Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken's
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CHRIS TOMLINSON (July 2012)

CHRIS TOMLINSON (Born 15/9/81 Middlesbrough.He first competed for Middlesbrough AC, formerly Mandale Harriers and Middlesbrough AC) before coming South and competing for Newham & Essex Beagles that he is now with). He has been a prolific performer at the long jump with numerous AAA's titles and several UK records. He obtained a bronze medal in the European Outdoors Athletics Championships in Barcelona in 2010 but maybe because of accidents and injuries he was unable to gain any Olympic medals etc so,  probably he has yet to fulfil his full potential. It is some feat to think about, when you say he won the Triple Jump 'Under 15's in the English Schools Championships at Sheffield with 13.83 back on the 12th of July 1996 and has 159 performances listed in the McCain 'Power of 10' UKA lists. Considering the 2012 Olympic athletics is in London is at the beginning of August, only the month before at Crystal Palace, in the Diamond Garand Prix he was 2nd in the long jump with 8.26, which was his best mark so far to date (22/7) this year, he should be a contender in the Olympic Stadium..
At Crystal Palace 1st was Australian Michael Watt with 8.28, 2nd Tomlinson with 8.26; 3rd Godfrey Khutso McKoena (SA) 8.24. When I  talked to him back at the Hilton in Croydon, before he competed at Crystal Palace, I thought he appeared an easy going, engaging personality. He gives personal training and coaching advice too per his website..
(His Best listed marks are 6.84 Indoor 60m/ 10.7-100m/ 22.12-200/ 8.35 Long jump/-Diamond League Prix July 2011).
   Chris Tomlison's coach is Frank Attoh for the last 4 years. He says " Frank has a very good adaptable approach to the event. He looks at  every athlete as an individual on a daily basis. Some coaches are very good at writing programmes .Frank is very good at being pragmatic. A pragmatic approach to it."
   How did it all begin for Chris Tomlinson:-
" It was in 1993 I first got involved with athletics because my bigger sister Kate Tomlinson was a sprinter and went down to the club.I wanted to get involved myself. I started sprinting 100 and 200's then moved to 400's, high jumped and triple jumped and then eventually took up the long jump at the age of 17/18. As a junior you tend to do many events."
That made me say that in one of the many interviews I did with Lynn Davies from 1963-1971, he said you should not specialise when you are young!
   Now Chris is 30 so what has kept him going over all the years?
  " Athletics-No matter at what level you are competing at, everybody wants to run or jump a PB and everyone wants to do better than they have achieved before. It is that puberty. I have got a distance in my mind what I believe I could do. I want to fulfil my potential and I think that is what ultimately keeps me going. You have got to always remember that is the fun part of athletics. Sometimes when you get older and have financial commitments. You have to make sure you obtain some money from the sport but then you can almost forget why you got involved with it in the first place. For me it is something I love. I have got the opportunity to jump further than I have ever done before."
 When he broke Lynn Davies UK record (8.23) 'Of 34 years' on April the 20th 2002 in Tallahassee with 8:27 was that a big memory?
  " To be honest I was not really aware too much of the record. I only got into long jumping when I was 17.
I went to the World Junior at 18. It was 2002 that I broke his record.. Nathan Morgan (Commonwealth Champion of 2002) was the one very much expected to break his record.I was sort of the young kid who did 7' 62 one year to jumping 7 ' 87 the following year and 8'27 the year after that.'
   ' When I left college at 18 and I wanted to fulfil that potential in athletics. My aim was to become a professional athlete, what ever that entailed. Great doing that record but I was not really aware of the significance of Lynn Davies record until it actually happened then obviously people then had spoken about it."
   What performance in your life you achieved that, to you personally, made you happy?
" I think believe it or not, the happiest I ever was and considering I am fortunate to have achieved a fair few things, I think was the World Indoors in 2007. I had gone  to the World outdoor Championships in Osaka expecting to get a medal and it did  not work (Did not qualify for Final with 7.89) I was determined to get on the rostrum and achieve that goal so, six months later  in 2008 I competed indoors in the World Indoor Championships (Result of 1st 3 in that World Championships Indoor Long jump Final:- 1 Khotso Mokoena (RSA) 8.08 ; 2 Chris Tomlinson 8.06; 3 Salmon Al Kuwaldi (KSA) 8.01.Valencia 8/3/08). " To go there and achieve that goal meant so much to me personally"
    What did he feel athletics had given him
" It has been such a massive part of my life. I have met many great friends, shared great experiences and travelled the World. Dream like competitions.- As a youngster anyone watching; the crowd today at Crystal  Palace it is so loud. As a child you want to be involved in that when you are older. I have been fortunate enough to be blessed  with a good support network around me and able to go and do that. "
You live in Hampstead now!
" I have been living there for five years now and I absolutely love it. Just down from Jack Straws Castle. The only problem is because I am married and have a child we have a relatively small two bedroom flat. I would like to buy a house there. It is very expensive. you could win an Olympic Gold and still not buy a  4 bedroom house in Hampstead. It costs 'Millions'.I do love where I am. I have some good friends there and I hope to stay there as long as I possibly can."

Alastair Aitken

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