Bedford International Stadium, 30-31 July 2016.

Despite fields of 15 and 14 athletes respectively, the Men’s and Women’s Triple Jump competitions at the England Athletics AAA Senior Championships in Bedford were both held as straight finals meaning 10 a.m. starts for both events. This may have affected jump distances, especially in the Men’s competition on Saturday where just 1 leap was measured over 16 metres, Ben Williams 2nd round mark of 16.07m – his only valid leap of the day but good enough to take gold.

Going into the competition Nathan Douglas would have hoped to add to his British Championships victory from last month, but despite jumping over 16 metres at both the European Championships and last week’s London Diamond League Meeting, he could only manage three efforts of 15.50m, No Jump, 15.34m, at Bedford before he withdrew from the competition.

This meant that podium places were up for grabs for anyone making the most of the opportunity, and so it was that Johnny Sawyers leapt into silver medal position with his last round 15.51m jump, an outdoor Season’s Best. Johnny is the second cousin of European Bronze medallist and top ranked British jumper Julian Reid and hopefully his performance in Bedford will give him the confidence to join Julian over the 16 metre mark in the near future.

1. Ben Williams (Sale Harriers) 16.07m (+1.4m/s)
2. Jonathan Sawyers (Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow) 15.51m (+0.2m/s)
3. Nathan Douglas (Oxford City) 15.50 (+1.7m/s)
4. Thalosang Tshireletso (Woodford Green with Essex Ladies) 15.26m (+1.3m/s)
5. Joshua Bones (Scunthorpe & District) 14.92m (+1.9m/s)
6. Chuko Cribb (Marshall Milton Keynes) 14.87m (+1.5m/s)
7. Robert Sutherland (Wycombe Phoenix Harriers) 14.77m (+0.4m/s)
8. Lewis Guest (Yeovil Olympiads) 14.70m (-0.5m/s)
9. Mitchel Kirby (Leicester Coritanian) 14.30m (+1.0m/s)
10. Peter Kirabo (Woodford Green with Essex Ladies) 13.80m (+0.8m/s)
11. Joseph Gilkes (Coventry Godiva Harriers) 13.26m (+1.1m/s)
12= Kevin Brown (Southend On Sea) NM
12= Seun Okome (Sale Harriers) NM
12= Jason Richards-Thompson (Victoria Park Harriers & Tower Hamlets) NM
12= Shenten Enoe (UK Armed Forces) NM

The Women’s event on Sunday produced a much more exciting competition and some great lifetime bests.

Following her recent new PB of 13.70m, Sineade Gutzmore, coached by Aston Moore, went into the competition as the pre-event favourite and, despite an opening No Jump, soon re-emphasised that position with her 2nd round leap of 13.33m. None of the other competitors had ever reached that distance, so it may have seemed that the gold had already been decided, but Naomi Reid and reigning champion Alexandra Russell, both coached by John Crotty, certainly had other ideas.

Having returned to the kind of form that enabled her to jump 12.79m as an 18 year old in 2011, Naomi set a new PB of 12.84m at the BIG ish Jumps & Throws Festival earlier this summer before threatening 13 metres at the British Championships despite recording no valid jumps that day. On Sunday in Bedford, though, it all went to plan as she cut the sand above 13 metres for the first time with her 13.03m 3rd round leap.

However, that still only placed her 3rd as Alexandra had matched her season’s best of 12.82m in round 1, then leapt out to 13.16w in round 2 before flying down the runway on her 3rd attempt to a fantastic 13.40m. Unfortunately the wind reading was a frustrating 0.2m/s above the legal limit, depriving Alexandra of a 35cm improvement on her PB from last year, but she now led the contest.

With red flags for Sineade in rounds 3 and 4 the pressure was growing on her going into her 5th attempt but she showed her class by reaching out to 13.44m before hitting 13.53m on her last attempt to secure victory. Alexandra hit a new legal season’s best of 12.98m in round 5 before losing balance as she gave it her all on her last attempt, but hopefully she can take great confidence by her series of how far she can go in the future.

Angela Barrett improved to 12.93w with her last effort to take 4th ahead of Naomi Ogbeta who hit 12.53m despite being restricted by, and retiring early through, a hamstring injury. Another great British prospect, BUCS Indoor Champion Lia Stephenson, was also forced to retire early and we hope that both athletes can soon make a healthy return to competition.

  1. Sineade Gutzmore (Birchfield Harriers)  13.53m (+1.2m/s)
  2. Alexandra Russell (Wigan & District H)  13.40w (+2.2m/s) (also 13.16m No wind reading)
  3. Naomi Reid (Derby AC) 13.03m (+1.9m/s) (PB)
  4. Angela Barrett (Thames Valley Harriers) 12.93w  (+2.8m/s)
  5. Naomi Ogbeta (Trafford) 12.53m (+1.5m/s)
  6. Allison Wilder  (Sutton & District)  12.41m  (+0.7m/s)
  7. Montana Jackson (Thames Valley Harriers) 12.35m (+1.6m/s)
  8. Shanara Hibbert (Luton AC)  11.85m (+1.6m/s)
  9. Anna Bates  (Trafford) 11.67m (+1.8 m/s)
  10. Laura Saulters (North Down) 11.51w (+3.0m/s)
  11. Beth Mortiboy  (Notts) 11.42w (+2.3m/s)
  12. Chanel Hemmings (Woodford Green with Essex Ladies) 11.01m (+2.0m/s)
  13. Tannika Burgess (Wolverhampton & Bilston)  11.00m (+1.7m/s)
  14. Lia Stephenson (Thames Valley Harriers) NM

Written by iTripleJump

A Triple Jumper for over 35 years - from an over-hopping junior to a county-level senior - I still enjoy jumping in national and international Masters competitions in the event that has gripped me since my first hop, step and jump onto a springless PE mat. Waiting for that perfect jump. That one perfect jump ...

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