NATHAN Douglas saved the best for last as he claimed an eighth triple jump title at the British Championships, writes STUART WEIR.

The 37-year-old achieved a distance of 15.80m with his final effort to pip rival Sam Trigg-Petrovic and return to top-level action in style.

He was one of two Oxford City AC winners in Manchester, with Gemma Bridge victorious in the 5,000m race walk.

Douglas opened with 15.59 and held the lead until the final round, when Trigg-Petrovic jumped an identical distance.

The two-time Olympian responded to take the title in challenging conditions. 

He said: “On the final jump I just had to nail it.

"I knew I had been struggling with the board because of the wind - at that point you clear your mind and hope for the best.

"I’ve got enough experience to pull the jumps out, so I just relied on that.

"I love pressure, that’s the reason why I love to compete an being able to rise to the occasion.

"It’s always nice to be British champion, we know the depth wasn’t here as usual, but you have to be here."

Meanwhile, Bridge surprised herself with a new personal best of 22mins 51.15secs in the race walk. 

Oxford Mail:

The 27-year-old has competed on just four occasions in the last two years and came close to quitting the sport in 2019 due to injury.

She only restarted full training in February and revealed afterwards that yesterday's event was the first time she had been fully fit since 2017.

Bridge said: “I feel really happy with that.

"I didn't come here with high expectations so it was just great to finish and it was bit of a shock to take the win”.  

The technical nature of race walking means disqualifications are common, with one of the favourites, Heather Lewis, receiving the dreaded red card.

Bridge added: “I am always very careful in outdoor races.

"I pulled myself back from the pace a bit as I could see I was getting some cards.

"It can be very tough - it is all about technique”.  

The only other Oxfordshire athlete in action was Banbury's Emily Thompson, who was 12th in the 1,500m final, coming home in 4.23.09.

Oxford's Hannah England, who retired in January, was providing commentary for the BBC.