5th March 2023
LAKE SEVENTH IN HIGH JUMP AS KING REACHES FIRST CAREER EUROPEAN INDOOR FINAL
Morgan Lake (coach: Robbie Grabarz; club: Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow) finished seventh in the women’s high jump during the penultimate session of the European Indoor Championships while David King (Tim O’Neil; City of Plymouth) guaranteed himself a finals place in the men’s 60m hurdles in Istanbul.
Lake has been in superb form this season, jumping a British record 1.99m in the Czech Republic and claiming the UK indoor title once again last month, but unfortunately didn’t reach the heights she knows she can in the women’s high jump final as she recorded a best of 1.86m which placed her seventh.
That meant the British team’s medal tally remained on four going into the last remaining session in Turkey, which, however, will see fellow UK champion King fight for a medal as he progressed out of the semi-finals of the men’s 60m hurdles to reach his first career European indoor final.
Lake qualified for the women’s high jump final with a leap of 1.91m – delivering exactly when it was needed with her final attempt at the height. While the final began with the bar set at 1.80m, Lake was one of only two in the field to choose to pass.
She entered the competition at 1.86m and cleared it with her first attempt to move up to 1.91m with confidence. However, Lake unfortunately could not find enough to pass that height with three failures leaving her with a best of 1.86m and seventh place overall.
She said: “I started with one of the highest opening heights I’ve ever had [1.86m] and I had so much confidence coming in, so that’s why I’m finding it hard to process at the moment. There was no part of me that didn’t think I was going to medal so I have to deal with that now.
“There are some raw emotions coming off the track. I wasn’t sure if I was going to do the European indoors, I just wanted to jump high indoors and get my confidence back in myself, which I did in breaking the British record.
“I kept jumping higher and higher, and I’ve been consistent. Robbie [Grabarz] and I said we might as well have a crack at the Europeans as I was ranked second going in and was in my best form. Now I know where I am physically, it’s that mental side that I need to get control of.”
King, who claimed the UK indoor title last month and finished sixth in the world last year, needed to put a less than ideal performance in the heats of the 60m hurdles to one side if he was to ensure he made his first European indoor final.
That is exactly what he did in the second of the two semi-finals, a good start followed by a clean set of hurdling as he clocked 7.68 seconds to place fourth and guarantee a place in the final, his first in three attempts at these championships.
His time ranked him seventh overall and a delighted King said: “I am buzzing. It’s nice to qualify by right. I knew I was good enough to be in that final. These are guys I’ve raced against for the last four-five years on the circuit; there is no one in that field that I haven’t beaten before.
“The goal was always to make the final and go from there. There is no pressure on me. Indoors is always fun, and I would love a medal, so we will see. I need to do better in that final than I did in that race, but I know I am capable of more.”
Coverage of the European Indoor Championships concludes at 1530 on BBC Two on Sunday 5 March. Full details can be found here.
A timetable, start lists and results can be found on the European Athletics website here
Great Britain & Northern Ireland medal tally:
Gold: Laura Muir – 1500m
Silver: Neil Gourley – 1500m
Bronze: Melissa Courtney-Bryant – 3000m
Bronze: Daryll Neita – 60m