Olympics: Lewis is poles apart at trials
IN-FORM Steve Lewis showed no other British pole vaulter can come close to matching him as a single leap won him UK Championship gold.
Most other vaulters had already been knocked out at earlier heights by the time the Lewis, from Light Oaks, even entered the competition at 5.50m at Birmingham on Saturday.
In awful conditions for big jumps, the 26-year-old cleared the height which proved too much for everyone else with his third attempt.
With the win already in the bag, he had three unsuccessful efforts at 5.72m.
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Gregor MacLean, aged 20, came second with 5.35m on countback, with fellow 20-year-old Andrew Sutcliffe (5.35m) finishing in third place.
Lewis, the only vaulter in the country with an A standard 5.72m leap, has now been penned in for the Great Britain and Northern Ireland Olympic squad.
He said: "I'm really happy. I came here for the win, did the job and now I can start preparing for the Olympics.
"You could tell in the warm-up just how tough it would be. The winds were as bad as we were all expecting. It's pretty rough up there on a pole.
"But I won, I've already got my A standard in the bag and it's all pretty exciting at the moment."
Lewis was proclaimed as the poster boy for Team GB by stadium compere for the day, Iwan Thomas.
And, draped in his Union Jack signing autographs for athletics fans, the former Holden Lane student was relishing the experience.
He said: "The support was amazing and you have to enjoy meetings like this. The way the home crowd gets behind you is really thrilling. I can't wait for London."
The victory continues a superb start to the 2012 season for Lewis, who cleared a new personal best 5.77m in Germany in March.
He will now enter Samsung Diamond League meetings in Paris and London as he hones his preparations back in the capital in August.
He said: "It's been a fantastic start to the season, the best start to season I've ever had.
"Hopefully I can continue to improve throughout the summer."