Lewis finally feels at home
POLE Vaulter Steve Lewis admits he finally feels at home on the international stage and has vowed to prove his Team GB worth as he plots a three-pronged attack on the podium next year. The 23-year-old Newham & Essex Beagle has enjoyed the finest year of h
POLE Vaulter Steve Lewis admits he finally feels at home on the international stage and has vowed to prove his Team GB worth as he plots a three-pronged attack on the podium next year.
The 23-year-old Newham & Essex Beagle has enjoyed the finest year of his career to date, increasing his personal best to 5.75m and picking up his best finish at a major outdoor event at the World Championships in Berlin.
Lewis came within six centimetres of Nick Buckfield's seven-year-old indoor British record in January, before battling to seventh at the Olympiastadion in Berlin back in August.
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In 2007 and 2008, Lewis reached both the World Championships in Osaka and the Beijing Olympic Games only to falter when it mattered most.
However, having shown he can mix it with the best in Berlin, Lewis believes he's capable of medalling in 2010 at the World Indoor Championships, the European Championships and the Commonwealth Games.
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"Looking back, I had a really good season last year - I built on a good indoor season where I set a new personal best of 5.75m," said Lewis, who finished fourth at the European Indoor Championships in Italy.
"I would have liked to have built on that and bettered my personal best outdoors, but I was consistently in the 5.50s and 5.60s and then at the World Championships I put in my best performance on the world stage.
"Recently it has all been about collecting experiences and using them to my advantage. A couple of years ago I was still quite fresh faced, but now I have got a lot of experience and I feel comfortable on the bigger stage.
"I feel as if things are really progressing and I am really on the edge of something big.
"I always believe I have a real chance of getting a medal whenever I compete - I always aim high and I don't doubt what I can do staying injury free."
Lewis' outdoor best of 5.72m ranked him 15th in the world and ninth in Europe, but was nearly 30 centimetres off Frenchman Renaud Lavillenie who pulled off a best leap of 6.01m in 2009.
The Newham and Essex Beagles pole vaulter will strive to find extra centimetres over the winter and admitted doing so will be the difference between climbing the podium and not.
"I have been back winter training for a while now and I am flying at the moment," added Lewis. "I have been on the same programme in Loughborough for five years now and year-in-year-out I have been able to find things technically and physically that I can improve.
"You can always train to get faster and stronger and you have to keep finding those centimetres. It is getting harder to find them now but those centimetres are important to moving forward."
Lloyds TSB is the proud partner of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and supporter of Team GB on their journey to London 2012.