Alexander Stadum, Birmingham, 25 June 2016.
There were plenty of positives to take from the Men’s Triple Jump at the British Championships/Olympic Trials on Saturday despite the Olympic qualifying mark of 16.85m proving beyond any of the 16 jumpers on the day. With anyone finishing in the top 2 and having the qualifying mark twice under their belt since last May confirming their Rio selection, there were hopes that either Nathan Douglas or Julian Reid, who already had achieved the mark once in that period, could book their ticket in Birmingham, or that one of Britain’s other leading jumpers could put themselves within one competition of selection.
It was Julian Reid who started the competition in the strongest form, following his 16.96w at the Bedford Jumps & Throws Festival last month, and, jumping 3rd in Birmingham, he bounded out to 16.40m with his opening effort for an early lead. Next on the runway came Kola Adedoyin who continued his return from injury with 15.96m, his best leap for over 2 years, hopefully on the way back to his 16.61m form of 2014.
In Round 2 Julian pulled out of his attempt during his step phase and had to watch as Ben Williams and Nathan Douglas pulled out jumps of 16.10m and 16.07m, respectively, after both had fouled on their opening efforts. Julian responded with 16.39m on his 3rd attempt, and while Ben and Nathan registered No Jumps again, the pressure was now on the British Indoor Champion, Nathan Fox. He lay in 11th position as he took to the runway for the 3rd attempt after a 15.35m opener and bailing out on his 2nd attempt. Facing the prospect of an early exit, and despite taking off well behind the board, Nathan proved what a great competitor he is as he pulled out 16.12m to not only stay in the contest for 3 more rounds, but also to move into the silver medal position. Emerging talent Efe Uwaifo ended the round with 15.91m, just 7cm shy of his PB.
In Round 4 Nonso Okolo joined the 16 metre jumpers with 16.02m, just 4 cm off his PB, before Nathan Douglas showed his class as he took the lead with a Season’s Best 16.58m. Nathan Fox hit another 16 metre jump with 16.09m before Julian responded to losing his lead by improving out to 16.45m. He hit 2 more 16 metre jumps with his last 2 efforts, 16.43m and 16.20m, but had to settle for 2nd on the day behind Nathan who couldn’t improve himself despite a long leap given the red flag in Round 6.
Ben Williams leapt 16.31m in Round 5, which proved good enough for bronze, but pulled out an amazing opening 2 phases in his last effort before over-rotating into the pit, though he had marginally cut the plasticine.
With seven jumpers over 15.90m, as well as many long No Jumps registered in the competition, there is a strength in depth emerging in British Triple Jumping which bodes well over the next few years. For this year, Nathan Douglas and Julian Reid taking the top 2 spots means they both need that 16.85m once more before July 9th to guarantee selection for Rio. Both have now been selected for the European Championships in Amsterdam next week, giving them a fantastic opportunity to reach Rio – as well as to push for a European medal. Here’s hoping they can both perform to the best of their undoubted talents in Holland and achieve the rewards they are both capable of.
1. Nathan Douglas (Oxford City) 16.58m (+0.2m/s)
2. Julian Reid (Birchfield Harriers) 16.45m (+1.5m/s)
3. Ben Williams (Sale Harriers Manchester) 16.31m (+1.0m/s)
4. Nathan Fox (Shaftesbury Barnet) 16.12m (+1.9m/s)
5. Nonso Okolo (Shaftesbury Barnet) 16.02m (+1.5m/s)
6. Kola Adedoyin (Newham & Essex Beagles) 15.96m (+0.5m/s)
7. Efe Uwaifo (Enfield & Haringey) 15.91m (+1.0m/s)
8. Montel Nevers (Notts) 15.77m (+2.0m/s)
9. Daniel Lewis (Shaftesbury Barnet) 15.76m (+0.2m/s)
10. Sam Trigg (Erme Valley) 15.57w (+2.6m/s)
11. Chukwudi Onyia (Unattached) 15.42m (+1.4m/s)
12. Johnny Sawyers (Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow) 15.34m (+1.3m/s)
13. Michael Puplampu (Newham & Essex Beagles) 15.29m (+0.7m/s)
14. Nana Owusu-Nyantekyi (Croydon) 15.06m (+1.1m/s)
15. Jonathan Ilori (Blackheath & Bromley) 15.06m (+0.9m/s)
16. Lawrence Davis (Enfield & Haringey) NM