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It's seven-up for AFD as stars set their sights

High jump star Isobel Pooley leads a record seven-strong contingent from Aldershot, Farnham & District AC in next month's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow

High jumper Isobel Pooley leads a seven-strong contingent of AFD athletes at this year's Commonwealth Games

High jump star Isobel Pooley is all set to take a leap onto the world stage after being given the nod for compete for England in the Commonwealth Games this summer.

The 21-year-old secured her place for the 129-strong team to compete in Glasgow next month after equalling her personal best jump of 1.91m at the Bedford International Games a fortnight ago.

Pooley is one of five Aldershot, Farnham & District (AFD) athletes to have made the cut for England, while two more club members, middle distance star Steph Twell and 3,000m steeplchaser Lennie Waite, are wearing the vest for host nation Scotland.

European Junior Cross Country gold medallist Emelia Gorecka also gets the nod to compete in the 5,000m along with male long-distance aces Andy Vernon, in the 5,000m, and 2010 European silver medallist Chris Thompson, who goes in the 10,000m. All three are trained by AFD guru Mick Woods.

And making up the quintet is Australian-based Ben Moreau, who has been chosen to compete in the Men’s Marathon with a personal best time of 2:15.52.

Also in the England squad for the Games, starting July 23, is 19-year-old sprint sensation Sophie Papps, who has been named in the women’s 4x100m relay team.

The Windsor, Slough & Eton AC starlet, from Crowthorne, is the current European Junior silver medallist.

'Proud' to represent England

Pooley lines up for England alongside Bethan Partridge, whose personal best height is 8cm lower.

And with her record-equalling 1.91m ranking her among the top jumpers in the competition, Pooley reckons she could be in line for a medal if she performs to her true potential.

She said: “The Games in Glasgow will be the biggest event I have ever competed in so far and with my current PB jump of 1.91m I am in the running for a medal.

“I will be incredibly proud to represent our nation and to be living up to the tremendous support I have received from family, friends and sponsors. My performances this year have only been possible due to the commitment, faith and generosity of those around me and I just hope I can do you proud.”

Pooley, though, will not be getting too far ahead of herself as first she dons the new-look Great Britain vest to compete in the European Team Championships in Braunschweig, Germany, this weekend.

The AFD star is Team GB’s sole competitor in her event and takes her place in a 48-strong squad alongside Olympic stars such as fellow jumpers Greg Rutherford and Phillips Idowu.

She is joined in the squad for the first time by Papps, who is GB’s sole representative in the 200m, while also being named in the 4x100m relay team.

The European Team Championships will be shown live on BBC2 on Saturday and Sunday afternoon.

 
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