Johnson-Thompson eyes more after British high jump record

14 February 2015 / 21:53

Katarina Johnson-Thompson insists she still has plenty more in the tank in the high jump, after setting a new British record at the British Indoor Championships on the way to the title.

It was a three-horse race for gold at Sheffield's EIS on Saturday as Olympic heptathlete Johnson-Thompson went head-to-head with Isobel Pooley and rising star Morgan Lake.

Pooley was defending her British record of 1.96m but fell short of the pace set by Johnson-Thompson and Lake and had to settle for bronze with a jump of 1.88m.

It looked like 17-year-old Lake might take gold after she broke the British junior record with a jump of 1.94m to put her out in front, and heap the pressure on Johnson-Thompson.

But the experience of the Merseysider told as she cleared 1.97m on her first attempt and went in search of a spectacular two-metre leap.

It was just out of reach for her however and, despite her success, Johnson-Thompson says she is disappointed to have not reached the illusive landmark.

“It’s crazy because it’s a British record and a personal best, but without sounding too negative I really wanted that 2.00m,” she said.

“I cleared the 1.97 first attempt and with some space as well, so I just think I could have done a little bit better.

“Morgan just set the UK junior record and she’s matched what she did in the outdoors last year, so obviously she’s in a good place too.

“It’s great to have people jumping those heights with you otherwise I don’t think I could get up there.

“But it is my first high jump competition of the year and things are still improving so hopefully I should get it in the future.”

Lake wasn't the only youngster making waves in Sheffield with rising sprint star Chijindu Ujah taking gold in the 60m.

Ujah showed his ability last year when he went sub-ten seconds in the 100m and he did nothing to dispel the excitement surrounding his potential, clocking 6.57 to take a comfortable victory over Sean Safo-Antwi with Roy Ejiakuekwu taking bronze.

In the women's event Dina Asher-Smith never looked like losing as she crossed the line in 7.15 seconds.

And she says she is still adapting to her status as one of the most exciting sprinters in British athletics.

“Obviously you always want to go faster in the final than you do in the semi, but I really can’t complain. My PB last year was 7.22 and I’m running faster than that so I’m very happy,” she said.

“Personally I still don’t think I’m there, but to have people describing me as ‘world-class’ is unbelievable. I still feel like there is a huge difference between me and the best in the world, so we’ll have to see how I go.”

In the women's pole vault Sally Peake jumped 4.25m to take gold ahead of Abigail Roberts and Katie James and Nathan Fox took the triple jump title.

And there was also success for London 2012 hurdler Lawrence Clarke who beat David Omoregie to gold in the 60m hurdles with a time of 7.69.

Clarke has had his fair share of injury problems since 2012 but he says the win shows he is nearing his best and hopes it is a springboard to greater things.

“I’m pleased to win here, I’m going to take each round as it comes and go from there, I’m not complacent,” he said.

“I'm really pleased as the last couple of weeks have been really tough on my body. I’m in good shape, I’m running quicker than I did in Olympic year, which is great for my confidence and hopefully this can help me push on.”

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