Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken
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Kitan Eleyae (June 2017)

Kitan Eleyae, who won the Senior long jump at the Southern Athletics Championships at Crystal Palace on 11-6-17;  previously winning the Southern title, at Watford in 2013.

Eleyae, in her mid 20’s at the time of writing, is an engaging personality, who has had a long career in the sport already so, it was not surprising that one of her heroes was Michael Johnson, who she thinks was not just a good athlete but a good commentator on the sport too. Kitan, started competing when she was 11 years old and joined Woodford Green & Essex Ladies at that age.
She added “They have been incredibly good to me, supporting me throughout the years.”
That, was even at the times things were not going so well for her.
To have Gladys Bird (Taylor) in Woodford Green, who competed internationally as a pentathlete, 400m & as 400 hurdlers must have been helpful as her first coach

“She is amazing I still have talks with her now and go out for dinner now and again. I can not praise her anymore than say, she is absolutely amazing and a wonderful role model. She is like a second mother to me”
Then came your coach now Guy Spencer “He is very honest and I appreciate that with him and, he will say things like, that was bad, go back and do that again. Or that was good; you know that was good and you don’t need to go back and do that again and so, you know what to work on.”

Sprinting at one time was her main event (11.9 in 2007 as an ‘Under 17’) before changing mainly to the long jump.
About her Southern long jump on June 11th  2017, at Crystal Palace she said
“I do enjoy competing at Crystal Palace and it was a nice track as well.” (She did her best jump of the day with 5.85 in the second round and, in 2nd place was Emma Gayler of Harrow with 5.64 and Lisa Stephenson of TVH was 3rd with 5.64.)

The 6.25 in the British Championships at Birmingham in 2012 “It was a memory as it was my personal best. I was injured at the time and I was lying 4th place, going into the last round but, there is a long story behind it (She finished up 7th) BUT her  most special moment she talked about was, when she was 1st at the British University Games at the Olympic Stadium in 2012 “It was my best moment ever. My best distance was 6.25 at the British Champs in 2012, which was an outstanding memory but her best one, she thought “I would say the British University Champs when I won in Olympic Stadium (1st with 6.11) because it was in that Olympic Stadium. Both her parents are supportive “My Mother was so nervous to watch me; she went outside to pray for me.’
‘It was really good.”
The pageantry was because, of course, the Olympics were held in that stadium that year-2012.

Alastair Aitken

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