Beagles duo ready for a medal rush!

NEWHAM and Essex Beagle Chris Tomlinson insists he s in the form of his life ahead of this World Championship bid, writes JAMES TONEY. Long jumper Tomlinson has long been talked about as a medal contender only to fail to deliver when it matters most. Berl

NEWHAM and Essex Beagle Chris Tomlinson insists he's in the form of his life ahead of this World Championship bid, writes JAMES TONEY.

Long jumper Tomlinson has long been talked about as a medal contender only to fail to deliver when it matters most.

Berlin will mark his fourth appearance at a World Championships in a British vest; with his ninth place finish in Paris in 2003, his best result to date.

"From my point of view this has probably been the most consistent year of my life," said Tomlinson.


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"I've been to eight world-class meetings and I have beaten some of the best guys in the world and I have got my world points ranking up to about fourth.

"I understand that at the moment I am an outside medal prospect and that is fine by me.

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"There are a few better jumpers than me in the world, but it is about time that I started to change that.

"It's all about how people perform in a championship when their name is called and I am fortunate enough that I went to the World Indoors last year and got silver, so I proved that I can do it on a global stage.

"And it's important for me now to really nail some big jumps when it counts and there is no better time than in Berlin."

Meanwhile, pole vaulter and fellow Beagle Steve Lewis, believes a masterclass from gold medal favourite Steve Hooker could give him an edge at the World Athletics Championships.

Lewis will attempt to make his first major championship pole vault final on Thursday, but the Commonwealth Games bronze medallist knows the task ahead isn't easy.

Earlier this year, he spent time with Olympic champion Hooker, giving him an up close and personal taste of what is required to reach the top.

"Training with Steve over the winter was great because he is a fantastic athlete and we get on really well," said Lewis.

"We have been good mates since the Commonwealth Games in 2006, but when we compete there isn't much of a rivalry really.

"Steve is obviously going to be the man to beat and it will take a lot of doing.

"However, I'm confident that I can compete and if I jump as I know I can, then I will be up there.

"Pole vault is one of those events where it is just you against gravity and so it doesn't matter who is in the competition, I just need to make sure I jump well."

Lewis enjoyed a successful winter season, finishing fourth at the European Indoor Championships in Turin and setting a 5.75m personal best in January.

His outdoor campaign has not been as successful, but he showed signs of a return to form with a 5.72m effort during a minor competition in Germany two weeks ago.

It's a height that ranks him 12th in the world - although he's not concerned about the names ahead, including Hooker and current world number one, France's Renaud Lavillenie.

"The aim is to make the final and I think I will have to jump 5.70m to do it, but I'm in as good shape as I can be," he said. "I know I have it in me. Some people have said that I might be too far off the rest of the world.

"I don't agree with that at all though, because 5.70m won a medal in the Olympics and I know that I am capable of that."

Aviva has been the team behind UK Athletics for over a decade, supporting the Aviva GB & NI Team both at home and abroad.

Please visit www. aviva.co.uk/athletics to find out more

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