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samuel coming home after surprise silver in glasgow

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Laura Samuel

Laura Samuel produced one of the surprises of the Commonwealth Games as she leapt to silver in the women’s triple jump with a new personal best of 14.09m, but the Birchfield Harrier knew she was capable of jumping over 14m for the first time.

On a night of silver success for Team England, Samuel enjoyed her moment on the podium with over 50,000 people cheering for her when she received her medal. She admits that the experience is one she is unlikely to ever forget.

‘It was unbelievable – when they shouted my name and the whole stadium jumped up and waved their England flags, it was just amazing.’

‘I think it sunk in the day after when I went down to the track and watched all of the athletics – people were recognising me and asking for my autograph.’

Samuel started the competition ranked fifth in the field but after Yamile Aldama, her England compatriot, did not start in the triple jump final, Samuels’ chances improved. Seizing her moment, Samuel snatched silver behind Kimberley Williams of Jamaica who jumped 14.21 to win by 12 centimetes.

‘I came into the competition ranked fifth but I believed in myself that I could jump over 14m. I’ve wanted to do it for the last couple of years. It was a surprise to me to do it here in Glasgow but I knew I was capable of it as I have done the work over the winter to jump over 14m.’

The hard work certainly paid off and Samuel praised her coach, Aston Moore, for her success at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

‘I’ve got everything to thank him for – I couldn’t have done it without him. All the times I’ve wanted to give up during training sessions, he’s always been there to keep me going.’

It was a breakthrough performance for Samuel who at the age of twenty-three has many years ahead of her to compete on the world stage. She will get an opportunity to compete against some of the world’s best triple jumpers at the Sainsbury’s Birmingham Grand Prix on Sunday 24 August. Although it will be a step up for Samuel, she is excited at the prospect of competing on her local track in front of a vociferous home crowd.

‘I’m really excited to be competing at the Sainsbury’s Birmingham Diamond League – I always enjoy the trials at Birmingham as it is my home ground where I train every day. The whole crowd will be behind us so it is going to be wicked.’

‘I’ll obviously be a bit nervous but it’ll be a good experience. I think I am at my best when there is a big home crowd who are cheering me on.’

When she steps out in Alexander Stadium, she will be riding high on confidence and aiming for another 14m plus jump.

‘It’s a bit of a mind game getting over the 14m but now I’ve done it and if I keep going over it, that will open the door for more competitions and getting out on the world stage.’

‘I would like to get another jump over 14m before the end of the season and that will give me a lot of confidence heading into next season for the indoors.’