Tomlinson inspired by Aldama

26 June 2012 / 10:09

Chris Tomlinson has been inspired by training partner Yamile Aldama's achievements as he targets European and Olympic long jump glory.

Tomlinson finished fifth in the Olympics in Athens in 2004 but failed to make the final in Beijing four years later and has struggled to showcase his talent on the world stage. But the 30-year-old from Middlesbrough is aiming to follow in the footsteps of Aldama this summer after the 39-year-old mother of two won the world indoor triple jump title in Istanbul in March.

"I've been training with her for nearly four years so I've had that experience to feed off and there is no doubt she is a very knowledgeable triple jumper," Tomlinson said ahead of this week's European Athletics Championships in Helsinki.

"She's 40 in August and has been a world-class athlete for nigh-on 20 years which is an achievement in itself. As a whole I've learnt from that, but what the world indoors did was a simple 'If she can do it, why can't I do it?'

"She came back as world indoor champion and she's 39. So why can't I be Olympic champion?

"If someone had said a year and a half ago, when her son Diego was born, she's going to be world indoor champion, one of the favourites for Olympic gold, everyone would have laughed.

"But she has shown you can do whatever if you believe in it. So much of this sport is belief.

"British athletes now are starting to believe, we are seeing more athletes come out of the woodwork and across the board we are at a competitive level and can bring back a lot of medals (from the London Games).

"A lot of that comes from belief."