Commonwealth champion Steve Lewis expressed how he feels reborn with a shot a second major international title in as many weeks secured at the European Athletics Championships in Zurich.
Lewis finally claimed pole vault Commonwealth gold at the third time of asking at Glasgow 2014 and booked his place in the European final after first-time clearances of 5.40m and 5.50m in qualifying.
Luke Cutts, who Lewis beat to the Commonwealth gold after a tense jump off, couldn’t follow suit and bowed out after three failures at 5.40m on an otherwise positive morning for the British team.
“It was good. I was definitely in the right head space to make easy qualification and I did it with two jumps,” said Lewis, a Commonwealth silver medallist in 2010 and bronze medallist in 2006.
“I feel like I’ve got a new lease of life and I definitely want to aim for the podium and just think big. It felt good standing on the podium in Glasgow, so I want to try and feel it again.”
Aside from the pole vault, just the men’s and women’s 200m heats were scheduled for Britain on the third morning in Zurich with all six sprinters making light work of advancing to the semi-finals.
Commonwealth silver and bronze medallists Jodie Williams and Bianca Williams both won their heats as did Dina Asher-Smith after a great bend to pip 100m silver medallist Myriam Soumare.
All three British men made progress as well – Danny Talbot and Adam Gemili victorious in their respective heats while James Ellington was second to Christophe Lemaitre in his.
Gemili, who won silver over 100m at the Commonwealth Games, clocked 20.39 seconds to advance to the semi-finals at the fastest qualifier and he’s still got plenty more left in the tank.
“It was OK, quicker than I thought it would be given I was trying to conserve my energy. I didn’t run the bend as hard as I usually do, and was just trying to relax into the straight,” he said.
“Hopefully I can take this into the semis now and make it through to the final. Once I’m in the final anything can happen.”
© Sportsbeat 2014