Athletics: Nisbet smashes Scottish high jump mark

Jayne Nisbet in action at the British Athletics Indoor Championships in Sheffield. Picture: Getty
Jayne Nisbet in action at the British Athletics Indoor Championships in Sheffield. Picture: Getty
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HAVING surpassed a Scottish high jump record which had stood for a quarter-century, Jayne Nisbet might have hoped for the additional lustre of claiming victory at the UK Indoor Championships in Sheffield.

Instead, the Edinburgh native saw her own leap of 1.87 metres overshadowed by a momentous effort from Katarina Johnson-Thompson that provided a further hint of her huge potential.

The 21-year-old from Liverpool, fifth in the heptathlon at least year’s world championships, looks well capable of filling the void left by the pregnant Jessica Ennis-Hill. On her third and final attempt at 1.96m, she soared high and clear to claim the British record.

With the two-day meeting doubling up as the trials for next month’s world indoor championships in Sopot, Johnson-Thompson will got to the Netherlands this week to secure her opportunity to bid for what she hopes will be the first of three international medals in 2014.

“The Commonwealths are my main aim,” she said. “I was going to go to the Europeans for the long jump because I feel that’s my best event. I’m not too sure any more. But it’s definitely heptathlon at the Commonwealths.”

Nisbet had no complaints. Rebounding from the injury which wrecked her 2013, she senses there is more to come. “When I came into the season one of my main targets was to break the indoor Scottish record. I’ve done that. I also wanted to medal here. You can’t really beat a British record to win so I’m pleased.”

Guy Learmonth cruised into today’s 800 metres final with victory in his semi and the Borderer will now hope that a clash with his main rival Andrew Osagie can push him towards the magic mark of one minute and 47 seconds he needs for a ticket to Poland.

“I’ve been through my ups and downs,” he said. “But now I have the confidence and the ability to take world-class guys on. I’m not going to sit behind them. I’m going to go for it.”

European silver medallist Eilidh Child will defend her 400 metres title today after a season’s best run of 53.06 seconds in her semi-final. Laura Muir coasted through the women’s 800 metres while fellow Scot Chris O’Hare also progressed into this afternoon’s 1,500m final along with Kris Gauson, Shaun Wyllie and Myles Edwards.

Asha Philip ran 7.09 seconds to take the women’s 60m title, the second-fastest time in British history, while James Dasaolu won the men’s sprint in 6.50secs to edge out bitter rival Dwain Chambers. Holly Bleasdale heads the pole vault world rankings following her victorious leap of 4.73 metres.

• Jax Thoirs set a new Scottish indoor pole vault record of 5.50m in New Mexico yesterday, besting his existing mark by ten centimetres.