NATHAN Douglas was over the moon after securing his place in the European Athletics Championships later this year – bagging a sixth national title in the process, writes STUART WEIR.

The Oxford City AC triple jumper had already achieved the qualifying distance for a place in the Great Britain team to compete in Berlin.

But by winning another British Championship crown in Birmingham on Saturday, he sealed his place on the plane to Germany in August.

It capped an impressive year for the 35-year-old, who for the first time has won both the British indoor and outdoor titles in the same season.

“The main aim was to come here and solidify my position for the European Championship, so winning the British Championship was a bonus,” he said.

“But it is always nice to be British champion.”

Douglas won the title with his first jump of 16.83 metres.

Julian Reed finished second with 16.70, with a huge gap to Jonathan Ilori (16.25) in third.

“I felt good on my first jump but it was quite windy out there so you have to manage the wind, which is hard,” he said.

“After the third round I was feeling a little tired – I think the heat was getting to me – so I took the fourth round out to concentrate on rounds five and six.

“I felt a little jaded but thought ‘Let’s keep jumping, just to get a bit of extra rhythm work in’.”

Winning the British Championship also gives Douglas automatic selection for the British Team at the World Cup, a new event taking place in London (14-15 July) with one athlete per event from eight countries.

There was disappointment, however, for fellow City of Oxford member Hannah England.

Hindered by a heavy cold, the 31-year-old finished fifth in the first heat in 4mins 24.38secs, missing out on the final.

“I have had a cold all week but I wanted to give it a go,” she said. “When you race with a cold, that’s what happens.”

Gemma Bridge, who already has the European Championships qualification time for the 20k race walking event, withdrew from the 5k competition in Birmingham because of injury.

A host of other Oxfordshire athletes were also in action.

Radley’s Alice Hopkins and Oxford City’s Jade O’Dowda both came sixth in their 100m hurdles heats, setting personal bests in the process.

Hopkins recorded 13.87secs, before finishing 14th in the long jump.

"I hit two hurdles with my lead leg so was off balance so it was really good that I ran a pb while clattering hurdles,” she said.

"I am very happy with that time. Training has been going well.”

O’Dowda came home in 14.19, and sealed tenth spot in the long jump.

Abingdon’s Ben Claridge agonisingly missed out on a place in the 400m final, his time of 47.14 was just 0.03 seconds too slow.

“I started well, struggled a bit round the top bend and then worked hard on the home straight,” he said.

“It was good. It is early in the season so anything better than last year is a bonus.”

Tim Stephens (City of Oxford) came fifth in his 400m hurdle heat, while Radley’s Kathryn Woodcock was eighth in the discuss with a throw of 48.00m.

“I am very pleased because I was injured for three months and only started throwing again in April,” she said.

“So to get something near my pb, I couldn’t ask for more – especially as the conditions were difficult with the wind swirling. I am moving in the right direction.”

Former clubmate Luisa Chantler-Edmond, now competing for Birchfield Harriers, was 11th in 42.58.

Radley’s Emma Haley was seventh in her 800m heat, while ex-Banbury Harrier Kyle Ennis finished fifth in his 200m race.