Poppy's delight as she jumps World Youths qualifying standard

Poppy Lake

Poppy Lake

First published in Sport by

HIGH jump star Poppy Lake said everything came together perfectly to ensure she hit her first big objective of the season in just her third meeting of the year.

Lake, 17, broke two personal bests at the Essex & Eastern Indoor Championships with her second – a magnificent clearance of 1.78m – having great significance.

It meant the Southend High School for Girls student has got the qualifying standard for the World Youth Championships in Ukraine this summer.

“That was why I let out a big scream when I cleared 1.78m,” said Lake, whose previous best was 1.75m. “That was such a big thing and it also puts me top of the UK under-20 rankings.”

Lake, who competes for Chelmsford AC, said she knew she was in good physical shape after a hard winter of training, but had been struggling mentally to turn that conditioning into big jumps.

“Mentally I have been struggling a little bit,” she said. “Physically I knew that jump was coming, but my head has not been quite right. I have no idea why.

“But I got it right at the weekend. I knew I was going to have to jump more than 1.70m to win it and my clearance of 1.76m was such a big jump I knew I could go higher.”

And Lake is now hoping the 1.80m clearance is something she can build on over the season to come.

“I’ve got the nationals in a few weeks and hopefully I can pull some more big jumps out there. “I’m sure I can jump higher. Last year I jumped 1.70m indoors and went on to 1.75m outdoors and I want a similar progression this year.”

* Lake also won an Essex gold and Eastern silver in the shot-putt (8.6m) and raced to an Essex bronze in the 60m hurdles (9.56s).

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