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UK Athletics

Tomlinson adds to his UK indoor record

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2 February 2008


Chris Tomlinson (Newham and Essex Beagles) added 1cm to his UK indoor long jump record at the Sparkassen Cup in Stuttgart, Germany, tonight – and his delighted coach Peter Stanley reckons he could leap even further at next weekend’s Norwich Union World Trials and UK Championships at the EIS Sheffield.


Tomlinson soared out to 8.18m in the fifth round in the Hanns-Martin Schleyer-Halle to comprehensively defeat the former Olympic silver medallist James Beckford (Jamaica) and Marcin Starzak (Poland), who both leapt 7.88m.


Tomlinson, who set his previous indoor record of 8.17m in Budapest, Hungary, in 2004, said: "I've had my toughest winter's training ever. In particular I've practiced my technical skills. Everything's been harder in training and it has been killing me.”


The leap takes Tomlinson to the top of the current world rankings and Coach Stanley said: “I’m really chuffed. We joked about him breaking the record. I told him, ‘Don’t break it by too much! You’ll get more money if you break it on British soil. Hopefully he’ll be in 8.19 form next week.”


More seriously, Stanley added: “Chris had a groin problem a couple of weeks ago but got himself over it brilliantly. He’s looking after himself very well.”


Craig Pickering (Marshall Milton Keynes AC) was the UK’s other UK winner. The 21-year-old, who clinched victory for Norwich Union Great Britain and Northern Ireland at last weekend’s Norwich Union International in Glasgow, once again demonstrated maturity beyond his years.


In his heat, he had such a bad start that he was pleased to finish third in 6.67 seconds – behind Olusoju Fasuba (Nigeria), who clocked 6.57, and Ray Edwards (USA), who was timed at 6.63 – and qualify for the final as a fastest loser. Simeon Williamson (Highgate Harriers), who beat Pickering to the European Under 23s’ 100m title last summer, qualified more conventionally, finishing second in his heat in 6.64, a hundredth of a second behind Tobias Unger (Germany).


Come the final, Pickering started like lightning and was never in danger, winning in 6.58, two-hundredths ahead of Mike Rodgers (USA), who was given second place despite having the same time as third-placed Fasuba. Williamson was fifth, again in 6.64, four-hundredth outside the season’s best he recorded in Linz on Thursday night.


Jenny Meadows (Wigan Harriers) consolidated her position at the top of the Power of 10 women’s 800m rankings by clocking 2:02.96 for second place behind former Olympic and World champion Maria Mutola (Mozambique), who proved the stronger on the final 200m circuit and clocked 2:02.44.


Allan Scott (Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers) shrugged off the disappointment of being disqualified in last weekend's Norwich Union International to finish fourth in 7.69 in a high quality 60m hurdles behind Dayron Robles (Cuba), who clocked the fastest time in the world this winter, 7.36; Thomas Blaschek (Germany) who thrilled the home crowd by taking second place in 7.54; and Allen Johnson (USA), third in 7.55.


Versatile Helen Clitheroe (Preston Harriers), who clinched the team silver medals for Norwich Union Great Britain and Northern Ireland at the SPAR European Cross Country Championships before Christmas, was fifth in the 3000m in 8:56.22. Meseret Defar (Ethiopia) won in 8:27.93, the fastest time in the world so far this winter.


For all the results from Stuttgart, please click on Sparkassen

Pole vaulters Steve Lewis (Newham and Essex Beagles) and Kate Dennison (City of Stoke AC) both achieved World Indoor Championships selection standards at a meeting in Limoges, France, tonight. Lewis cleared 5.70m and Dennison 4.40m.