July 2, 2014, by Mike Munro
Isobel’s flying high
University of Nottingham student and international high jumper Isobel Pooley won gold at the British Athletic Championships held in Birmingham on Saturday.
The third year Animal Science student beat off strong competition from Katarina Johnson-Thompson and Morgan Lake, who finished second and third respectively, to claim the British title with a jump of 1.90m — just shy of her own personal best of 1.91m.
With silver medallist Johnson-Thompson dropping out of the competition at 1.86m and having cleared every height at the first attempt, a confident Isobel looked to improve her own PB. Seeking the opportunity to represent Team GB at the European Championships in Zurich this August and with the British title secured, she made three attempts at the 1.93m qualification standard.
Despite failing to clear the height, Isobel remains upbeat and meeting the Team GB selection standard in the coming weeks remains a target. The 22-year-old’s latest performance follows her recent selection for Team England at the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Glasgow where she again has hopes of taking home a medal.
She said “After a shaky display at the European Team Championships I knew I would need a strong performance. I’m absolutely delighted to be crowned British Champion and I’m thrilled with this latest positive step in my 2014 journey but I’m keeping my sights firmly set on Glasgow.”
Throughout her studies, Isobel has benefited from the support of the University’s sports bursary scheme— a scheme established to help elite student athletes balance their athletic and academic careers.
Assistant Director of Sport (Performance) at the University, Alex Perry said: “We’d like to congratulate Isobel on her superb achievement this weekend. It is testimony to her dedication and commitment to the sport and I believe it will give her every confidence as she prepares for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Isobel is one of a number of athletes from The University of Nottingham competing in the Commonwealth Games who benefit from the Sports Bursary Scheme and we aim to ensure that more athletes will follow in their footsteps.”
As well as financial support, recipients of the sports bursary receive access to specialist training facilities, physiotherapy and nutritional advice as well as a personal mentor.
Isobel said: “Any sort of support or funding has gone far deeper than money — it’s been a vote of confidence and that very human thing of someone saying ‘We have belief in you. You’re going somewhere and we want to go with you”.
Isobel will be competing at both the Cork City Sports International Athletics Meet and Glasgow Grand Prix where 1.93m remains a target prior to the Commonwealth Games at the end of July.
To find out more about The University of Nottingham’s sports bursary scheme visit: www.nottingham.ac.uk/sport
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