World long jump silver medallist Shara Proctor is looking forward to taking on a top field at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Portland where she aims to add to her global medal collection
Shara Proctor became the first British woman to jump over seven metres when she improved her own national long jump record to 7.07m to claim world silver in Beijing last summer. The 27-year-old now has her sights set on also breaking that barrier indoors as she targets another world medal in Portland this weekend.
The women’s long jump is set to be one of the most competitive field events of the championships, with Proctor joined by two Great Britain team-mates – IAAF World Indoor Tour winner Lorraine Ugen and Commonwealth silver medallist Jazmin Sawyers – plus the likes of USA’s two-time winner Brittney Reese and Germany’s world leader Alexandra Wester in Oregon.
“The standard is very high in this field. I believe it will take a big jump, possibly over seven metres, to win the gold medal,” says Proctor, whose indoor PB of 6.91m from this winter puts her second behind 2014 world indoor silver medallist Katarina Johnson-Thompson’s 6.93m on the UK indoor all-time list.
“I know I’m capable of seven metres indoors. I’m in shape, I’m fast, I’m mentally and physically ready. I just have to execute in competition.”
“I know I’m capable of seven metres indoors. I’m in shape, I’m fast, I’m mentally and physically ready”
Proctor had to settle for second behind Ugen in her last competition pre-Portland, the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix, and the Rana Reider-coached athlete appreciates the domestic battles.
“It’s great competition at home because I have to fight to make the team,” explains Proctor, who missed the British trials for Portland as a precaution with a niggle which she says has now been sorted. “That makes it even more special to make the team because I have to work that much harder.”
After claiming bronze at the 2012 World Indoors in Istanbul, Proctor finished fourth at the last edition of the championships in Sopot and says that result was a turning point.
“I think losses like that are necessary because it makes you more hungry, it makes you focus. You see everybody else competing well and you want to be up there also,” she says.
“I think that was important for me and kind of a turning point. I’m back on my A-game and I don’t want to ever come fourth – that’s the worst place!”
“The standard is very high in this field. I believe it will take a big jump, possibly over seven metres, to win the gold medal”
The competition on Friday (March 18) will offer a different experience to that of the past two editions as the women’s long jump in Portland is a straight final and Proctor says she prefers it that way.
“I like it actually because I like to get it done and over with in one day,” she says. “Usually when it is two days – a qualification day and a finals day – you have to wake up really early and I’m not a morning person! I’m usually running down the runway half asleep, so I like it this way!”
» Find an online preview for the IAAF World Indoor Championships here, while the March 17 edition of Athletics Weekly magazine, on sale in shops now or available digitally here, includes a preview plus global indoor rankings