04:00PM, Thursday 30 June 2022
Jessie Knight, Getty Images for British Athletics
Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow (WSEH) Athletics Club saw four of its athletes become British champions at the weekend, with Jessie Knight, Morgan Lake, Jodie Smith and Tade Ojora winning their respective events.
After a week which saw Lake, Knight and Ojora selected for Team England's Commonwealth Games track and field squad, they gave an illustration of why they're at the top of their game in Manchester.
In the process Knight nailed down her spot for the World Championships in Eugene, Oregon, next month (July 15-24). Lake has also been selected in the squad for the high jump, as has Alex Haydock-Wilson (Benke Blomkvist, Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow) in the 400m.
Knight (Marina Armstrong, WSEH), built on her encouraging start to the outdoor season by pipping Lina Nielsen to gold in the 400m hurdles in a time of 55.08. Nielsen fought all the way to the line for 55.32 with Hayley McLean third in 56.74.
Ojora retained his UK men’s 110m hurdles title in a time of 13.27 (wind +3.8m/s). In blustery conditions he raced clear of Bracknell’s Joshua Zeller (13.31) and David King of City of Plymouth AC (13.38).
WSEH's Smith completed seven events in the heptathlon, but there could only be one winner and she led from start to finish to claim the gold medal. In the absence of World Champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson, Smith finished clear of Ella Rush (5469) and Eloise Hind (5318) with a combined score of 5929.
She topped the leaderboard at the end of the first day after an impressive leap of 6.11m in the long jump and was able to build on that lead with a season’s best in the high jump. She also had the highest score in the javelin, with her throw of 42.39m giving her a 458-point lead heading into the 800m, the heptathlon’s final event.
Lake won her seventh successive high jump title in difficult conditions over the weekend, edging Emily Borthwick into silver. With the wind, rather than the competitors, often knocking off the bar, Lake managed a clearance of 1.85m.
Afterwards she tweeted: “I never want to blame the conditions and still don’t blame today's result on that, but the wind was no joke today. Regardless I’m grateful to have my seventh UK title.”
She also took to twitter to defend her reasoning for focusing on the high jump over the heptathlon.
She said: “I've had so many people over the past few years ask me when I'm going back to heptathlon or saying I have so much unfulfilled potential in the heptathlon.
“As a double Olympic high jump finalist, I do find it hurtful, but I know that's not the intention. The last couple of years I did the heptathlon broke me both mentally and physically and rather than stepping away from the sport as a whole, I channelled my love into the high jump.
“I’m sorry if people thought that was the wrong decision but it’s very easy to say ‘go back to Heptathlon’ without understanding what that requires. So, I just wanted to say I’m not going back to the heptathlon, and I do still think I can medal on the global stage as a high jumper, it just doesn’t quite happen overnight.”
Three WSEH AC athletes also finished on the podium in Manchester, with Amy Holder (discus), Jacob Paul (400m hurdles) and Jake Norris (hammer) all taking bronze.
Lake is showing good form ahead of what promises to be a busy summer, with the World Championships in Eugene next month and the Commonwealth Games following in Birmingham from late July. The track and field events get underway at the Alexander Stadium from August 2-7.
Liquid Leisure Windsor has issued a statement following the death of an 11-year-old girl at the water park on Saturday afternoon.