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IAAF World Championships, Osaka - Day 3 morning session

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Martyn Bernard
Martyn Bernard
Tom Parsons
Tom Parsons

27 August 2007

 

British history was made at in the morning session on Day 3 at the IAAF World Championships in the Nagai Stadium, Osaka.

 

Men’s high jump

 

For the first time ever, two British athletes will contest the men’s high jump final at an IAAF World Championships after Tom Parsons (Birchfield Harriers) and Martyn Bernard (City of Sheffield) both cleared the automatic qualification height of 2.29m in the qualifying round, both setting new personal bests in the process.

 

Bernard cleared in his second attempt after also having one failure each at both 2.23m and 2.26m.  It was a lifetime best outdoors for the 22 year-old, but he has an indoor PB of 2.30m from his bronze-medal winning performance at the European Indoor Championships this year.

 

23-year-old Parsons was a late selection for the Norwich Union GB & NI team, but proved his worth with a gutsy third attempt clearance at 2.29m, a 1cm improvement on his previous best.  The other British representative Germaine Mason (unnattached) was eliminated at 2.23m, his best effort being 2.19m.

 

Bernard said: “It’s a personal best outdoors, but I think my personal best should be a lot higher and I’m really hoping to do that in the final and with a team-mate as well that is going to be pushing me along, it’s going to be great.”

 

Parsons said: “I can’t believe it. I came here and thought I’ll take as many scalps as I can. I started off well in warm-up and I just felt I had really good rhythm today and I knew I’d got a big jump in my body.

 

“It’s been on the cards for a while and I’m just glad I could pull it out on the big occasion. I’ve proved something to myself. I’m starting to believe I belong here. I’m chuffed to bits.”

 

On making 2.29m at his final attempt, he said: “My coach was just telling me to enjoy it. I jump better when I’m relaxed. My coach told me to get the crowd involved on the last jump, so I got the clap going and just felt ‘yeah, this is my moment and I’ve got to take it’.”

 

The final takes place on Wednesday 29 August at 20:00 local time, 12.00 BST. 

 

Women’s 400m hurdles

 

Tasha Danvers-Smith (Shaftesbury Barnet) clinched automatic qualification from the women’s 400m hurdles first round, by finishing third in heat 1 in 55.67 secs.

 

 

For other Championship news, plus results, timetables and photographs click here.