At the British Athletics European Indoor Selection Trials in Lee Valley, Jacob Fincham-Dukes (coach: Zivile Pukstiene; club: Leeds City) jumped an outright personal best of 8.08 metres to win the men’s long jump, while Andrew Robertson (Sam Robertson; Sale Harriers Manchester) won the men’s 60 metres in 6.61.
Fincham-Dukes was the star of the show at Lee Valley with his third-round effort of 8.08 metres the best of his career to date, and it also was over the European Indoor qualifying standard.
He commented post-event: “Today went better than I could have expected. I am just really happy I got over the qualifier and set a PB. It means a lot. I’ve been working really hard over this last year and a half. It means everything. I did 7.99 indoors a couple of years ago and outdoor last year I was having a bunch of injury problems, so it’s always difficult going into the winter carrying that with you, but I just worked really hard and took real good care of my body. I made sure everything I was doing was at a better standard and it’s paying off and there’s more to come.
“About a month or so ago I actually had Covid, I tested positive, so I was like ‘oh my god’ am I going to get back [from the US where Jacob is based doing his Masters]. I got over it and was negative in time to come back so I am glad from that aspect as well. I am just happy I could put in a good performance.”
Also in the long jump, European T13 silver medallist, Zak Skinner (Aston Moore; Tonbridge) was narrowly outside his outright best as he jumped 6.80 metres.
In the women’s long jump, Jazmin Sawyers (City of Stoke) took top spot with a leap of 6.45m ahead of Abigail Irozuru (Self-coached; Sale Harriers Manchester) in second with 6.34m. Olivia Breen (Aston Moore; City of Portsmouth) jumped an indoor personal best of 4.65 metres.
Andrew Robertson (Sam Robertson; Sale Harriers Manchester) impressed in the men’s 60m as he won in a season best time of 6.61 ahead of Oliver Bromby (Marvin Rowe; Southampton) and Harry Aikines-Aryeetey (Benke Blomkvist; Sutton & District) – they both clocked 6.67 for second and third respectively.
Robertson said: “It was an OK run, not my best, but I’m just very grateful to be here today. It’s been such a difficult year for everyone. Hopefully that’s enough to secure the European Indoor Championships.
“I felt OK coming into today. I had a good run at Loughborough last week which probably took a bit more out of me than I thought. The most important thing is I wanted to come here and execute two good runs and I’ve done that. It’s a case now of sharpening up. I’ve had a fantastic winter preparation, just need races now. Hopefully I’ve done to get sharpened up enough now ready for two weeks’ time.”
In the women’s 60m, Alisha Rees (Leon Baptiste; Edinburgh) came home first with a time of 7.37, just outside her season best.
David King (Tim O’Neil; City of Plymouth), who flew in from America at 8:30am on Saturday morning, won the men’s 60m hurdles in a time of 7.73.
“I flew in from the US this morning, so I actually arrived at Heathrow at 08.30am. I’ve just flown in from Phoenix so it must be about 4am or 5am right now, for me. There has been such limited competition opportunity even in America. I just wanted to have the chance to come here and try and run the time. I just needed to prove some form and I’m really happy with the time of 7.73. To run that after that trip, I’m really happy.”
Efe Uwaifo (John Herbert; Enfield and Haringey) and Jahisha Thomas (John Shepherd; Blackheath & Bromley) were the winners of the men’s and women’s triple jump.
Uwaifo won with a best of 15.99m, while Thomas won the women’s contest with a best of 12.93 metres which came in round one.
Ryan Thomas Williams