23rd June 2009

Tomlinson Aims For Record


23 June 2009

The 27-year-old won World Indoor silver in Valencia last year and now he’s determined to add a major outdoor medal to his haul, as he gears up for the IAAF World Championships in Berlin in August.

And a winning performance at the Aviva World Trials & UK Championships, which take place at Birmingham Alexander Stadium on 10, 11 and 12 July, is a vital part of that quest, in order to secure a place on the Aviva Great Britain & Northern Ireland team set for Berlin.

He said: “It’s very important to win the Trials and get on the plane for the World Championships. I went into the Trials last year, but I had a hard time through injury. That lasted for a number of months and I was injured for the indoor season this year as well, but now I’m feeling pretty good and things are going well.”

Earlier this year Tomlinson and his actress wife Lucia moved south from their base in the North East to London, where he joined fellow long jumper and European silver medallist Greg Rutherford at his Brunel training base, and the rivalry between the two continues to provide inspiration.

Tomlinson said: “Having Greg around is an incentive to do better. We are training partners, but also big rivals. He loves competing and I love competing, so as a result we bring out the best in one another.”

Last year injury put paid to Tomlinson’s chances of a podium finish at the Olympics in Beijing. But now, with those worries behind him, the Middlesbrough man believes he’s got what it takes to come home from the World Championships with a medal. And for Tomlinson, that may well mean going beyond his British record mark of 8.29m, as earlier this month former Olympic champion Dwight Phillips laid down a marker of 8.74m in Oregon, USA.

He said: “A few weeks ago, I would have been right in there. Now a couple of guys have gone 8.60 – 8.70 metres. That’s big, big, big jumping! I’ve certainly got the potential this year to go 8.40 – 8.50 metres, but it’s a matter of me actively doing it now competitively. I’ve basically got to break the British record. I’ve been going 8 metres without hitting the board and I’ve got to be looking to improve that significantly.”

With three victories under his belt already this season, including two beyond the eight metre mark, Tomlinson is determined to take advantage of his run of form and maintain his winning ways.

He said: “I’ve had a number of victories already this season, and cleared eight metres, which is always very nice. Certainly by the time of the Trials I hope to be moving it on and cracking some really big distances.”

The Aviva World Trials & UK Championships is part organised by Birmingham City Council and supported by Marketing Birmingham.  

The Championships take place at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium on 10, 11 and 12 July. Tickets can be purchased online at www.uka.org.uk and by phone on 0800 055 60 56.