Arena Birmingham, 9 February 2019.
Following the footsteps of Ashia Hansen and Yamilé Aldama, Naomi Ogbeta became just the 3rd British female Triple Jumper to leap over 14 metres indoors at the National Indoor Championships on Saturday, but not everything was plain sailing for her during the competition.
Opening with 2 leaps of 13.47m, Ogbeta lead from Birchfield’s Laura Samuel who hit 13.32m in round 1 before a second round long No Jump around 13.75m. In round 3 Samuel extended her best to 13.51m, which was good enough to lead at the half-way stage after Ogbeta ran through her 3rd attempt. Having already demonstrated during her career what a great competitor she is when faced with adversity in competition (notably at the 2017 European U20 Championships and in qualifying for the 2018 European Championships final), Ogbeta responded in round 4 to jump a massive 14.05m, adding 37cm to her indoor PB. That proved good enough to take the title and book her place at next month’s European Indoor Championships in Glasgow, despite Samuel improving to 13.61m in round 5 and showing that she is more than capable of also challenging for 14 metres later this summer.
In 3rd place Alexandra Russell equalled her PB and winning distance from the 2017 British Indoor Championships with her last round 13.27m. This followed earlier leaps of 13.25m and 13.16m, as well as a second round effort stepping over 9 metres before over-rotating.
Laura Zialor matched her 4th place from the 2016 British Indoor Championships as she leapt 12.53m – her longest since 2016 – and seems on the way back to her best form this year, while newcomer to the event, Chloe Vernon Hamilton, increased her PB to 12.40m with her opening leap to take 5th place.
Southern Indoor Champion Shanara Hibbert produced a consistent series in 6th, capped with her 3rd round 12.37m, while Allison Wilder took 7th on countback with 12.32m ahead of promising junior Lily Hulland. Had Eavion Richardson’s first round leap been the right side of the plasticine she would have made the half-way cut and probably threatened high 12 metres. As it was, after 2 early No Jumps, she had to settle for her 3rd round 12.30m as her best effort, just pipping fellow junior Mayi Hughes who hit 12.29m in the first round.
1. Naomi Ogbeta 14.05m (13.47m, 13.47m, X, 14.05m, X, X)
2. Laura Samuel 13.61m (13.32m, X, 13.51m, 13.44m, 13.61m, X)
3. Alexandra Russell 13.27m =PB (12.91m, X, 13.25m, 13.16m, X, 13.27m)
4. Laura Zialor 12.53m (12.34m , 12.37m, 12.53m, 12.47m, X, X)
5. Chloe Vernon Hamilton 12.40m PB (12.40m, X, 12.07m, 12.17m, X, X)
6. Shanara Hibbert 12.37m (12.17m, 12.19m, 12.37m, 12.14m, 12.23m, X)
7. Allison Wilder 12.32m (12.32m, 12.26m, 12.32m, X, X, 11.76m)
8. Lily Hulland 12.32m (X, 11.89m, 12.32m, X, X, X)
9. Eavion Richardson 12.30m (X, X, 12.30m)
10. Mayi Hughes 12.29m (12.29m, 12.21m, 12.05m)
The Men’s Triple Jump resulted in one of the most exciting climaxes to an event during Saturday’s programme at the British Indoor Championships and provided a great advert for the essence of competition and drama seen in field events.
2017 Champion Nathan Fox had lead after the opening round with 16.12m to match his season’s best ahead of Michael Puplampu (15.95m). However, After Nathan Douglas popped out to 16.27m in round 2 and then produced a series of No Jumps in the mid 16-metre range it seemed like just a matter of time before he would seal victory with his next legal jump as there seemed little progress behind him. That belief was further re-enforced when the only other competitor in the event already holding the qualification standard for the European Indoor Championships, Julian Reid, made an early exit after 3 No Jumps and must now sweat on whether he makes the team for Glasgow.
In round 6 Daniel Lewis improved his best to 15.77m which temporarily moved him into 4th spot, leap-frogging Jonathan Ilori. Jumping next, however, Ilori responded with a new indoor PB, 15.97m, to not only move back above Lewis, but also move into bronze medal position ahead of Michael Puplampu. Next on the runway, it was time for Puplampu to respond – and how he did – bounding out to 16.28m to match his season’s best and take the lead away from Nathan Douglas by just 1cm. After Nathan Fox ran through his last attempt and had to settle for bronze, Birmingham Arena hushed and watched as local athlete Douglas sprinted down to take his last effort. As he took off into his hop, however, an audible gasp could be heard from the pitside seats – he had over-stepped the board and Michale Puplampu was the new British Indoor Triple Jump Champion. After a jumping career hindered by persistent injuries, Pumplampu’s first National Senior victory was not only dramatic but also a popular one given his struggle over several years to get back to jumping near his best. Having finished in the top 2, and showing he is in good form, Douglas should hopefully be rewarded with his place in Glasgow when the British selectors meet later this week.
Lacking his early season spring, Scott Hall took 6th place thanks to his last round effort of 15.58m ahead of Efe Uwaifo’s opening round 15.54m. Nonso Okolo leapt 15.17m off a short approach on his return to competition, taking 8th, just ahead of Henry Clarkson (15.16m) whose step phase didn’t click quite as it had while taking the recent Scottish Senior title.
After such little jumping preparation, Sam Trigg‘s opener of 15.08m was a promising bound, and good enough for 10th after a hamstring pull during his second effort unfortunately ended his day early, and hopefully he can recover in the coming weeks to prepare for the summer season. Sale duo Kevin Metzger (14.93m) and Seun Okome (14.89m) were unable to replicate their early season lifetime bests in the high 15 metre-range and finished 11th and 12th respectively.
1. Michael Puplampu 16.28m (15.95m, X, 15.55m, 14.79m, 15.59m, 16.28m)
2. Nathan Douglas 16.27m (15.92m, 16.27m, X, X, X, X)
3. Nathan Fox 16.12m (16.12m, 15.75m, X, X, X, X)
4. Jonathan Ilori 15.97m (15.64m, 15.74m, X, X, X, 15.97m)
5. Daniel Lewis 15.77m (15.73m, X, X, 15.41, 15.46m, 15.77m)
6. Scott Hall 15.58m (X, 15.57m, 14.98m, 15.39m, X, 15.58m)
7. Efe Uwaifo 15.54m (15.54m, 15.24m, X, 15.25m, 15.22m, X)
8. Nonso Okolo 15.17m (15.17m, 14.93m, 15.01m, 14.83m, X, 14.93m)
9. Henry Clarkson 15.16m (14.91m, 14.95m, 15.16m)
10. Sam Trigg 15.08m (15.08m, X, P)
11. Kevin Metzger 14.93m (14.68m, 14.64m, 14.93m)
12. Seun Okome 14.89m (14.89m, X, 14.78m)
–. Julian Reid NM