Abigail Irozuru qualifies for long jump final at ‘extra special’ Tokyo Olympics

Irozuru and British team-mate Jazmin Sawyers reached Tuesday’s long jump final.

By Press Association Published: 1 August 2021 - 3.38am

Great Britain’s Abigail Irozuru declared she is ready to shine at the Olympics after reaching the long jump final in Tokyo.

The 31-year-old automatically qualified for Tuesday’s final after a season’s best of 6.75m.

She is joined in the final by Jazmin Sawyers, who finished in the top 12 after jumping 6.62m, although Lorraine Ugen failed to progress with a jump of 6.05m.

Irozuru was not selected for London 2012 and after missing Rio due to a ruptured Achilles she retired but returned in 2019 bidding to reach Tokyo.

She said: “It sucked to miss Rio and London but it is extra special to be here at this very weird Olympic Games.

“But for me it wasn’t weird, the whole experience, being in the stadium, there was atmosphere, there was life, this has literally been the highlight of my whole Olympic experience so far so I’m loving it.

“It looked like I didn’t need to do 75, but I’m so thankful. It was a nice confidence boost to get a season’s best, to finally jump over 6.70 this season, and to hit the automatic qualifying because that’s what I came here to do.

“I would have preferred to do it in round one, but it’s nice that I know I can build through, and that’s going to stand me in good stead hopefully for the final.

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games – Day Nine
Great Britain’s Jazmin Sawyers also progressed at the Olympic Stadium. (Martin Rickett/PA)

“There is more to come, there’s things that I’ve been working on and I’m starting to execute as I’m building through the rounds, so hopefully with six rounds in the final it will come – I really want a personal best because it’s always nice to do that at the major championships.”

Sawyers finished 11th in qualifying and believes she will improve on Tuesday.

She said: “I’m confident there’s a lot more in the tank. To be honest, it can be ugly as long as I am in the final, that’s what counts.

“We know how finals go, anything can happen. I’ll be back in two days’ time ready to attack, because when I am in a final I’m there to try take those top spots.”

Tokyo Olympics 2020 – Kitting Out – Birmingham NEC
Lizzie Bird reached the steeplechase final in Tokyo. (David Davies/PA)

In the evening session, Zharnel Hughes, CJ Ujah and Reece Prescod are all aiming to reaching the 100 metres final while Tom Gale competes in the high jump final.

Elliot Giles and Daniel Rowden also run in the 800m semi-finals.

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