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Page last updated at 16:41 GMT, Sunday, 13 July 2008 17:41 UK
British Olympic trials

Friday 11 July to Sunday 13 July

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'Superman' Idowu leaps to victory

Phillips Idowu underlined his claim to the Olympic triple jump crown by landing the longest jump in the world in 2008 at the British Olympic trials.

The 29-year-old effortlessly pulled out a jump of 17.58 metres on his first attempt to win a fourth British title.

Idowu, who now goes to Beijing as Britain's best medal hope in track and field, told BBC Sport: "It is always nice to win and to remain undefeated.

"I feel like Superman. I don't think anyone can stop me. I'm bullet-proof."

Another of Britain's best medal hopes, world 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu, tuned up for Beijing with second place in the 200m.

Ohuruogu chose not to run in the 400m at the trials as she already has the Olympic standard of 51.55 seconds and was eager to test her pace over half the distance.

The 24-year-old Londoner finished second in 22.99 secs behind Emily Freeman, who won in 22.92.

"It was something different and it was still very competitive," said Ohuruogu. "I had to stay focused for the whole day."

Athens Olympic bronze medallist Kelly Sotherton struggled to prove her medal credentials for China after a mediocre weekend on home soil in Birmingham.


After below-par performances in the shot put and high jump on Saturday, the heptathlete wrapped up with 6.28m in the long jump and a season's best javelin throw of 34.31m.

But the 31-year-old, who revealed she had torn her quad muscle two weeks ago after only just recovering from a kidney infection, remained optimistic.

"This week I've only started to run, so everything I've done here was about seeing what my body could do," Sotherton said.

"I think I'm the favourite underdog at the Olympics. As soon as I stick on a British vest it means I have got to do it."

Goldie Sayers, who could also pull off an Olympic podium finish, claimed the javelin title with an impressive final-round throw of 62.62m.

Welsh sprinter Christian Malcolm proved he had shaken off a series of injuries to secure his place at the Olympics with victory in the 200m.

The 29-year-old made an awful start but a strong finish saw him beat Alex Nelson to the line and win in 20.52 secs.

"It was a shocking bend but it's going in the right direction for me and I'm looking forward to the rest of the season," Malcolm said.

"I've been unlucky with injuries but now I can get on with the hard work."

Marlon Devonish will hope the selectors give him the third place in the 200m on past form after he withdrew because of illness.

Martyn Rooney kept up his unbeaten run over 400m in Birmingham, winning the British crown in 45.31 seconds.

Marilyn Okoro
Okoro celebrates her first national title in the 800m

The competitive edge of the men's 400m was diminished when defending champion Andrew Steele pulled out of the final.

Rooney dominated, and was followed home by Rob Tobin and former United States decathlete Michael Bingham.

"I need someone to race against to run 44 seconds," Rooney, 21, told BBC Sport. "But it's the first time I've won the title so I'm happy.

"I need to get some more endurance training done in the next few weeks and hopefully I'll go to Beijing and do the business there."

In a competitive men's high jump competition, Tom Parsons snatched the British crown with a new personal best of 2.30m.

The jump exactly matched the Olympic qualifying standard to make Parsons the third athlete along with Martyn Bernard and Samson Oni to achieve it this season.

Germaine Mason has a season's best of 2.28m but could only clear 2.27m at the trials for second place ahead of Bernard (2.23).

The men's 1500m was run without British number one Andy Baddeley, who finished second in the 800m on Saturday.

The race still proved to be a cracking contest with Nick McCormick, who does not have the Olympic qualifying standard, setting a fast pace from the gun.

But Tom Lancashire roared to the front on the back straight and raced to a clear victory in 3:38.93 ahead of 5,000m specialist Mo Farah with Chris Warburton third.

"I think I've done what I needed to do and it's the realisation of a lifelong dream," said Lancashire, who already has the qualifying time.

A British record is not even something I thought of - all I really wanted was to win

New British 3,000m steeplechase record holder Helen Clitheroe

Michael East finished down in ninth but he also has the required standard and so could still be picked for the Games.

Marilyn Okoro made sure the women's 800m was not as competitive as its billing, as she took control on the final lap to win in 1:59.81.

The 23-year-old crossed the line clear of fast-finishing rival Jemma Simpson, who also has the qualifying time for Beijing along with Jenny Meadows who missed the trials because of illness.

Jade Johnson continued her comeback from two years in the wilderness by claiming the long jump title.

The 28-year-old, who finished seventh at the 2004 Olympics but has since struggled with a series of injures, edged Sotherton into second with a leap of 6.30m

Johnson, who also lost her lottery funding at the end of last season, already has the Olympic qualifying mark with a personal best of 6.81m last month at the European Cup.

"I always knew I'd be back," said Johnson. "I am a big stage person and for me, it's always been about the Olympics. I was getting down but I'm a fighter."

Helen Clitheroe set a new British record of 9.36:98 on her way to the 3,000m steeplechase title.

The 34-year-old from Preston is one of four athletes to reach the Olympic standard and is hoping for one last roll of the dice in Beijing.

"A British record is not even something I thought of as all I really wanted was to win," said the former 1500m runner.

"It's probably going to be my last Olympics and I just hope they pick me. I'm glad I've proved myself as a steeplechaser now."

Jo Pavey ran a solo race in the 5,000m, crossing the line in 15 minutes 12.56 seconds well clear of second-placed Hayley Yelling.

The 34-year-old, who was fourth in Athens four years ago, has now set her sights on an elusive medal in Beijing.

"It'll be tough but I will do everything to achieve my goal. It would be a dream come true," Pavey said.

"I'm in tough training at the moment so it's lovely to come out and do the trial. I really enjoyed it."

Richard Yates set a personal best on his way to a first British title in the 400m hurdles, winning in 49.50 secs.

The 22-year-old's time exactly matches the 'B' standard for Beijing, which means he could be selected on the basis of his future potential.

Commonwealth bronze medallist Steve Lewis cleared a height of 5.60m to claim a second pole vault title.

British record-holder Nick Buckfield withdrew from the event and Lewis failed in all three of his attempts to set a new record of 5.82m.

Sarah Claxton, who has already dipped below the Olympic standard of 12.96 secs, won a fourth national 100m hurdles title in 13.12.

Despite leading at the bell, Andrew Lemoncello lost his 3,000m steeplechase title to Adam Bowden who over-hauled the Scot with a fast finish. Luke Gunn finished second.

But Bowden's winning time was well outside the Olympic standard, which both Lemoncello and fourth-placed Stuart Stokes have.

Emeka Udechuku, who works for a bank, took the men's discus title with a throw of 59.35m.

The shot put title again went toCarl Myerscough with a throw of 20.15m while Beijing-bound Johanna Jackson took the 5,000m walk title with Daniel King clinching the men's crown.

Under the governing body's selection criteria, athletes must finish first or second at the trials and have already achieved the qualifying standard for their event.

The guidelines also stipulate athletes must have a proven record of top-eight finishes at Olympic or World Championship level - or the potential to achieve that in the future.

UK Athletics performance director Dave Collins has set a target of winning five medals in Beijing next month and will select the athletes capable of delivering that haul on Monday.

UKA estimate they will announce around 60 athletes on Monday with the team finalised the following Saturday.

see also
Team GB for Beijing
01 Jul 08 |  Team GB
Athletics on the BBC
28 May 08 |  Athletics
Macey misses out on Olympic mark
13 Jul 08 |  Athletics
Twell wins to boost Beijing hopes
13 Jul 08 |  Athletics
Chambers storms to 100m victory
12 Jul 08 |  Athletics
Rutherford finds form at trials
12 Jul 08 |  Athletics
Benjamin unavailable for Olympics
10 Jul 08 |  Athletics
Radcliffe 'on schedule' for Games
20 Jun 08 |  Athletics

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