VAULTER VAULTER

Bryan stands by her decision to pull out of the pole vault event

LUCY Bryan faces an anxious wait before hearing this week whether she has made the Great Britain team for the European Under-20 Championship.

On paper and on current form, there is not even the slightest doubt that the 18-year-old pole vaulter from Backwell deserves to be selected as she is top of the UK Rankings, has easily surpassed the qualifying standard of 3.90m with her personal best of 4.35m last month and is a genuine contender for a medal at the Europeans in Italy.

But Bryan’s decision to pull out of the trials on Saturday because of the dangerous conditions – though the event went ahead – may have left her vulnerable if the selectors are feeling contrary.

“The conditions were horrible with a very strong cross-wind and my coach (Charles Preston) and I decided we would not risk it,” said Bryan.

“I was quite shocked that they didn’t cancel the event as it was dangerous. Charles spoke to one of the team managers and said I wasn’t going to risk getting inured, so I didn’t vault.”

Bryan’s caution is understandable as she has been suffering from a back problem which requires constant management and has kept her competitions to a minimum to avoid aggravating it.

While the event went ahead the winning height was only 3.45m so only Bryan has achieved the qualifying standard, so it would be a major shock if she was overlooked.

“I really hope to compete in the European Juniors, but now I will have to wait and see what happens,” added Bryan.

Fellow Bristol & West AC athlete Leon Reid will also be hoping he has done enough to be named in the squad to travel to Rieti.

The 18-year-old, from St George, finished runner-up in the under-20 men’s 200m in a time of 21.25secs, which equalled the qualifying standard for the European Under-20 Championships and was just 0.02secs outside his personal best that he set in Belgium at the start of the month.

It leaves Reid, who is second on the UK Rankings, with a strong claim for a place in the team for both the 200m and the sprint relay.

As winner of the under-23 men’s 3000m steeplechase Charlie Maclean would stand a good chance of selection, but with the qualifying time standing at 8mins 40secs MacLean would need a big improvement on his lifetime best of 8:56.01, so that ticket to Finland may be beyond him.

Olivia Sadler, who recently returned from university in America, has already had a long season so can take great satisfaction from winning a bronze medal in the 1500m with sister Miranda ninth.

There were also a fine performance from Adam Wall to finish fourth in the Under-23s high jump, while Dan Studley was ninth in the 1500m.

Sprinter Chris Stone, who has had a great season to date, had to pull up with hamstring problems when well placed in the final of the 400m after a sparkling 48.32secs on his one-lap debut in the heats.

Bristol & West Olympian Emily Diamond decided not to risk running the trials as she has injured her hamstring.

But she is optimistic she will be named for the 400m and the relay for the European Under-23s in Tampere, Finland, next month.

Leave A Comment