qualifying round on Tuesday.

It was not to be. Instead of emulating Mo and Co, Proctor went the same way as Dai Greene, Holly Bleasdale, Yamile Aldama and Lawrence Okoye, falling short of the podium.

The 23-year-old had jumped 6.83m in qualifying but she could manage only 6.55m in the opening round last night. That left her playing catch-up, down in seventh place out of the 12 finalists.

It didn't get any better for Proctor. She fouled her second attempt and jumped 6.37m with her third effort. That left her not only short of the podium but short of making the top eight, who all got a further three jumps.

Brittney Reese, the world champion from Mississippi, claimed gold with 7.12m. Elena Sokolova of Russia took silver with 7.07m and Janay DeLoach of the US bronze with 6.89m.

Proctor finished ninth with her first round 6.55m. "I came out and tried my best," she said.

"It just didn't go as planned but it's my first Olympics and I made the final.

"Of course, it is a missed opportunity. I was ready for this today. I just didn't execute well enough on the runway and therefore I just didn't get through to those final jumps."

Proctor hails from Anguilla, a British overseas territory in the Caribbean. She has possessed a British passport since birth. As her homeland has no National Olympic Committee, she decided two years ago to make use of her British qualification as a passport to London 2012.

Anguilla has a population of 13,500, the same as Aberystwyth. Aberystwyth. Proctor's father Orris was the island's Secretary for Education but retired to run the family grocery store, JW Proctor. Her mother, Wilma, is the island's Director of Sport.