Chris Tomlinson (Newham and Essex Beagles) improved his UK long jump record to 8.29 metres at an international meeting in Bad Langensalza, Germany, on Saturday 7 July. His fourth round leap added 2cm to the record he set in the USA five years ago.
But Tomlinson – coached by Peter Stanley, who guided Jonathan Edwards to the Olympic triple jump title – did not win the competition. Gable Garenamotse (Botswana), a graduate of the University of Wales Institute Cardiff, won with 8.34m.
Tomlinson thought he had snatched a dramatic victory with a giant leap in the last round – but it was ruled a foul because he slightly over-stepped the take-off board. Officials were so impressed that they measured it from where he took off: it was 8.50m, which would have placed him third in the world rankings.
“I think we can take that as proof that there’s more to come,” said delighted coach Stanley.
Here is an event-by-event guide to leading performances by UK athletes this week:
Men’s 100m: Marlon Devonish (Coventry Godiva Harriers) continues to blaze the hottest trail towards the Norwich Union World Trials & UK Championships at the Manchester Regional Arena on 27-29 July. He lowered his lifetime best to 10.09 seconds at the IAAF Grand Prix meeting in Athens on Monday evening, 2 July. Continuing the great form he has already shown in Oslo and Munich, he powered to second place behind Derrick Atkins (Bahamas), who clocked 9.95 seconds. Two-hundredths of a second behind Devonish in third place was the Olympic silver medallist and reigning European champion Francis Obikwelu (Portugal) ... with Mark Lewis-Francis (Birchfield Harriers), sixth in 10.23, European Cup 100m winner Craig Pickering (Marshall Milton Keynes AC) seventh in 10.24 as he concluded a hectic period of high-class racing and Jason Gardener (Wessex and Bath AC) ninth in 10.32 on his return from injury. Continuing to race himself back towards fitness, Gardener was third in 10.34 at the IAAF Grand Prix meeting in rainy Zagreb on Wednesday evening, 4 July, with his young training mate Ryan Scott (Yate and District) fifth in 10.44; Matic Osovnikar (Slovenia) won in 10.19.
Men’s 200m: UWIC’s gentle giant Tim Abeyie (Woodford Green with Essex Ladies) scored the highest quality victory of his rapidly developing career in Zagreb. He blasted through the puddles of lane seven to win in 20 67 seconds and rise from eighth to second in the Power of 10 rankings behind the in-form Devonish, who has a season’s best of 20.33 from his Cup win in Munich. Abeyie’s time was within a hundredth of a second of his lifetime best, achieved last summer in much friendlier weather in Istanbul. He ran a powerful bend and then held his form perfectly to finish two-hundredths of a second ahead of Christopher Williams (Jamaica) with Patrick Johnson (Australia) third in 20.78 and 100m winner Osovnikar fourth in 20.88.
Men’s 400m: Tim Benjamin (Belgrave Harriers) was second in Zagreb in 46.57, only 0.28sec behind Alleyne Francique (Grenada). Benjamin accelerated to 46.23 – and again finished one place ahead of Francique – 48 hours later at the IAAF Golden League meeting in Paris but placed seventh in a race won in 44.62 by LaShawn Merritt (USA).
Men’s 1500m: Chris Warburton (Notts) continued his happy travels by winning in Budapest in 3:41.97, four seconds clear of his nearest rival. It follows his season’s best of 3:40.78 in Germany in May.
Men’s 110m hurdles: William Sharman (Belgrave Harriers) was second in 13.87 seconds, two-hundredths behind Stanislav Sajdok (Czech Republic) in Budapest on Friday. But the Loughborough-based Sharman got his revenge at the same venue on Saturday, winning in a photo-finish with both men timed at 13.83.
Men’s hammer: Andy Frost (Woodford Green with Essex Ladies) won the hammer for the Isle of Wight with a throw of 69.51m from a freshly-laid circle at the Island Games in Rhodes on 2 July. Alex Smith (Sale Harriers Manchester) warmed-up for the European Junior Championships in Hengelo next week by winning the Under 20 competition at a major international meeting in Varazdin, Croatia, with a meeting record of 73.06m, within 75cm of his lifetime best. His training partner James Bedford was third with 67.97m. Andrew Jordon (Blackheath and Bromley) added 10cm to his PB in reaching 67.54m for second place in the Under 17 competition, won at 73.47m by Akos Hudi (Hungary).
Women’s sprints: Jeanette Kwakye (Woodford Green with Essex Ladies) lowered her 200m best to 23.18 seconds for fifth place in an Athens race won by Debbie Ferguson (Bahamas) in 22.49. Kwakye earlier placed seventh in the B 100m in 11.47; victory went to Brianna Glenn (USA) in 11.19.
Women’s 800m: Also in Athens, Marilyn Okoro (Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers) lowered her personal best by 12-hundredths of a second to 1 minute 59.63 seconds to finish sixth in a blanket finish. Svetlana Cherkasova (Russia) won in 1:59.03. Jemma Simpson (Newquay and Par) was fourth in Zagreb in 2:02.32. Lucia Klocova (Slovakia) won in 2:01.56.
Women’s shot: Rebecca Peake (Sale Harriers Manchester) maintained her UK Challenge form in winning in Budapest with a 16.01m put – her second successive competition beyond 16m. Alison Rodger (Victoria Park Glasgow) won for Scotland at a throws international in Varazdin, Croatia, with 15.63m within 1cm of her best.
Women’s discus: Kirsty Law (Inverness Harriers) followed her fabulous PB of 55.52m at last week’s UK Challenge ThrowsFest with 50.97m for victory in Varazdin.
Women’s hammer: UK Challenge leader Zoe Derham (Birchfield Harriers) added 1.26m to her PB with a victorious throw of 67.80m in Varazdin. Carys Parry (Rhondda) was third with 62.31m ahead of a couple more PBs: Laura Douglas (Sale) fourth with 62.10m, a 1.27m improvement, and Sarah Holt fifth with 61.07m, a 2.43m improvement. Hayley Murray (Nuneaton) was second in the Junior competition with 52.03m, within 41cm of her best.
Women’s javelin: UK record holder and European Cup First League winner Goldie Sayers (Belgrave Harriers) was eighth in Athens. After two no-throws, she recorded her best effort of 59.21m. European Christine Obergfoll (Germany) won with 67.78m. BUSA Champion Lauren Therin (Channel Islands) won the Island Games title with a throw of 50.54m in Rhodes.