ALICE Hopkins said she was surprised to retain her national title and book a place in next month’s European Under 23 Championships.

The Oxford City AC star’s exploits in Bedford saw her achieve automatic selection for the event in Gavle, Sweden from July 11-14.

Hopkins won the long jump at the England Under 23 Championships for the second year running, setting a personal best of 6.51m to meet the European qualifying criteria.

The 20-year-old was shocked by her performance, especially after only recently recovering from injury.

“I’m over the moon to win the nationals two years in a row,” she said.

“I never thought I would win it once, let alone retain the title, jump a pb and qualify for the Europeans – I’m so happy.”

Hopkins, who was also sixth in the 100m hurdles final, added: “I never know what will happen when I compete.

“In training, we never measure my jumps, so it’s great to have a surprise when I jump well.

“And a few weeks ago, I went over on my ankle, so it was a race to get fit – that was another reason why I was surprised it went well.”

Radley AC’s Kathryn Woodcock also took home a medal, winning bronze in the discus with 46.76.

Banbury Harriers’ Tiffany Cox was in 100m action, finishing seventh in her heat.

Clubmate Emily Thompson was seventh in the 800m final of the under 20 championships.

Banbury’s Shannon Dawes came seventh in the javelin, with City’s Holly Griffiths-Brown 12th in the triple jump.

Abingdon AC’s Scarlett Herold was sixth in her 100m heat.

Her teammate Ben Claridge reached the men’s under 23 400m final, finishing eighth.

Meanwhile, Nathan Douglas landed his first victory of 2019 in Kuortane, Finland.

The Oxford City AC triple jumper won with an effort of 16.55m at the European Athletics Classic Meeting.