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Tomlinson upbeat despite setback
11:57am Monday 25th June 2012 in London Olympics 2012 - Latest News
CHRIS TOMLINSON admitted his performance was rusty but insisted he wouldn’t hit the panic button just yet after failing to book his Olympic place in Birmingham.
Tomlinson needed a top-two finish in the long jump at the Aviva 2012 Trials and to go beyond 8.20m to book a London 2012 place but he settled for third with a best leap of 7.89m.
Training partner and joint British record holder with Tomlinson, Greg Rutherford, did book his Olympic ticket with victory while JJ Jegede took silver with an effort of 7.90m.
Tomlinson will now head to this week’s European Championships in Helsinki in a bid to persuade selectors of his claims and he remains confident of doing so.
“It took me six rounds to get into the competition and I only jumped well in the final round,” said Tomlinson, who finished fifth on his Olympic debut in Athens but disappointed four years ago in Beijing.
“It is just rustiness, that’s all there was too it. You could see the final jump was getting there but I need to compete and get out there.
“I’ll take confidence from my last jump into the Europeans but I need to go back and think about what happened and think what was good and what was bad and move on.
“I am certainly rusty, I am good in training but a bit lacking around that take-off board. I think possibly not competing that much earlier this year was a bit of a mistake but I have still got time and the Europeans this week, so I will go out there and give it my all.”
While Tomlinson was left sweating on his Olympic place, north-east distance runners Ross Murray, Nick McCormick and Laura Weightman were all toasting theirs.
Murray finished second in the men’s 1500m on Saturday and having already ran a time well inside the London 2012 A standard it was good enough to book him a place.
Weightman, who likewise was in a similar situation, broke with a lap to go in the women’s 1500m and wasn’t troubled as she emphatically sealed her Olympic selection with victory.
McCormick made certain a place with silver in the 5,000m and Murray, who this time last year was contemplating a career as a holiday rep, couldn’t quite believe his personal turnaround.
“I am absolutely buzzing that I am going to the Games,”
he said. “I definitely wouldn’t have believed it at the start of the year but as the year has gone on I have improved with every race and my performances have improved.
“Then I thought ‘I can do this, I can do this’ and so to have done it is great. This time last year I think everybody knows I was overweight and not running properly and doing a lot of other things with my life.
“I was just being a normal student so my life has changed massively. Within the space of about five weeks I have gone from being a nobody to going to London.”
They will also be joined in London by star pole vaulter Holly Bleasdale.
She cleared the Olympic A standard at the final attempt but then went on to smash a British record of 4.71m - and is already thinking bigger – or higher.
“I was so nervous that I would bomb out without a height but I’ve proved to myself that I can cope when the pressure is on and that will stand me in good stead should it happen again,” said Bleasdale.
“I almost gave myself a heart attack but when I got into my swing everything came together and I was much more confident.
“Anyone who doubted me I’ve just showed to them with the new British record what type of character I am. I can be gritty and determined and I can get through it.
“I’m better than ever before and everything seems to be flowing now. I can’t see why I can’t have a crack at the world record in the Olympics.”
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