Not since the 2012 Olympic Games in London has a British athlete, male or female, competed in a global Triple Jump competition. 5 years on, however, and in the same stadium where Phillips Idowu came 14th, to just miss out on the Olympic Final, and Yamilé Aldama finished a highly credible 5th, the wait to see a British Triple Jumper on the global stage is finally over – Nathan Fox will pull on the British vest and compete in his home town at the World Athletics Championships next month.
After earning automatic selection for the Championships, which begin in just over 2 weeks’ time, the 3-time National Indoor Triple Jump Champion talked to iTripleJump.co.uk about how it feels to have secured his place in the British Team and his hopes for London and beyond.
iTJ: Congratulations on your selection for the World Championships. How did you hear from British Athletics that you were confirmed in the British team and what was your first reaction?
NF: Having been aware of the selection criteria and already jumped the qualification standard, I knew that a top two place at the British Championships would guarantee me a place in the team. This was the plan from October and successfully completing it brought a wide range of emotions from excitement to relief! Nonetheless, I still received a call from British Athletics before the team was released to officially accept my place in the world championship team.
iTJ: What are you most looking forward to at the World Championships and what do you hope to achieve in the competition?
NF: I am most looking forward to showcasing my talent on the world stage in front of a home crowd. I’ve never competed in the Olympic stadium before so it will be a very special moment for me. With it being my first major championships, the plan for this one is to make the final and lay it all on the line from there.
iTJ: What are your preparations now for the Championships as far as training, competition and any Team GB commitments are concerned? How do you draw the balance in the coming weeks between protecting yourself in a heavy impact event like the Triple Jump and putting in the work you need to perform at your best in London in August?
NF: Triple jump is a great balancing act (in more ways than one) but you cannot shirk away from the necessary work needed to be at your best. I will have my last competition before the Worlds in Loughborough (July 22nd) then head off to Paris (July 26th) for a 9 day training camp before going to London.
iTJ: This year you’ve set new PBs both indoors (16.53i) and outdoors (16.81m) to help secure your selection for London. What has changed in your preparation and approach to your Triple Jumping and where do you think there is even more room for improvement?
NF: A massive reason for my improvements this year are down to changing my training environment. Sometimes it’s necessary to step away from what’s comfortable in order to progress and that’s exactly what I’ve done. I’ve learnt a whole lot from my new coach Tosin Oke and with this only being year one, there are plenty more improvements to come.
Nathan and his coach Tosin Oke at this year’s British Indoor Championships
iTJ: With this year’s improvement and a place at the World Championships, as well as upcoming events such as the World Indoor Championships and Commonwealth Games on the horizon, what are long term targets now and how far do you think you can ultimately jump?
NF: As we all know nothing in this sport is guaranteed so my only goal right now is to make sure I maximise this opportunity at the World Championships. Long term, I aim to make every major final leading up to the Tokyo Olympics where I set my hopes on getting a medal.
I won’t put a limit on what I can ultimately jump but 17.50m+ is what I definitely think I’m capable of.
iTJ: Are there any sponsors or organisations you’d like to acknowledge for helping you in your preparations for London 2017?
NF: I’d like to thank Everyone Active, Sport for Business, Admiral Scaffolding, Jubilee Hall Trust, Daniels Estate Agents, Pico Technology & my club, Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers, for all the help and support over the last 12 months. Without them I most definitely wouldn’t have been able to put the necessary hours of training into my craft in order to perform at the level I have.
We wish Nathan all the best for London next month and look forward to seeing him challenging for a place in the World Championships Final. The Men’s Triple Jump Qualifying is at 6.35pm on Monday August 7th with the Final at 8.20pm on Thursday August 10th.