Claire Ryder rediscovered her brilliant best at the weekend in Glasgow’s Kelvin Hall. Competing in the 200m and long jump, Claire excelled in both to claim bronze in the long jump and silver in the 200m.
Running in lane 4 of heat 2 of the 200m, Claire hesitated slightly just after the gun, thinking that the recall signal had been sounded. Thankfully she recovered and ran an exceptional heat to take 1st place in a time of 29.81 and the 3rd fastest qualifying time. A look at the program schedule revealed that the final would be called around the same time as the long jump competition – far from ideal unfortunately.
The long jump had started when the final was called but Claire hadn’t taken her first jump yet. So she had to leave the long jump temporarily. Lining up in lane 3, the fastest qualifier was in lane 1 and the 2nd fastest in lane 2. Off went the gun and Claire raced away, powered around the bend and up the back straight. As she emerged from the final bend, she was a couple of metres behind the leader in lane 2. Narrowing the gap gradually, the finish line arrived too quickly to take the gold – but it was a fantastic run by Claire in her first time in competition at this distance. If the winner had been in a lane outside Claire, the result might have been reversed. Claire’s time was 29.01 which incidentally is now the club record for that distance!
So not a moment to dwell on her fantastic achievement, Claire returned to the long jump. With her first jump called only a minute or two after the sprint, Claire leaped 4.04m. But with plenty of time to recover for her next jump, Claire sailed through the air to record a competition leading 4.36m – only 2cm short of her PB set last April in Nenagh. Claire’s jump remained in the lead until close to the end of the event – one jumper recorded 4.42m on her final attempt. Claire’s last attempt arrived and she put 150% into the run-up, leaping a huge distance but unfortunately breaking by about half her shoe. That jump may well have won it! A few more jumpers to go and the final one leaped 4.38m to leave Claire in the bronze medal place.
This was an absolutely fantastic achievement for Claire and hopefully the first 2 of many international medals.