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Chris Tomlinson leaping into form for Cup

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Chris Tomlinson: victory in Prague
Chris Tomlinson: victory in Prague

UK long jump record holder Chris Tomlinson (Newham and Essex Beagles) produced his furthest leap since the 2004 Olympic Games to score an impressive victory at the Josef Odlozila Memorial meeting in Prague, Czech Republic, on Wednesday evening, 13 June.


To prove his preparations for the European Cup are on schedule, he cleared 8.23m at the European AA meeting, only 4cm short of his national record. It earned him victory by 18cm over the reigning Commonwealth champion Ignisious Gaisah (Ghana).


His series went: 8.17m, 7.96m, 8.00m, 8.23m (wind: +0.5), 8.19m, 7.84m.


It is the second time in a week Tomlinson has defeated Gaisah and represents an improvement on his 8.10m windy at the British League Premiership incorporating the UK Challenge at Manchester and his 8.12m legal at Lille last Friday night.


His coach Peter Stanley said: “We’re very pleased. We planned it like this and he’s coming on nicely. I don’t want to get carried away, but I don’t think he has finished improving yet.”


Kate Dennison (Sale Harriers Manchester), who is pole vaulting for the Norwich Union Great Britain and Northern Ireland team for the Cup, soared over a season’s best of 4.31m – the eighth time she has cleared the B standard for the World Championships in Osaka – to take third place in an event won by Anastasiya Shvedova (Russia) with a meeting record 4.65m. Her training mate Steve Lewis (Newham and Essex Beagles) cleared 5.40m for sixth place in a competition won by Spas Bukhalov (Bulgaria) at 5.70m.


Jenny Meadows (Wigan and District) continued her great form in the 800m, reducing her summer’s best to 2:00.33 in finishing third behind Russian duo Oksana Zbrozhek (1:58.84) and Svetlana Klyuka (1:59.86). Laura Finucane (Pendle AC), one of the athletes benefitting from the 'On Camp with Kelly' programme run by Dame Kelly Holmes with support from Norwich Union, lowered her lifetime best to 2:01.35 in finishing eighth.


Lee McConnell (Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers) lowered her 400m hurdles season’s best to 56.12 seconds in finishing fourth in a race won by Natalya Ivanova (Russia) in another meeting record, 54.47.


Anyika Onuora (Liverpool Harriers) became the eighth UK woman this year to dip under the Power of 10 national standard of 23.55 seconds for the 200m. She clocked 23.50 for fourth place in a race won by Stephanie Durst (USA) in yet another meeting record, 22.74.


Chris Warburton (Notts AC) was sixth in the 1500m in 3:42.35. Abdelkader Hachlaf (Morocco) won in 3:41.28.


The UK’s most outstanding cross country runner of last winter, Frank Tickner (Wells City Harriers) lowered his 3000m steeplechase best by a massive 15.37 seconds in clocking 8:30.41 for 11th place in a race won by Collins Kosgei (Kenya) in 8:14.32. UK Challenge champion Jermaine Mays (Kent AC) was 13th in 8:31.40.


Martyn Rooney (Croydon Harriers) won the 400m in 46.42 seconds at the Stavanger Games in Norway on Wednesday night, 13 June. He finished almost half a second ahead of runner-up Paul McKee (Ireland). For results of the athletes representing England and Wales at this pre-Bislett Games meeting, please click here