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It was a beautiful day on Saturday for the second series of the British League fixtures. Paul Ogun from the group was competing at Lee Valley, so it was two trains and a tube and a 15 minute walk to get to the stadium. This is not my favourite track to visit, in a car it can take two-three hours and it's only about 25 miles from where I live. Last week I was moaning about the M25... turning into a grumpy old coach aren't I!
Still the competition was a good one with Che Richards putting on a bit of a show with two 7.60 plus marks to win. Feron Sayers, who jumped 7.80 a few years back and went to the Euro juniors in Rieti (where group member Elliot Safo won), is returning to form and managed 7.43 for second. JJ Jegede was also jumping and he had a couple of fouls that probably would have challenged for the lead. Two years back he suffered a really bad injury and it's really good to see him back and jumping.
Paul had been struggling recently and had yet to jump 7m since last year... he was not confident coming into the board and getting his take-off right. If there are these types of doubts in your mind then good performances are not likely yo happen. We also "know" that Paul needs comps to find his groove, it was not until the end of July when he jumped well last year... I do know from training that he's in advance physically compared to last year, so it's more of a confidence and technical thing at present.
Paul managed 7.19m and had, if I recall, three other jumps over 7m. His run-up was much improved and his jump was also "getting there". Different athletes have different needs and with Paul it's more of a case of competing and letting the confidence and timing return. Too much technical in-put can jam up his thought processes. It's a case of one step at a time...
Next week, we're off to Crystal Palace for the South of England Champs... Oliver Newport will be competing all being well, he's back from the US with a 7.77w and 7.60 under his belt and Paul and Jonathan Ilori will also be in the comp, so it's a bit of a group champs!