Lewis confident after advancing to European indoor final

02 March 2013 / 14:02

Steve Lewis exuded optimism after cruising into the men’s pole vault final on the penultimate morning of the European Indoor Championships in Gothenburg.

The 26-year-old settled on a leap of 5.70m in qualification group A, that mark eight centimetres better than his season’s best jump of 5.62m recorded in France in January.

Lewis, who finished fifth at the London 2012 Olympics, had the chance to attempt the automatic qualifying mark of 5.75m but opted out instead relying on 5.70m being good enough.

It was as Lewis placed equal third in his qualification group and equal third overall, a performance that leaves him confident ahead of the final on Sunday.

“I really enjoyed it. Everything went well, it is a good stadium and it has a nice feel to it,” said Lewis, who finished equal fifth at the World Indoor Championships last year.

“I have had a nice build up and I have showed where I am at. Qualifying is one thing in itself, you can only lose in qualifying and I have learnt how to deal with it.

“That was a season’s best in qualifying and I have never done that before. The runways are nice and I am ready to go. Watch this space.”

There was joy for all four Brits in action as Chris Tomlinson and Lauren Howarth qualified for the long jump and 3000m finals respectively and Asha Philip reached the 60m semi-finals.

Like Lewis, Tomlinson bettered his season best as he jumped 7.98m with his third and final attempt to place third in his qualification group and fifth overall.

Tomlinson has tasted success on the biggest stage indoors, winning silver at the World Indoor Championships in 2008, and is upbeat about what he can do in Sunday’s final.

“The second round jump I looked at the big screen and technically it was quite good. So in the third round I wanted to give it my all,” said Tomlinson.

“I gave it my all and I jumped a little bit further and when I am determined and aggressive that is when the big jumps happen.

“I might not necessarily jump big tomorrow but I will jump massive soon.”

Philip finished second in the second of three heats in the 60m with her time of 7.19seconds placing her eighth overall ahead of Sunday’s semi-finals.

The 22-year-old has enjoyed a fine indoor season so far with her season’s best 7.15 ran on the way to the UK title and she is feeling good about herself in Gothenburg,.

“I was in lane eight which was a bit slippy so I wasn’t sure what was going to happen but to come out with that result I am really happy,” said Philip.

“It is amazing to be back with the team and I don’t ever want to leave, I want to keep it. I feel like I belong after running like that in my first heat and I feel like I am back for good.”

Meanwhile Howarth was also second in her heat in the 3000m, clocking 9:03.30minutes, and she’s enjoying every minute of her British debut.

She said: “It has been amazing so far, there are some really good athletes to watch and it is good to learn from them. Hopefully I can build on this and make more senior teams in the future.”

© Sportsbeat 2013