Grabarz thinks big after Rome win

01 June 2012 / 17:47

A quick look at his bank balance told Britain's Robbie Grabarz that it was about time he concentrated on making the most of his obvious talent.

That moment came at the end of a "pretty poor" 2011 in his own words, a year which saw him fail to qualify for the World Championships in Daegu and ended with him losing his lottery funding.

But just six months later that bank balance is richer to the tune of 10,000 US dollars following his victory in the high jump at Thursday night's Diamond League meeting in Rome, a win which also produced an outdoor personal best of 2.33 metres to move top of the world rankings this season.

And after taking the scalps of current world champion Jesse Williams and former world indoor champion Ivan Ukhov in the Stadio Olimpico, Grabarz had a simple answer to the question as to what had made the difference.

"My brain," said the 24-year-old from Cambridgeshire, whose Polish surname comes from his grandfather. "I've been focusing a lot more and giving it everything I've got, mentally and physically in the way I address competition and training.

"It's always been there, I was probably scared to apply it 100% before, but I thought why not give it a go and have no real regrets when it comes to an end."

Grabarz is not afraid to admit that his mind would previously wander to thoughts about going to the pub during training and competitions, but the reality check of last year finally forced him to knuckle down.

Asked what prompted the change, he added: "A pretty poor 2011 to be honest. I finished that season, I knew my funding was going and it put it into reality that it's actually really what I want to do and I love doing.

"It got to the point where there was no money in my account by the time the season came around so it was jump high or go home."