ATHLETICS: Douglas happy to take safe option

Nathan Douglas leaps to a silver medal at the 2006 European Championships

Nathan Douglas leaps to a silver medal at the 2006 European Championships

First published in Sport Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter specialising in Rugby, Cricket and Athletics. Call me on 01865 425456

TRIPLE jumper Nathan Douglas is still hopeful of making the European Championships, despite missing the trials due to a niggling injury.

The Oxford City athlete pulled out of the British Championships at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium at the weekend with a problem at the back of his knee.

Had Douglas jumped beyond 16.75m and finished in the first two, he would have secured a place in the Great Britain & Northern Ireland team who will travel to Zurich in August.

However, only British champion Julian Reid is guaranteed a spot, and Douglas is determined to grab one of the other two available.

The 31-year-old is still on course to compete for England in the Commonwealth Games later this month, but did not want to take any chances.

“I’m OK. I have a little bit of a niggle,” said Douglas, who won silver in the 2006 European Championships in Gothenburg.

“I felt I could have competed at the weekend, but I was just being cautious.

“If I had to jump, I could have gone out there and had a go. But I already have a place in the Commonwealth Games.

“If I had injured myself further, that would have been disappointing.”

Douglas’s best jump this season is 16.65m, which puts him fourth in the UK behind Phillips Idowu (16.99), Reid (16.82) and Nathan Fox (16.69).

“The only one who will definitely go to Zurich is Julian,” said Douglas.

“The other couple of spots are open. It’s down to the other people like me to get the distance.

“I would like to compete again some time in the next two weeks and get the European qualifying distance of 16.75m.”

Douglas is more likely to seek that mark in a smaller meeting next week, but he would love to earn a place at the Glasgow Diamond League on Saturday, July 12 “I am not really holding my breath about it, but it would be fantastic if I could compete there,” he said.

“It would a great warm-up for the Commonwealths, with Hampden Park the stadium for both.”

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