Newham & Essex Beagles jump to it with super displays at GB indoor trials
JJ Jegede set a new stadium record on his way to long-jump victory at the Indoor UK Trials and Championships in Sheffield on Sunday.
The 26-year-old jumped 7.96 metres to seal a memorable gold and immediately set his sights on securing his place at the World Indoor Championships, which take place in Istanbul, Turkey next month.
The Newham & Essex Beagles jumper needs to reach the 8.15m mark in this weekend’s Aviva Grand Prix in Birmingham to be sure of his seat on the plane.
And Jegede believes he has every chance of qualification.
“It was a good performance, I’m really happy with it. I know I can get to the Worlds, I just hope I can get another chance,” he said.
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“Istanbul is something I’d really like to do. It’s going to be a lot harder making the qualifying distance indoors, but that’s what I’ve got to do.
“It’s a big year this year. I’m a Hackney boy, so the Olympics is literally on my doorstep, so I’m desperate to be there.
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“I’m determined to work hard in training to make it happen.”
On Saturday, Beagles athletes dominated the triple-jump competition, occupying three of the top four places.
Jamaican athlete Nick Thomas was the clear winner, jumping 16.18m, while Kola Adedoyin clinched the national title with a new lifetime-best 15.93m jump.
Further back in the field, 40-year-old Julian Golley placed fourth with a superb 15.04m effort and Adedoyin admitted he drew inspiration from the performance of his elder club-mate.
“It’s inspiring competing in a field with experienced athletes like Julian Golley,” he said.
“He’s 40 and he’s jumping close to what I’m jumping so it pushes me to go a little bit further and achieve what he’s done and a little bit more.
“I’m happy I won. Winter training’s been great this year. I hit a bit of a wall in January, so it was up and down as to whether I was going to compete today.
“I’m happy I did, coming here and winning my first national title.
“I’m not quite happy about the distance, but it,s work in progress for the summer.”