Time running out despite Lewis win

NEWHAM and Essex Beagles pole vaulter Steve Lewis is preparing a last-gasp attempt to board the plane to Doha after falling short of the qualifying mark at the World Indoor Trials and UK Champ-ionships at the weekend, writes DAVID JORDAN. Lewis topped the

NEWHAM and Essex Beagles pole vaulter Steve Lewis is preparing a last-gasp attempt to board the plane to Doha after falling short of the qualifying mark at the World Indoor Trials and UK Champ-ionships at the weekend, writes DAVID JORDAN.

Lewis topped the podium at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield with a clearance of 5.56m to cement his status as the UK's top vaulter.

But despite retaining his crown ahead of Manchester's Andrew Sutcliffe and Luke Cutts of Dearneside, Lewis failed with three attempts at the crucial height of 5.71m.

And the 23-year-old admits he's running out of time to meet the standard ahead of the February 21 deadline.


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"Unfortunately I couldn't beat the Doha qualifying standard even though I gave it everything," said Lewis.

"I gave myself three shots at it but it just wasn't going to happen.

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"The deadline is getting closer and closer but everything is there or thereabouts so I'm sure I'll get there soon enough.

"Winter training was really good and I'm very happy with where I am right now.

"I've also got the Common-wealth Games to think about and it is an event I really enjoy.

"It's good to compete on such a high level and it is something that definitely motivates me.

"Before the Commonwealths I've also got the Europeans as well so they are my immediate aim and everything is looking good for it."

Fellow Newham and Essex Beagles athlete Chris Tomlinson insists his plans for Doha are on the back burner after he failed to defend his long jump title.

The 2008 world indoor silver medallist produced a final leap of 7.75m, but was forced to settle for silver behind GB rival Greg Rutherford.

And the 28-year-old insists he's taking his technique back to the drawing board before making any decisions on his 2010 itinerary.

"It wasn't my day today, Greg jumped well and so the title goes to him and I just have to congratulate him," said Tomlinson.

"I don't know if I'll be going to Doha or not, it doesn't matter really because until I get my long jump sorted it doesn't really matter where I go.

"I'm not really interested in competing anywhere at the moment, whether that is the world indoors, the Europeans or the Commonwealths because I'm not jumping well enough for it to be worthwhile.

"I'm tired of going to competitions and not being able to compete for medals. "My long jump hasn't been right for too long now and it is time I addressed it.

"I've been to plenty of major finals, I don't need the experience, and I don't want to go places just to make up the numbers in the finals anymore."

Aviva is proud to have been the No. 1 sponsor of UK Athletics since 1999 and is committed to developing the sport at every level, from playground to podium. Visit www.aviva.co.uk/athletics for more information.

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