Beagles Jegede is JJ-ust the best as he surpasses the magic mark
Long-jumper JJ Jegede set a lifetime best and surpassed the magic eight-metre mark on his way to victory at the Aviva Grand Prix in Birmingham on Saturday.
The Newham & Essex Beagles athlete jumped a huge 8.04m at the National Indoor Arena – comfortably the biggest jump by a UK athlete this year.
The distance was not enough to seal a place at the World Indoor Championships next month, but the 26-year-old has not given up on a spot on the plane to Turkey just yet.
“I’m probably going to do one more meet and see if I can get close to the 8.20m mark and then go back into winter training and get ready for the outdoor season,” said Jegede.
“It’s a pity I missed out on world indoor qualifying, which is 8.15m, but I beat a world class field, so I’m happy about that and hopeful for 2012.”
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World 5,000m champion Mo Farah smashed the British record in the two-mile race, clocking eight minutes 08.07 seconds.
Yet Farah was disappointed to finish second behind Olympic silver medallist Eliud Kipchoge from Kenya.
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“I felt a bit flat on the last kilometre because I’d been up with the pace early on, but it’s coming together,” said Farah. “It’s tough out there you know, you can’t always win and races like that really keep you on our toes.”
In the men’s high jump, Robbie Grabarz continued his excellent start to 2012 with a dominant victory.
The Beagles jumper made a slow start to the competition – only clearing 2.20m on his third attempt – but went on to win comfortably with a 2.32m clearance.
After three unsuccessful attempts to clear a British record 2.39m – 5cm higher than his personal best – Grabarz believes he now has the mindset to clear the bigger distances and challenge the world leaders.
“It’s definitely a confidence thing and I’ve really overcome the psychological barriers that were holding me back,” he said.
“I know what I can do, I know I’ve got it and I don’t want to waste it.”
Asha Philip recovered from her disappointment of disqualification in Sheffield last weekend to finish fourth in the 60m final.
Philip set a personal best 7.19 and now tops the UK rankings for 2012.
“It was such a buzz and a confidence boost,” she said. “I can’t put it into words really. I’m so excited about things at the moment.”