Former world indoor triple jump record holder Ashia Hansen has given up her bid to earn a place in the Norwich Union GB team for next weekend’s European Indoor Championships in Birmingham.
Birchfield Harrier Hansen, who is on the comeback trail after a serious knee injury almost brought her career to an end three years ago, was again in winning form at the Norwich Union Jumps International yesterday.
The 35-year-old claimed a third successive victory in the match against the Netherlands at the recently opened Lee Valley Athletics Centre. But her winning leap of 13.43metres again fell well short of the Euro qualifier of 14.10m - and her own target of 14.20m - forcing her to concede she is not ready to make the team for the championships in her home town.
Hansen remained upbeat about her future career, saying: "I enjoyed that a little bit better than the other two because I didn’t feel under pressure any more. I could look for another competition but it’s pretty pointless. I just have not got enough speed to jump what I want to.
"I’ve had two years of no conditioning, no speed work," added Hansen, whose winning leap came with the last of her six jumps.
Now the 2002 Commonwealth and European champion is looking forward to the future and still remains eager to compete at this year’s World Championships in Osaka.
She said: "I can actually smile now because I know I have not lost anything in jumping ability. It’s just that the speed is not there. I’ve now got three months to find that before the summer season starts."