West athletes Gale and Blundell chasing glory at British Championships

TOM Gale will need to re-discover his major championships mentality if he is to keep alive his ambition of qualifying for the World Championships in Doha next month.
This weekend the Team Bath AC international high jumper from Trowbridge returns to the Alexander Stadium, in Birmingham, for the Muller British Athletics Championships hoping for a complete reversal in form.
Last Sunday Gale suffered three no jumps in the Muller Diamond League Grand Prix meeting at the same venue and if that happens again his chances of making the team would be minimal.
But that disappointing performance must be seen in the context of a recent ankle injury that severely hampered Gale’s training and left him seriously under-prepared but he says he is in a better frame of mind for the challenge ahead.
“I know I can raise my game for championships so as long as I sort out my head and forgot about what happened last week and remember what I have done this season then I should be competitive,” said Gale, who is joint top of the UK Rankings with Chris Baker on 2.27m this season.
“I knew I wasn’t in the best shape last weekend after the ankle injury to be honest so it just felt better being able to walk out for the competition rather than limp along.
“The competition was an opportunity to test my ankle and while it is not 100 per cent I am feeling a lot better about it.
“My biggest challenge now will be to have a fresh mindset for the trials.”
Jenna Blundell’s ambition is quite as lofty as Gale’s but she has set herself a clear-cut target for her first appearance in the trials.
“I am so excited to be racing at Birmingham and mixing it with the big girls,” said the 18-year-old, who competed for Bristol & West AC in the UK Women’s League campaign.
“I have raced some of those girls recently and done pretty well so that has given me a lot of confidence.
“The heats and final of the hurdles are both on Saturday so my main aim is to reach that final. That is my big goal.”
If Blundell can get close to her lifetime best of 13.56secs then she will certainly be in the mix to win a place in the final but it will need a big performance.
“I like racing at Birmingham as that is where I ran my PB to win the English Schools’ title last month so it is a good track for me,” added Blundell. “I am really looking forward to it.”
Blundell heads to Birmingham ranked 10th fastest in the country so she will need to claim a few scalps to book that final spot. On her current form she is more than capable of doing just that.


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