November 1976, (Newport,
Isle of Wight)
Pentathlon, Long Jump
||(fomerly: Charles van
Sotherton, who played
netball for Hampshire as a teenager, won two English Schools’ in the
heptathlon, as an inter in 1992 and senior two years later.
She won the 1995 AAA U20
title and went on to make her junior international debut that year.
1997 - 2000
She improved considerably in
1997 with a PB of 5513 and also took her long jump best to 6.10 (and a
The following winter
she took silver in the AAA indoor 400 but it was 2000 before she got back to
form following a knee injury.
Sotherton’s senior GB
debut came in 2002 when she finished third in the Five Nations International in
Zaragoza, improving her 60m hurdles and shot PBs en route to a new pentathlon
best of 4188.
She followed up with AAA
titles in the long jump and the pentathlon and in the summer her heptathlon PB
was improved three times, finishing the campaign with a best of 5794 at the
European Cup. Victory in the 400m hurdles at the Cup Final, in a PB of 58.72,
brought thoughts of moving to that event during 2003 but she enjoyed such a
successful campaign and broke into 6000 points territory that she later quit her
job to concentrate fully on the heptathlon.
Commonwealth Games 2002,
The indoor campaign in 2003
brought her another AAA title in the pentathlon and a heptathlon PB followed in
Gotzis but it was really the European Cup for Combined Events that saw her make
a major breakthrough. A spell training in the States had been the platform for a
successful summer and in Tallinn she broke 6000 points and qualified for Lottery
funding as she recorded a score of 6059.
She recorded an indoor long
jump best of 6.38m at the European Indoor Cup in 2004.
aiming to go the distance
OF WIGHT heptathlete Kelly Sotherton Sotherton
has one last stop-off in Britain before jetting out to the Olympics Games in
She will be going all out to crack the Olympic long jump qualifying
distance at Crystal Palace tonight - irrespective of whether she can double up
The 27-year-old Isle of
Wight all-rounder is already guaranteed an Olympic place in the heptathlon, in
which she currently ranks third in the world, but she is a tantalising two
centimetres short of the A long jump standard, having leaped 6.68 centimetres in
Poland last month.
Tonight she faces a classy
international field in the Norwich Union London Grand Prix, including Jamaica's
world leader Elva Goulbourne, British number one Jade Johnson and
Olympic heptathlon champion Denise Lewis, Sotherton's friend and training
partner in her adopted home city of Birmingham.
Johnson is Britain's only
women's long jumper currently selected for Athens and Sotherton is unsure what
would happen were she to achieve the 6.70 target just five days before she jets
off to the Olympic holding camp in Cyprus.
She said: "It's
a perfect event to double up in because there's a four-day gap between that and
the heptathlon (August 20/21). It would be nice if the selectors could
reconsider and select me for the long jump, but I'm not relying on it. If I'm
picked, I'm picked and if I'm not, I'm not. The heptathlon is the most important
Island girl Kelly a double winner
Sotherton continued her impressive countdown to the Olympics with a double win
yesterday. Competing in the Norwich Union three event challenge in Birmingham,
the Isle of Wight girl won the 110m hurdles in 13.62s and the high jump with a
leap of 1.76m - three cms better than her nearest rival, guaranteeing her
overall glory, but she was fourth, the javelin, with a throw of 35.27.
was fourth in her problem event, the javelin with a throw of 35.27.
a training partner of Olympic champion Denise Lewis, was critical of her own
performance. "There was a great
crowd, which always helps, but I obviously have not listened to all the advice
Denise Lewis has given me because I didn't use any of it! I did okay, but I was
a bit under par and felt a bit lacklustre.
think I expected too much from myself, which put me under too much pressure, but
I got through it, so that's okay.
am disappointed with my javelin. I have thrown five metres further than that,
but the javelin is only one event in seven.
am learning so many new things, so it's hard for me to put it all
|Athens Olympics 2004
Sotherton (Birchfield Harriers) can just about afford a quiet smile when she
hears people talk about Lottery millions helping to buy Team GB success at the
Olympic Games in Athens.
She knows how the story
started. Millions have been spent on modernising the facilities for the UK’s
sportsmen and women over the past half dozen or so years and the Birmingham High
Performance Centre at the Alexander Stadium has been a major factor in her
emergence among the World’s best heptathletes.
But she also knows better
than most what a giant misinterpretation it is when people start chatting about
the sports people themselves picking up millions to help their pursuit of glory
in an increasingly professional environment. Sotherton herself gets by on £570
a month. That’s £6800 a year. “It’s
tight, very tight; I’m really skint,”
she says of her budget – though she is something of a financial expert, having
given up a career in banking to pursue her Olympic dream.
And don’t get her wrong.
She’s not complaining about the low pay. On the contrary, she is adamant that
her great advances this year have been due to the fact that last summer she
earned a place on the UK Athletics World Class Performance Programme, funded by
UK Sport from the Lottery.
She gave up her job last
autumn, moved to a small house near Alexander Stadium and set about fulfilling
her athletics potential. “I’ve
waited a long time to start doing something,”
says the 28-year-old with a wry smile. Then
she’s deadly serious: “I
want it so much. I am doing it because I enjoy it. It’s hard work but I really
want to succeed – to do the best I can.”
It did not take her long to
match her hopes with achievements. After only seven months as a fulltime athlete
under the coaching guidance of Charles van Commenee, the UK Athletics Technical
Director for Combined Events, Sotherton leapt to second place in the World
heptathlon rankings behind the World Champion Carolina Kluft (Sweden). She did
so by scoring a personal best of 6406 points to finish second at the IAAF
Combined Events Challenge meeting in Gotzis, Austria, on 29-30 May.
In the highest quality
competition of her life, she reeled off lifetime bests in five of the seven
events to improve sensationally on her previous best, 6059 points at last
season’s Spar European Cup of Combined Events. “Fantastic!”
commented van Commenee, who is not noted for sound bite praise of his charges.
Even now, with the season
about to reach its climax in Athens, she is third in the current World rankings
behind Kluft, who totalled 6820 in Gotzis and 6769 at the Spar European Cup of
Combined Events in Tallinn in June, and Svetlana Sokolova (Russia), who totalled
6594 in Tallinn.
As if that isn’t
impressive enough, she reeled off more PBs in single events seemingly at will as
the season developed ... 1.78m in the high jump (ranking her ninth in the UK) at
Woerden, Netherlands, on May 20; 13.29 in the 100m hurdles (ranking her fourth
in the UK) and 23.57 in the 200m (ranking her seventh in the UK) at the Bedford
International Games on 13 June; 6.68m in the long jump (ranking her second in
the UK) at the Spar European Cup in Bydgoszcz, Poland, on 20 June.
As for her weakest events,
the throws, her javelin best is now 40.81m (only two years after she managed 27m
at the Commonwealth Games) and her shot put has improved beyond 13.60m –
nothing to write home about in comparison with global standards but a
considerable notch or two above her previous PB of 12.77m that had stood since
One can only imagine the
hard work throughout last winter that has led to these improvements, especially
in the events in which she has traditionally struggled.
For the javelin, for
example, medicine ball work, weights and endless strength and conditioning
seemed to be having no positive effects for weeks and months. But she
persevered. And at the Norwich Union Athens Preparation Camp in Cyprus during
the springtime, UK Athletics Technical Director for Throws John Trower helped
her with her medicine ball routine. “The
next weekend, after thousands and thousands of throws, it just clicked,” recalls
Sotherton. “I thought it
was like Denise in 1994 … absolutely great.”
Denise Lewis sealed her heptathlon victory at the 1994 Commonwealth Games with
an amazing javelin PB of 53.68m – an achievement that launched her on her
progression to the 2000 Olympic Games Gold medal.
For the shot, Sotherton
reckons a couple of thousand throws during the winter led to her improving by a
metre and a half this summer. “It’s
all about hard work and determination.”
But she uses her high jump
trials and tribulations as an example of how hard it is to be perfect in seven
events in two days: “I
jumped 1.75m in 1997. I have always had the ability to jump. But technically I
wasn’t right. We’ve worked quite hard and hopefully in Athens I will be able
to jump 1.80m.”
So where does she
hope/expect to finish among the World’s best and fittest all-round athletes?
Given the fact that all of her main rivals have much more experience of the big
occasion, she could fend off the nasty question with a flippant if accurate:
‘It’s a Lottery!’
But she is much more serious
about her sport than that: “I’m
still aiming for the top eight. But then I could finish fifth or fourth even if
someone has a bad event or two. But I am being realistic: top eight this time
and a possible medallist next year [at the World Championships].”
Then she takes a deep breath
and finally gives the real clues why she gave up her comfortable job to pursue
her athletics dreams: “I
am a competitor at the end of the day. I want to beat everybody. One day I would
like to think I can beat Kluft. Nobody is unbeatable for ever.”
Sotherton took the Bronze medal in the Women's Heptathlon at the
Athens Olympics. Her runaway victory in the 800m was not quite
enough to boost her into the silver medal position, but nevertheless
she set a trend among the GB team by wearing a flag around her waist
during the medals ceremony.
Sotherton reaches new level
Olympic medal will take Kelly Sotherton off the pages of Athletics
Weekly and on to a much higher platform. AW's coverstar on August 11
will now have entered the consciousness of the national public, the
millions of casual athletics fans who are only really familiar with
the top dozen or so athletes in the British team.
how does she feel about going on A Question of Sport, perhaps, this
she says, pondering the question. "It
sounds okay. I'm a bit of a statto so I reckon I could get a few
then she stops, checks back, and her new-found athletics discipline
takes over. "I'd
probably only do stuff like that for the next few weeks, though.
Come November I'll be back in hard training."
More like this week. With coach Charles van Commenee cracking the
whip, the 27-year-old is due to start stretching and striding today
(Wednesday) and will compete in the multi-events contest in Talence
guiding Denise Lewis to Olympic gold in Sydney and now another
Birchfield Harrier to bronze in Athens, Van Commenee has proved
himself the master coach. His 'Sweetenham-style' approach to
preparation could also be what UK Athletics is looking for when they
appoint a successor to Max Jones, the performance director.
Famously, on the
eve of the Games, he said Sotherton had little chance of winning a
medal. It was a ploy, says Sotherton, to take the pressure off her. "But
I still wanted to prove him wrong," she added.
Then, after her
800m in Athens, the UKA technical director for jumps and combined
events apparently accused his charge of not giving 110 per cent.
Commenee got hold of Sotherton she was a competent heptathlete, but
hardly one setting the world alight. She was the English No.2 behind
Julie Hollman going into Manchester 2002 and finished seventh. Then,
she almost switched to 400m hurdles after clocking 58.72 but after
securing Lottery money she was able to ditch her job as a debt
collector for a bank and go full-time as an athlete.
She has even
admitted her previous training was only half-hearted - while coached
by Trevor Marsay - and she was too partial to fish and chip suppers.
During the winter
she has used the new indoor training facilities at the high
performance centre in Birmingham under the watchful eye of Van
Commenee and alongside the rehabilitating Lewis.
She went into the
summer with a best of 6059 but then set five personal bests en-route
to a 6406 score in Gštzis, which put her second behind Carolina
She has improved
her javelin mark by eight metres while her trump card event, the
long jump, has been spectacular all season, with a best of 6.68m
almost keeping Jade Johnson out of the British Olympic team.
At the GB training
camp in Cyprus she ran a 600m time trial in 1:28, which buoyed her
confidence and led to observers such as Kelly
Holmes to remark that "this girl is
worth watching in Athens".
Then, in Athens,
she performed to the best of her ability, handling immense pressure
in the long jump and 800m especially, to win a medal. In the long
jump she fouled her first two jumps and had only one chance left to
register a mark. She put her marker back about 3ft on the runway,
but even then hit the board with only an inch or two to spare to
In the 800m she
had to beat Austra Skujyte by more than five seconds to win silver
and she fell just short - front-running 2:12.27 to Skujyte's
was so drained, mentally drained," she said, adding that
she had had about seven hours' sleep in the two nights preceding the
final day of competition. "But I took it
(the 800m) out and did my best."
All of which is
quite a journey from humble days spent growing up on the Isle of
Wight, where she was born.
she played netball for Hampshire in her teens and won two English
Schools' titles. But until this year little pointed to her being
able to win a medal at the Olympics.
She just needed a
canny coach with a steel-toed boot to bring out the best in her.
of Wight star Kelly Sotherton confessed it will take time for the
"enormity" of her Olympic medal-winning achievements to
grabbed bronze in the heptathlon on Saturday night - and if she had
run two seconds faster in the final event, the 800m, she would have
pipped Austra Skujyte to the silver medal.
"I went out
to get the silver medal so I'm actually disappointed,"
Birmingham-based athlete, whose training partner and Sydney gold
medallist Denise Lewis was forced to pull out of the event through
injury, added: "I only did one personal best over the two days
and my javelin was poor.
jump for a PB
"But I got
a bronze medal and I don't believe it. I can't believe the enormity
of an Olympic bronze. I had a dream of a medal, but this is a
feels like at the moment is as if I won bronze in a national
championships - but I'm sure it will sink in soon."
been in silver medal position after an excellent long jump, her best
But she could
manage only 37.19 metres in the javelin and, despite a gutsy run in
the 800, Skujyte held on.
the European and World champion, won the event by 517 points.
signs off in style
Kelly Sotherton closed her heptathlon season with a win in Sunday's
Decastar meeting in France.
Sotherton, the overnight leader after
the first day's action in Talence, maintained her motivation after a long
season to dominate the competition.
The Birchfield Harrier totalled 6,242
points, well ahead of Ukrainian runner-up Natalya Dobrynska (6,010).
Sotherton was a surprise third at the
Olympic Games last month after winning four of the seven events.
Former world champion Yelena
Prokhorova of Russia was third in France with 5,887 points.
Different pressures now for `star'
ISLE of Wight-born
Olympic bronze medal winning heptathlete Kelly Sotherton is now back from
Athens and, after time to take stock, she speaks to the Southern Daily
Echo about her experience...
KELLY SOTHERTON is
finding it hard to come back down after the emotional high of winning an
The Isle of Wight-born
athlete, 27, claimed bronze in the women's heptathlon in Greece last
Had she gone two
seconds faster in the final event, the 800m, she would have won silver.
Sotherton, who lives
in Birmingham, has confessed she now has to handle greater pressure and
public expectation - starting with next year's World Championships in
completely overwhelmed by the response I have got since I got back to
"I went down to
the doctors the other morning and even she knew who I was and took time to
"In myself, I
must admit to feeling emotionally drained, but I think a lot of athletes
feel like that after coming back from an Olympics.
"Apart from that
life seems to be going on as normal. I don't think the realisation of what
I have achieved has really hit me yet, and it might not do so for quite a
long time to be honest.
"I now know as
well that there will be a whole load of different pressures on me come
next year's World Championships.
"In my own head,
I knew I could win a medal this time round, but nobody in the media was
"I didn't make my
thoughts public though, because I didn't want to put any added pressure on
"Next year a lot
more will be expected of me from others and that is something I need to
learn to deal with.
"I can handle
that and hopefully I can deliver on it."
Sotherton was just one
British athlete in Athens to benefit from Lottery funding.
The extra financial
help she received helped her to give up her day job in a Birmingham bank
and concentrate full-time on her Olympic preparations.
"I know I am at a
new level now, and I want to take time to thank the British public for the
support they have given me through buying their Lottery tickets every
week," she admitted.
"The funding I
have received from the National Lottery through UK Sport has been
invaluable, allowing me to give up my part-time job and focus fully on my
"I have my own
idea in my head of what I want to achieve every time I compete.
"In Athens there
was a slight sense of disappointment that I only got the bronze in the
end, as it could have been silver.
"It has been well
reported that my coach Charles van Commenee was quite hard on me after the
last event in my heptathlon, the 800m, where he felt that I could have
gone harder for silver.
"But that moment
is gone now. At the end of the day I have to get on with my life.
"I felt that I
approached Athens in the right way and I will be replicating my approach
at the Worlds next year."
training partner Denise Lewis to bounce back from her Olympic misery - the
Sydney gold medallist pulled out of the heptathlon midway through the
event through injury.
"I would like to
have seen her finish.
"She may regret
not doing that - possibly for the rest of her life,"
"But she has a
bronze and a gold medal from previous Olympics, so she has already
achieved all there is to achieve.
"I fancy her to
come back stronger from this and I fully expect her to be there in
October 27, 2004
KELLY SOTHERTON has
revealed how she may coach herself when Charles van Commenee takes up a
new technical director's role in Holland in the new year.
Sotherton won Britain's
first track and field medal at the Olympic Games in Athens when she took
surprise bronze in the heptathlon.
She then made headlines
because of Van Commenee's criticising her for not going faster in the
800m, the last event. She won her heat, but missed out on overall silver
by 11 points.
Yet despite that upset,
Sotherton, 27, has talked about the inspiration she gains from Van
Commenee, even if some of his guidance might not be that you would find in
a coaching manual.
He was on the shortlist
for the position of performance director at UK Athletics but has chosen to
return to his native country to become technical director of the
Netherlands Olympic Association.
Van Commenee, who guided
Denise Lewis to Olympic heptathlon glory in Sydney in 2000, is UKA's
technical director for combined events and jumps and was among the
favourites to succeed Max Jones, who retires as head coach in March.
But Van Commenee's exit
means Sotherton will need to find a new coach, though she may do it
She said: "He
is not going until January and we are going to chat in the next couple of
days about what I can do. He is going to help me to be able to coach
myself, perhaps write my own programme and be in charge of my own
coaching, but I can still use people around me for technical advice on how
to set my own programmes.
is good for me because I want to coach after I finish athletics. He will
always be at the other end of the telephone or an email, he will always be
my advisory. I'd have to draw on three or four individuals who will help
me instead of one coach."
But she could not
believe Van Commenee's complaint in the moment of her glory in Athens.
She added: "I
don't think many people in this country liked him after what he said when
I had won my medal. But I have forgiven him. He says things for a reason
and to get my back up so I can prove him wrong.
then he has regretted what he did and he has apologised to me.
athletes want are results. My motto this year is what Denise Lewis told
me: Keep your eyes on the prize. It is all that you think about. It does
not matter how you get it or how harsh your coach is, if he can get that
for you, then that is all you think.
have been some harsh times. Even Denise has said 'bloody hell Charles, you
did not have to say that'. But he has done everything for a reason and
those reasons have paid off."
Sotherton unsure about
British heptathlete Kelly Sotherton
admits she has concerns about London's bid to host the 2012 Olympics.
Just two days before Lord Coe unveils
details of London's candidature, the Olympic bronze medallist said: "I
must admit I'm not 100% behind the bid.
"I know it'd be a good thing for
London but last year I went to Barcelona and the Olympic stadium was
"My fear is the whole area set
aside for the Games here would become a white elephant - like the
She added: "If
it happened, of course I would be happy with that.
"I will only be 35, so you never
know - maybe I would have one more Olympics left in me and it would be
great to bow out at a Games hosted by my country.
"And I gather it is only
supposed to be adding a small amount to people's Council Tax. But I don't
think that it is completely viable."
Sotherton was speaking at a media day
for the Norwich Union Grand Prix on 18 February.
She will take on Athens heptathlon
champion Carolina Kluft at the meeting.
The Birmingham-based athlete will
face Kluft in the 60m hurdles and long jump at the city's National Indoor
Sotherton ended the year second
behind the Swede in the rankings after winning the last IAAF Combined
Events meeting of the season in Talence.
Her main aim for 2005 is to finish in
the medals at the World Championships.
Before that event in August, she will
challenge for honours at the European Indoor Championships in Madrid in
The 28-year-old said: "I've
been back in full training since the beginning of November.
"I hope to win medal in Madrid
and then I will compete in Gotzis at the end of May.
"If I get a decent enough score
there, it will be a case of not doing another one and preparing myself for
Helsinki and the World Championships."
Kluft, who will be making only her
second appearance at a British meet, said: "It
will be a good competition for me before the championships in
Sotherton denies rift with
Kelly Sotherton will continue to work
with coach Charles van Commenee, despite his public criticism of her in
Athens and his move to the Netherlands.
Van Commenee, who has taken an
athletics post in his native country, accused the British heptathlete of "running
like a wimp" at the Olympics.
The Birchfield Harrier missed silver
by a second after her efforts in the 800m.
But Sotherton said he will remain her
advisor and she will use specialist event coaches in his full-time
Unusually, Sotherton will oversee her
own training schedule and look to a team that includes John Trower - Steve
Backley's javelin coach - and Aston Moore, Ashia Hansen's triple jump
coach, to help on technical issues.
Max Jones, the former performance
director of UK Athletics (UKA), will supervise her shot and Ted King will
focus on her long-jumping and sprinting.
"If I could find one person to
do everything then I would, but I do not feel there is anybody, not in
this country," the 28-year-old
told BBC Sport.
"Probably people think I am
stupid, but there is nothing else I can do.
"Of course it is bad timing with
things just starting to happen for me on the world stage, but I just have
to get on with it."
Reflecting on her Olympic experience,
Sotherton admitted tough-talking van Commenee, who guided Denise Lewis to
Olympic heptathlon gold in Sydney 2000, had spoilt her party with his
"Obviously Charles was very
upset by Denise going out and me getting the bronze when the silver was so
"But if he was going to have a
pop at me, I would have thought it would have been behind closed doors,
not in front of the press.
"I would rather forget it
because even though it should have been the best day of my life, it
"What was said was the reason
why I am not as excited as I should be about winning a bronze medal.
"But after that we had 4-5 days
apart and then had a chat and he said 'you know we have come a long way in
under a year - further than we thought we ever could'.
"Yes, he is a hard man but he is
also one of the best - if not the best - multi-events coach in the world
and I look to the positives in Charles.
"He is very passionate about his
coaching and athletics and that's what makes him good."
Van Commenee started working with
Sotherton in March 2003 and in just 10 months took her from outside the
world's top 20 to the Olympic podium and number two in the global
Sotherton also refuses to rule out
working with the Dutchman, who left his post of technical director with
UKA to become technical director of the Netherlands Olympic Committee, on
a full-time basis again in Britain.
And she believes UKA "have
missed a trick" by not
appointing him successor to Jones.
"You never know what is going to
happen in the future, but it is unfortunate that he has gone abroad
because he has so much to offer," she
Union Grand Prix, Birmingham
superstar Carolina Kluft will make only her second indoor
appearance in Britain next year at the Norwich Union Grand Prix in
The hugely talented Swede will compete in both the long jump and
60m hurdles at the meeting on 18 February.
The Olympic heptathlon Champion will go head-to-head in both
events with local favourite Kelly Sotherton, who finished third behind
Kluft in Athens.
Kluft said: “I'm
looking forward to the Norwich Union Grand Prix and to competing with your
very own star Kelly Sotherton in both the hurdles and long jump.
60mH: Britain’s Sarah
Claxton has set two National Records this year and could do so again
here. Heptathlon Olympic Gold and Bronze medallists Carolina
Kluft and Kelly Sotherton are in the field, while the best of the high
hurdle specialists are Olympic Bronze medallist Melissa Morrison and
Russia’s Irina Shevchenko, fastest in the world this year.
Womens LJ: Kluft
and Sotherton will compete in this event as well and are expected to push
the regular long jumpers all the way. Kluft was a Bronze medallist at last
year’s World Indoor Championships and Sotherton challenged hard to be GB
No.1 in this event last year. European and Commonwealth medallist Jade
Johnson, a dramatic last-gasp winner at the AAA Championships last week,
will look for a consistent series of jumps to convince her to that a medal
at the European Indoors is a real possibility.
jump: 6th place
just wasn’t there today. Five no-jumps isn’t good enough. No excuses.
I didn’t perform.”
hurdles (8.15 seconds): UK record holder Sarah Claxton (Belgrave Harriers)
scored her most significant victory yet in a time of 7.98 seconds. Kelly
Sotherton (Birchfield Harriers) was ninth in 8.43.
“I have had a
terrible day. It has all gone pear-shaped. But at least it happened here
and not at the Europeans! I came here feeling OK and I cannot put my
finger on where it has gone wrong. Last week [competing in four events at
the Norwich Union European Indoor Trials] took a lot out of me, so it
could have been that.”
100m hurdle mark
Kelly Sotherton has continued her fine form this
season by storming to a new UK indoor 100m hurdles record.
The Olympic heptathlon bronze medallist clocked 13.52 seconds at the
opening of a new sports complex at Brunel University on Wednesday.
Former Olympic 400m hurdle champion Sally Gunnell had held the previous
mark of 13.71 set 20 years ago.
"I knew I was going to run about 13.5,"
"I am pleased because it's a new track, so it's not so fast."
Sotherton is preparing for the opening event of her outdoor season at
the Gotzis International in Austria at the end of May.
The 28-year-old has already improved her indoor personal bests in four
disciplines - 60m hurdles, high jump, long jump and shot put - this
European Indoor Trials 12 and 13th Feb -
Kelly Sotherton began her four-event weekend by taking fifth place,
reaching 13.77m with both her fifth and sixth efforts.
“I threw a PB last
weekend so I’m a little disappointed with the mark [13.77m]. I would
have liked to have hit 14m but that will come. I have a slight muscle tear
in my quad that has disrupted my preparation for the Indoors and so I’m
not 100% for this weekend. I have only been in proper training for the
past five days so anything I do over the next couple of days will be
jump: In the most dramatic final of the day, Jade Johnson (Herne Hill
Harriers) held her nerve to achieve a European Indoor qualifying mark and
win the title with her sixth and last leap … after Olympic heptathlon
Bronze medallist Kelly Sotherton (Birchfield Harriers) had led from the
first round with an indoor PB of 6.43m.
“I thought my
jump of 6.43 would be enough. I was happy with that and now I’m looking
forward to being in Birmingham and jumping against Carolina Kluft. I know
Jade is always a strong competitor so I wasn’t surprised she pulled one
out at the end. Now I can’t wait to compete again tomorrow.”
heptathlon Bronze medallist Kelly Sotherton (Birchfield Harriers) ran her
second hurdles PB of her extremely encouraging weekend, finishing in
Kelly Sotherton (Birchfield Harriers), whose weekend included PBs in the
60m hurdles, high jump and long jump:
“I was pleased with my jumps. It is coming along nicely at the right
rate. I have not stopped today for three hours. It’s coming good and I
have only been training technically for five days.”
Athletics match, May 22nd -
Sotherton intends to launch her new season with outings in the 100m
hurdles, high jump and javelin.
Sotherton’s Talence mission
heptathlon bronze medallist Kelly Sotherton (Birchfield Harriers) heads
for her 15th competition of this summer determined to ease her
World Championships disappointments.
weeks after finishing fifth in Helsinki, Kelly goes head to head against
World silver medallist Eunice Barber (France) at the Decaster meeting in
Talence, France, on Saturday and Sunday, the final contest of this
year’s IAAF Combined Events Challenge.
Barber will be aiming to increase her French record of 6889 points,
achieved in Arles earlier this summer, in an effort to overtake World and
Olympic champion Carolina Kluft at the top of the Challenge standings,
Kelly knows she needs to score 6350 or better to finish in third place in
the rankings that are highly rated by the athletes. That is 108 points
more than she scored when she won in Talence 12 months ago.
who opened this season by scoring 6547 at Gotzis, Austria, in May but then
had to settle for 6325 when her long jump and javelin were below par at
the World Championships, said: “I
don’t rate myself fifth in the world. I believe I am third in the World.
Olympics were emotionally draining but I followed them by coming here and
winning last year. This time it will be the last competition of a long,
hard season and I still have a bit more to prove to myself.”
IAAF Combined Events Challenge comprises each athlete’s best three
scores from the year’s top meetings around the world. Of those who have
already completed their three competitions, Kluft
leads with an average of 6799.67 points.
big shot boost in Talence
Kelly Sotherton (Birchfield Harriers) is on
course for a top three finish in the IAAF Combined Events Cross Challenge
after the opening day of the Decaster meeting at Talence, France, on
Saturday 17 September.
Olympic Bronze medallist overcame a below par high jump to battle her way
into second place, behind World Championships Silver medallist Eunice
to ease the frustration of finishing fifth at last month’s World
Championships in Helsinki, Kelly accumulated 3797 points from the day’s
four events, which is only 114 down on her performances at Gotzis in May
when she went on to her lifetime best total of 6547 from the seven events.
opened with a 100m hurdles time of 13.32 seconds, only five hundredths of
a second down on her best ever, to earn 1077 points but then had to settle
for a 1.75m clearance in the high jump, 8cm below her best and worth only
was one of those things,” she reflected.
“It didn’t go right but when something
like that happens, you have to move on. I had two great events after
bounced back brilliantly with a best ever outdoor shot put of 13.91m (788
points) and ended the day with a 200m victory in 23.64 seconds, within
seven hundredths of a second of her fastest yet and worth another 1016
points despite having to run into a head wind of 1.2 metres per second.
meant that Kelly defeated Barber in the last two events. The French record
holder put the shot 13.65m and clocked 24.08 seconds in the 200m. But she
held the overnight lead with 3941 points, having exploded into action by
winning the 100m hurdles in 12.96 seconds and high jump with 1.87m.
Nataliya Dobrynska (Ukraine) is third on 3698 points.
a little bit down because of my high jump but if I can have a decent day
tomorrow, I should score around 6400. Hopefully, I shall be able to do
that would be good enough to propel her into at least third place in
the IAAF Combined Events Cross Challenge standings, which are headed by
Olympic and World Champion Carolina Kluft
(Sweden), who has already finished her competitive season.
third in IAAF Combined Events Challenge
Sotherton (Birchfield Harriers) overcame more Helsinki-like horrors to
finish third in the prestigious IAAF Combined Events Cross Challenge
Olympic heptathlon bronze medallist suffered almost as badly on the final
day of the series at the Decaster meeting in Talence, France, as she did
when she finished fifth at last month’s World Championships – but she
persevered to earn third place overall behind the World and Olympic
Champion Carolina Kluft
(Sweden) and World Silver medallist Eunice Barber (France).
Kluft having already completed her three competitions in the series, Kelly
started the last day of the final heptathlon of this summer in second
place to Barber.
Kelly’s long jump, 6.39m for 972 points, was 29cm down on her best and
2cm worse than in Helsinki. And her javelin throw of 34.79m (568 points)
was 6.02m below her best, dumping her down to fifth place – as in
that is when her fighting spirit emerged. She won the 800m in 2 minutes
11.60 seconds, so far ahead of her rivals that she earned 941 points and
climbed back into second place in this heptathlon.
her total of 6278 points was enough to hoist her above her main rivals for
third position overall, Olympic Silver medallist Austra Skujyte
(Lithuania) and World Bronze medallist Margaret Simpson (Ghana).
average from her three heptathlons in the series was 6383.33, taking her
66 ahead of Skujyte. Kluft finished top with an average of 6799.67 –
just 3.67 points ahead of Barber.
French champion won the Talence competition with 6675 points while
Kelly’s total of 6278 was matched by the World University Games champion
Lyudmila Blonska (Ukraine). Kelly took second place by virtue of having
finished ahead of Blonska in five of the seven events.
the first day, Kelly accumulated 3797 points from the day’s four events,
which was only 114 down on her performances at Gotzis in May when she went
on to her lifetime best total of 6547 from the seven events.
she bounced back again from her second day disappointments to achieve her
main aim - to prove she is among the world's top three heptathletes.
one of the surprise packages of the Olympics when she won bronze in the
heptathlon, and only last month she showed just how much she is building
on that when she finished second to the Athens champion Carolina Kluft in
one event for the Birmingham-based athlete this weekend but the long jump
is arguably her strongest discipline and Britain will be hoping for
maximum points from her.
bronze medallist Sotherton matched her personal best in the long jump and ran
her fastest ever 60m hurdles at the Norwich
Union International in Glasgow.
Union World Trials & AAA Championships
- Long Jump
Johnson (Herne Hill Harriers) is back in action in the Women’s long
jump. She failed to register a jump in her first competition for a year
last weekend in Cardiff but will be looking to make it count in Sheffield.
Gillian Cooke (Edinburgh Southern Harriers), now 23 re-wrote the Scottish
record books at the same meeting and will be aiming to go even further, in
her build up to the Commonwealth Games. Kelly Sotherton (Birchfield
Harriers) is also in the line up for the long jump and could challenge for
the Gold medal.
Sotherton (Birchfield Harriers) might have taken an impressive victory
with an Indoor PB of 6.53, but it was the smiling Jade Johnson (Herne Hill
Harriers) who had most to celebrate with silver, and her first completed
competition for over a year.
welcomed Johnson’s return to the long jump fold:
nice to have Jade back – it’s more competitive, and as a result people
look forward to the women’s long jump when they know there are two
athletes who are in competition.
was nice to finally get into the 6.50s. It’s been 44, 43, 44 for so long
now so it’s been nice to get 6.53 under my belt.”
lacks respect - Johnson
By Ian Wilkerson
Long jump star Jade
Johnson says Kelly Sotherton "lacks
respect" for her
rivals following a furious row between the pair at the [Indoor] AAA
Johnson said she was
fed up with Sotherton's "little
digs" in the
press and approached her for a private chat.
But Johnson told BBC
decided we'd have it in front of the media. I'm fed up with her talking
about me. She should shut her mouth."
In response, Sotherton
said she just wanted to concentrate on her training.
Johnson was competing
for the first time in 10 months in Sheffield at the weekend after
suffering a prolapsed disc, and was beaten into second place by Sotherton
in the long jump.
But she accused
Sotherton, who won a bronze medal in the heptathlon in the 2004 Olympics,
of "shouting and
confronted after their medal presentation about what Johnson perceives to
be a lack of respect.
The pair eventually
had to be separated by security staff.
Johnson, who won
silver at the Commonwealth Games and European Championships in 2002, said:
"It has been
going on since 2004 and I decided to have a private chat with her.
"I wanted it to
be a discussion between two adults but I ended up talking to a child.
"She is trying to
give the perception that she is the sweet and innocent one and I'm
deranged and I don't think she should be able to get away with it.
"It's not just me
she talks about, it's other people. She doesn't seem to have any respect.
"It's not like we
work in an office. It is going on TV and in the papers and I am sick of
people asking me if I have seen what she has said.
"People let her
disrespect whoever she wants but my mum brought me up to not let anyone
Sotherton said: "I
don't really want to make a comment. All I want to do is concentrate on my
training for the Commonwealth Games."
The pair are set to
meet again at the Norwich Union Grand Prix in Birmingham on
European Cup, Malaga
Sotherton (Birchfield) completed a hat-trick of consecutive years in the
long jump at the European Cup, but admitted she was less than happy with
her 6.50m effort that took fifth place.
not pleased,” she
said “If I could
have got my first one in then it was a big one – but then that’s
hindsight and I can’t look back on what might have been.”