Beating her personal high jump best of 1.88m, Pooley speaks about upcoming Commonwealth challenge
Britain's No. 1 high jumper Isobel Pooley finally achieved her lifetime goal by breaking the 1.90m barrier at the weekend – and then thanked the News & Mail.
In an interview with the paper last week, the Aldershot, Farnham & District athlete told she would love to cap a career-defining year by improving on her personal best of 1.88m in her final two events of the season.
And within days she got her wish in front of delighted family and friends after going three centimetres higher to win at the British Athletics Jumps and Throws Festival at Bedford on Sunday (August 18).
The 20-year-old from Fleet now flies out to Germany this week to complete a ground-breaking season, which has seen her overtake Jessica Ennis-Hall at the top of the UK rankings.
Now with that 1.90m barrier finally broken, Pooley can now set her sights on next year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, where she is already a strong medal contender.
“I’m thrilled to bits to break the 1.90m,” said the Loughborough University student. “It became as much as a mental barrier than a physical one in the end, so to break that is a huge relief.
“Last week’s article played a part in spurring me on and gave me inspiration. My family saw it in the Fleet News & Mail and came up to Bedford to watch me compete.
“I’m one of those athletes who are lucky enough to be able to rise to the big occasion and having them there to cheer me on, along with some of my old coaches and training partners, gave me a real lift.”
In fact Pooley, who had already won the event by a clear 12 centimetres, came within a whisker of jumping even higher in her next attempt, but a trailing foot just clipped the top of the bar at 1.93m.
“It was agonising in the end, it wasn’t like me to do that, I could have jumped it. But it just showed how good I felt out there and just what I am capable of in the future.
“It's fitting that the 1.90m eventually came at Bedford, I love it there. It’s a place that holds great memories for me and it puts me in a different frame of mind.
“For now I’m going to live the moment and can look back at the season on a high. Physically, I’m in great shape but it's been a long, hard season and I’m looking forward to a well-earned break.”
Asked what she is looking forward to doing in her time off, Pooley added: “A bit of horse riding maybe, and a holiday in France, but also I'm looking forward to doing a bit of baking and treating myself to a well-earned cream tea!"