Grabarz hitting form after retaining national title

14 July 2013 / 16:24

Robbie Grabarz insists he's coming back into form just in time for next month's World Championships in Moscow.

Grabarz retained his national high jump title at the Sainsbury's British Championships in Birmingham, edging out local favourite Tom Parsons to claim gold with a 2.28 metre clearance.

The 25-year old European champion arrived at last year's Olympics as one of the world's in-form high jumpers and duly delivered on his podium potential with a memorable bronze.

But this season has not been so easy. Injury niggles caused early season problems while his 2.31 metre season's best ranks him only seventh in the world - with key rivals Bohdan Bondarenko and Mutaz Essa Barshim both clearing over 2.40m.

"For Moscow I’m looking to come in under the radar and clean sweep it," said Grabarz.

"Now we’ve just got to get all the technical stuff right that we haven’t been able to and we’ll be laughing. 

"I had a couple of setbacks early in the season but I'm feeling good and I'm confident in my body. I can't effect what anybody else is doing and heights they are getting. 

"It's about doing it at a major championship, like I did last year at the Europeans and Olympics. This isn't new to me any more, I'm confident, I know what I can do."

Anyika Onuora continued her impressive recent form to regain her 200m national title in 22.71 seconds.

It was her quickest ever time, although an illegal wind means it won't erase the personal best she set in Hengelo last month.

The 26-year old looks a new athlete following her decision to relocate to Loughborough and join forces with new coach Rana Reider.

"It was a little bit special wasn’t it?" said Onuora.

"I’d like to think I’m in the form of my life. I’m feeling really good and I just hope it all bodes well for Moscow. I’ve got that opportunity now I’ve secured the actual ticket for the plane.

"I’m more than in shape and this just proves that and it's great to get my title back.  We’ve been training non-stop and my coach has made some changes to our programmes and about 95% of his athletes are going to Moscow, so it’s working well.

"Although it was an illegal wind, it wasn’t that much of a wind and it was a great race."

James Ellington edged out British number one Richard Kilty to win the men's 200m in 20.45 seconds, William Sharman ran a season's best 13.44 secs to win the 110m hurdles and Perri Shakes Drayton clocked 54.36 secs to confidently retain her 400m hurdles crown.

"I couldn’t really ask for more if I’m honest," she said.

"I just had to get past that line first, that’s all I wanted. My aims for Moscow are simple - make the final and get a medal. That’s what I want."

Hannah England held off the determined challenge of Emma Jackson to win over 1500m, in a race that saw former winners Charlene Thomas and Laura Weightman fall and former world silver medallist Lisa Dobriskey pull out with an injury.

"I’m pleased to have won, I am delighted to have booked myself on the plane to Moscow, but I am disappointed to have won in that way," said England, a world silver medallist two years ago in Daegu.

"I wanted to beat the others fair and square so I am disappointed I didn’t get to do that. I wanted to execute my tactics but with the falls that didn’t really happen.

"Falls are a part of the 1,500m, but it’s rare to see that in a British only race, but I think that’s just a mark of the quality of the field we have."

Shara Proctor continued her impressive recent form to retain her long jump title but the British record she predicted never materialised, though a narrowly illegal third round effort could have smashed the 6.95m best she set in Birmingham last year.

Elsewhere, Andy Vernon won the men's 5000m and Greg Beard produced a 18.29m personal best to win the men's shot.


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