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UK Athletics

Proctor Improves Long Jump Record

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Shara Proctor WIC 2012


10 March 2012

On Saturday morning at the Atakoy Athletics Arena in Istanbul, Turkey, the Aviva GB & NI team were encouraged by further strong qualifying performances and another national record.

Leading the way in qualifying for the women’s long jump final was Shara Proctor (Rana Reider), whose recent UK record at the Aviva Birmingham Grand prix was today further improved to 6.86m with her second round jump.

Proctor, who qualified with the second best distance of the day was thrilled with her record-improving leap, that easily surpassed the qualifying mark of 6.75m:

“Thank god I've qualified, that's a weight lifted off my shoulders,” she said.

“I didn't expect to jump that far, I just expected to jump far enough to get into the final.

“Now I just have to go out there and jump. Ideally I'd like to get a medal, jump a national record. You've got to reach for the stars!”

Also in excellent form was Andy Pozzi (Malcolm Arnold), who set a lifetime best of 7.61secs in beating former world record holder Liu Xiang in his heat of the 60m hurdles. Dipping at the line to beat the former Olympic champion, he relished every moment of his world indoor opening round.

“It was a really good race, a PB. I got a pretty good start, I didn't hit any hurdles and I wasn't put under too much pressure by Liu Xiang standing close to me so I'm very pleased,” he said.

“It's only 60m and running an extra two metres hard isn't going to affect me in the semi-final, so why not?” he commented in reference to his dip finish.

Another athlete delighted to make progress in his event was Andrew Osagie (Craig Winrow) in the men’s 800m semi final. Osagie, who on paper was ranked slower than most of his opponents, ran a tactically sound race and crossed the line in second to Ethiopian Mohammed Aman in 1:48.13 to book his place in Sunday’s final.

“I knew I had to give it my all. No point in saving for the final if you're not in it. I probably could have won it but I was too busy making sure I got second,” he said.

“I'm so happy to be through to my first world senior final.”

However, Joe Thomas (Arwyn Davies), who has enjoyed a superb indoor season with multiple PBs struggled in his semi final and left the competition following a fifth placed 1:49.12, much to his bitter disappointment.

“I've had a bad foot, I bruised my heel quite badly yesterday. It's been an ongoing problem for a while. For some reason it flared up after the race so I was running on one and a half legs really,” he said.

“I've had a really good indoor season, my best ever, so I can't be too disappointed but I wanted to be in that 800m final. I'm a bit gutted to go injury-free through the season and then my luck changes when it most matters.”

In the women’s 60m sprint heats both Asha Philip (Christine Bowmaker) and

Jodie Williams (Mike McFarlane) made it through to Sunday’s semi final stage after finishing third in their respective heats. Philip crossing the line in 7.37secs and Williams qualifying with a 7.40secs time.

Philip said: “That was alright, I was hoping it could have gone a bit better than it did just then but I'm over the moon and so happy to run in my first world championships.”

Williams said: “I feel good, that's the best I've felt all season. I hadn't managed to quite get it right in any race this season and that's the first time I've managed to execute every part so hopefully I can continue that and run faster.”

The men’s 4x400m team of Conrad Williams (Linford Christie), Luke Lennon Ford (Linford Christie), Michael Bingham (Kevin Tyler) and Richard Buck (Steve Fudge) put in a strong performance to qualify automatically for Sunday’s final.

The quartet were never headed in their semi final and in finishing strongly with 3:07.45 were fastest of the teams making it through today’s qualification.

Finally, in the men’s high jump qualifying Robbie Grabarz (Fuzz Ahmed) qualified in sixth position for tomorrow’s final with a second time clearance over 2.29m. Grabarz, who cleared a lifetime best of 2.34m in January, looked confident in his session’s work, clearing 2.18m, 2.22m and 2.26m first time.

“It's nice to be in the final and be able to get on with that rather than still be out there trying to make the final,” he admitted.

“I set myself up with my first few clearances. It's a very fast track so took some getting used to but it all went well. Objective achieved.”

However, Samson Oni (Trevor Llewellyn) did not perform to his usual best and finished 13th  with a best clearance of 2.22m, meaning he will not take part in Sunday’s final:

“I think today was mostly about me not feeling relaxed. I felt nervous, a bit of anxiety too. Overall I let the occasion get to me,” he admitted.

“It's really not good enough for someone of my experience, but it happens and I haven't managed to get hold of it, so to speak. I wasn't able to jump how Samson jumps.”

Saturday afternoon’s session starts at 15:00 GMT with the men’s pole vault final featuring Steve Lewis (Dan Pfaff)

Reports and updates covering the action 32-strong Aviva GB & NI squad are available on www.uka.org.uk and via twitter @uka_athletics  #BackTheTeam.

A full Aviva GB & NI team media guide for Istanbul 2012 can be found here for download http://www.uka.org.uk/media/event-media-guides/

For full results visit: http://www.iaaf.org/Mini/WIC12/Results/ResultsByDate.aspx