Wiganer targets Commonwealth Games after becoming British champ
Harry Coppell admits he can't wait for the Commonwealth Games after just missing out on a new British record over the weekend.
The 25-year-old Wiganer became British pole vault champion with a height of 5.75m - 35cm clear of second-placed Adam Hague.
And despite coming agonisingly close to clearing what would have been a national record height of 5.86m - 1cm higher than his own record - Coppell's in a great place ahead of next month's showpiece event.
“It feels amazing," he said. “It feels like I have this reputation when I come to (the British) Champs and I just get it done and jump as high as I can.
"The last three years I have gone to Champs and jumped a season's best or a personal best which is incredible.
“I wanted to have a go at the British record, because I was jumping really well considering the conditions out there.
"I went off the short run, because the wind was proving a little bit chaotic, I'm using new poles, but I was determined to give it a go with everything I've got.
"I definitely feel like I’m in shape to break my personal best this year, but it's about getting the right competition, the right day and the right competitors.
"There are a lot of things that go into it, but I have all the tools to do it."
Coppell certainly sent out a statement to his rivals ahead of the Commonwealth Games, which get under way in Birmingham on July 28.
"I'm so excited about that, the fact it's a home Games makes it even more amazing," he said.
"It's also my first Commonwealth, I just missed the standard for the last one in Gold Coast.
"I know everyone's been telling me it's such a special Games.
"I definitely feel in the eyes of the public it goes Olympics then Commonwealth, and then the Worlds and European underneath, because they're not multi sports.
"I can't wait to experience it, I've never jumped there and I just know it's going to be great."
Coppell's partner, high jumper Emily Borthwick, came second in her event at the weekend.
She and Morgan Lake both cleared 1.85m, with Lake taking the spoils having done so earlier.
Kate Anson was third with 1.79m.
"Lost myself for a while but showed me how strong I am and I can deal with anything that life throws at me," Borthwick tweeted. "Smiles at British Champs and Commonwealth selection for Birmingham in August. Keep showing up and things will fall into place. Proud of myself."
Meanwhile, Keely Hodgkinson finished fifth in the women's 400m in a personal best of 52.41 seconds, with the title won by Victoria Ohuruogu.
The 20-year-old from Leigh, who is coached by Wigan’s Trevor Painter and his wife Jenny Meadows, was using the weekend as speed training, having dropped down from the 800m, as she plans adding to her Olympic silver medal in Birmingham.
"I'll be going in as one of the favourites to medal," she said. "You can't think of the pressure or get too nervous because it's a really good position to be in.
"I'm just looking forward to going out there and fighting for the gold medal."