Jegede: I'm buzzing for a medal


A late comer to athletics, Jegede is perhaps better known for his ability to leap over three Mini Coopers to highlight his need for funding rather than for jumping into a sand pit.

But all that looked set to change early this year as he matched his long jump personal best of 8.04m on the way to first at the Birmingham Grand Prix in February.

That came just six days after he won the UK Indoor Championships and put himself in pole position to represent Britain at the world equivalent in Istanbul a month later.

However, a hamstring strain meant the 26-year-old had to pull out of the trip to Turkey, only able to watch as his qualifying effort would have been good enough for fourth place.

Jegede believes the atmosphere would have helped him finish on the podium, although he insists reaching it at London 2012 will more than make up for this disappointment.

"I had a really good indoor season because I equalled my outdoor personal best from last year indoors and that was really exciting," said Jegede.

"So I knew training was going well as I did that and I beat a world-class field at the Birmingham Grand Prix in the process.

"But injury stopped the rest of my indoor season and prevented me from going to the world indoors.

"It was awful watching it on TV because with my 8.04m I would have come fourth and I knew that I would have jumped further there.

"I would have liked to have got a medal out there but athletes always say that nobody remembers indoors so I have to look forward and make sure I am in one piece for the Olympics.

"Times are going well at the moment which is great but I know it is all about doing it when it counts the most, which is obviously at the Olympics."

Despite living almost 300 miles away from the capital now after moving to Newcastle to train with Peter Stanley, Jegede is still a London boy at heart.

And he is hoping a fervent London crowd will be able to cheer him all the way to silverware this summer as he looks to make the most of home comforts.

"I am absolutely buzzing for this year," added Jegede – who opened his outdoor campaign at the Tom Jones Memorial Invitational in Florida last weekend, jumping a wind-assisted best of 7.96m.

"Having a home crowd cheering you on, it is truly nuts and a good crowd can help you get a few extra results.

"Being a London boy have seen the Olympic Park develop and now it is finally here. Since it was announced in 2005 I have been itching and waiting for it to come and finally it is here.

"I don't feel any pressure, I just want it to happen. I have been waiting for so long and I just want to get it on."

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