Alexander Stadium, Birmingham, 25 June 2016.
As with the Men’s competition earlier in the day, none of the Women’s field registered the Olympic Qualifying Mark (14.15m) during the British Championships/Olympic Trials on Saturday, but there was still some outstanding jumping on display. The major disappointment of the competition was that the in-field scoreboard wasn’t working, meaning that spectators were mostly in the dark about the jumper’s distances apart from a few late announcements from the stadium commentary.
At the end of Round 1 only 4 jumpers had a legal mark to their name with Montana Jackson leading the way with 12.50m. With the first leap of Round 2 reigning Champion Sineade Gutzmore took over with 12.88w (+2.2m/s), followed by Allison Wilder registering a Season’s Best 12.47m and Chioma Matthews moving into a podium position with 12.71m. With the 2 top-ranked jumpers going into the competition yet to register a mark (Laura Samuel first round foul, Yamilé Aldama bailing out mid-step phase) we had to wait until midway through Round 2 for the first 13 metre jump of the competition as Yamilé bounded out to an almost effortless 13.07m. 3 jumpers later Laura more than matched her, bounding out over 14 metres! However, the red flag was raised. After 2 rounds the leading British jumper this year was yet to register a mark and was facing a potential early exit from the National Championships.
Into Round 3, and you could have forgiven Laura for getting in a safe jump to ensure that she progressed to another 3 jumps. Instead of backing off though, she continued to attack and got her rewards as she reached out to 14.09m, equalling the PB she set when taking Silver in the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Zainab Ceesay followed with 12.85m with her 3rd effort to move into 4th spot, just 3cm behind Sineade. Yamilé Aldama had passed her 3rd round effort and didn’t leap again. Unfortunately it seems that her quest to make her 5th Olympic Games is over.
With Yamilé’s absence and a PB-equalling leap already in the bag, with her last 3 jumps Laura Samuel could concentrate fully on trying to gain the 14.15m Olympic Mark she needed to put one step on the flight to Rio. Attacking all 3 jumps, she unfortunately registered minor fouls on each, despite peppering the distance she required. Her last jump looking around a foot over the Qualifying Standard! Jumping in Turku, Finland, on Wednesday and representing Great Britian at the European Championships next week, Laura still has opportunities to impress the Olympic selectors, as well as the opportunity to challenge Europe’s best for a podium place in Amsterdam.
The battle for Silver and Bronze medals hotted up in the last 3 rounds with Zainab Ceesay improving to 12.87m in Round 4 after seeing Chioma Matthews hit 12.82m. Into the last round and Chioma moved into Bronze medal position with 13.02m. Zainab couldn’t respond, but Sineade, having moved down from 1st to 4th over the past 45 minutes, pulled out a massive 13.53m, just 1cm below her PB. Not only was that good enough to move back into the medals, but it also meant she leap-frogged Yamilé into Silver medal position.
1. Laura Samuel (Birchfield Harriers) 14.09m (+0.6m/s)
2. Sineade Gutzmore (Birchfield Harriers) 13.53m (+1.8m/s)
3. Yamilé Aldama (Shaftesbury Barnet) 13.07m (+0.3m/s)
4. Chioma Matthews (Blackheath & Bromley) 13.02m (+1.5m/s)
5. Zainab Cessay (Woodford Green & Essex Ladies) 12.87m (+1.1m/s)
6. Montana Jackson (Thames Valley Harriers) 12.63m (+1.3m/s)
7. Zara Asante (Blackheath & Bromley) 12.52w (+2.5m/s)
8. Allison Wilder (Sutton & District) 12.47m (+0.3m/s)
9. Laura Zialor (Marshall Milton Keynes) 12.30m (+1.0m/s)
10. Alexandra Russell (Wigan & District) 12.03m (+1.6m/s)
11. Naomi Reid (Derby) NM