Gold medallist Jake on high after national win
University athlete keeps his cool to win in the Steel City
BRUNEL University high jumper Jake Storey admits he is still in a state of shock after dramatically winning gold at the BUCS Nationals in Sheffield.
Storey joined more than 6,000 other students in heading to the Steel City for the UK’s largest annual multi-sport event.
He qualified for the high jump final by safely clearing 1.95m in qualification on Saturday before returning to the English Institute of Sport arena 24 hours later.
It took a jump-off to determine the winner, but his clearance of 2.07m was ultimately enough to take gold, with fellow Brunel athlete Thomas Howlett settling for silver. Storey believes his adjustments during qualifying made all the difference.
“We started on Saturday with the qualifiers and I kept failing my first jump, so I just told myself to concentrate,” said Storey.
“I changed a few things, moved my run-up back and got my second jumps first time. I was quite happy with that. On Sunday, the warm-up jumps were fine and then I got the first jumps and kept clearing them.
“I was thinking it would put me in a strong position in the case of a countback, which is what happened. I got to the final jump of 2.07m and it was a jump-off. I just made sure I kept my back straight, arched really hard and just went for it and it happened.
“I was surprised the bar stayed on to be honest. I was happy. It’s good to do it for the team because there are loads of people in the stand supporting you.”
Storey and Howlett were not the only Brunel athletes to find success at the BUCS Nationals as Emma Nwofor and Alex Wort took bronze in the women’s and men’s 60m hurdles respectively.
Wort, who is a decathlete by trade, claims he is now full of con- fidence ahead of next weekend’s Indoor British Championships, which double as trials for the World Indoor Championships, in Portland, later this year.
“I’ve been here at BUCS for the past two years. I made the final last year but I came eighth and so getting a bronze makes me feel ecstatic,” said Wort. “I’ve got British trials next weekend which will be a good experience, and then it is into the outdoor season.”
British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) is the national governing body for higher education sport in the UK, organising leagues and competitions for more than 150 institutions across 52 different sports. Partnered by Deloitte, BUCS supports athletes from a grass roots level through to Commonwealth and Olympic Games hopefuls. Go to www.bucs. org.uk.
n SURPRISE: Jake Storey