Ohuruogu leads British hopes

FIVE Newham & Essex Beagle athletes will be flying out to represent Great Britain at the inaugural European team championships in Leira, Portugal, which start on Saturday. Olympic champion Christine Ohuruogu will compete in the 200m, rather than the 400m,

FIVE Newham & Essex Beagle athletes will be flying out to represent Great Britain at the inaugural European team championships in Leira, Portugal, which start on Saturday.

Olympic champion Christine Ohuruogu will compete in the 200m, rather than the 400m, while in-form Chris Tomlinson returns in the long jump. Tyrone Edgar is part of the 4x100m relay squad, Mo Farah will run the 5,000m and Steve Lewis will compete in the pole vault at the two-day event.

Lewis is coming off the back of a good indoor season and the 23-year-old is more than happy with his preparation.

"I'm coming into good form right now and I'm very excited," he admitted.


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"I don't see why I can't get a podium. I'm in good shape and I am confident. It's about getting pole selection right and competing hard, and you do need a bit of luck as well.

"I've usually done a few more competitions by this time of year. I have left it a bit later and trained a bit harder and I'm hopeful this will pay off later on in the season.

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"Indoor has set me up very well. I reached my qualifying standard for the world championships nice and early and I've shown I'm ready to compete at the higher level.

"Everything is always moving forward and changing, I've been focusing on technical elements, I'm getting stronger, faster and moving forward as whole."

Despite his confidence, there is however, a new format where vaulters are only allowed seven jumps in the competition, a scenario Lewis is far from pleased about.

"The format is changing and all of the athletes are not too happy with it," he said.

"You can only take a maximum of seven jumps, it's frustrating, but rules are rules.

"Tactics are always to clear the bar first time, but sometimes that doesn't go how you'd like, there are so many variables."

The standard in Portugal looks high on paper and Lewis is determined to make his mark among the best in Europe.

"The two guys, the French and the Spanish competitors are one and two in Europe this year and the standard in the championships is always around 5.70m, 5.80m," he said.

"A win is always good for confidence, but there are two months of competition to go this summer, it's about building and hitting PB's.

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