Olympic finalist Tom Parsons has questioned the “tough” World Championship qualifying standards that could jeopardise his chance of competing in Berlin next month.
But the Birchfield Harrier, who goes for a second straight national title at the World Trials and UK Championships at the Alexander Stadium on Saturday, insists he will not let the selection demands derail him from reaching a third consecutive global games.
Since 2007, the amiable 25-year-old has been a regular member of the Great Britain squad with appearances in Osaka and at the Beijing Games last year.
To do that he has had to set a new personal best on each occasion and has improved so much he made the final and finished eighth in China last summer.
But if he wants to be sure of continuing that streak he must clear 2.31m, 1cm higher than ever before, and win the trials at his home town track.
And Parsons has queried the rectitude of the A qualifying standard claiming anyone who gets it would automatically be a medal contender in Germany.
“That would rank you equal sixth in the world and is just the entry standard,” Parsons said.
“I see that as quite a tough standard but I want to improve anyway. If I carry on doing that I should be able to get on the plane to Berlin.
“It is slightly tough compared to other events. In the long jump a British record distance would rank you tenth in the world at the moment.
“The British record in the high jump would rank you first easily. It is a difficult standard but a lot of people have jumped 2.30m so an extra 1cm should not matter that much.”
The Boldmere-based athlete hopes his previous performances at major championships will stand him in good stead, however, he fares at Perry Barr.
To take the British crown he will have to beat Birmingham-based Olympic silver medallist Germaine Mason, rankings leader Samson Oni, who has cleared 2.29m this year and Martyn Bernard.
Parsons expects at least one of them to achieve the requisite height this weekend, thereby putting pressure on the others and he hopes he will be the one.
“If the weather is good I think I will get it,” he said. “Samson is capable of jumping it, Martyn Bernard is not quite ready, he has missed so much of the season.
For Germaine 2.31m is not unfeasible if you think about it, he’s the man to beat still. Germaine will go no matter what, he’s Olympic silver medallist so I think they will twist the rules for him and that’s only right. Samson has the B standard from indoors, so it’s all there to do.”
The former Solihull & Small Heath athlete at least has the comfort of jumping at his favourite venue and a track where he has set PBs in each of the last two campaigns.
His 2.30m at the trials last July was not only a lifetime best, it earned him the right to appear in his first Olympics and he is looking for more of the same.