Lovell leaps to South of England title

Elise Lovell (centre) on the top step of the podium at Lee Valley.
Elise Lovell (centre) on the top step of the podium at Lee Valley.

A Hastings-based athlete produced a lifetime best performance to retain a prestigious title.

Elise Lovell won the senior women’s long jump in the South of England Indoor Athletics Championships (SEAA) at Lee Valley, London, for the second year running.

Her winning jump of 6.08 metres was not only a personal best, but also the longest jump by a Sussex woman of all time and would have been a new county record had it been achieved outdoors.

Lovell’s previous indoor best was 5.96m, which earned her fifth place in the women’s long jump at the British Championships last year, although in summer 2016 she became the first Sussex woman to break the six-metre barrier outdoors.

Runner-up Kitan Eleyae, of Woodford Green & Essex Ladies, jumped six metres exactly and Eavion Richardson, of Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers, was third with 5.74m.

Lovell was representing her new club, Havant AC, having been the women’s team manager at Hastings Athletic Club as recently as the 2017 outdoor season.

Her victory at Lee Valley came hot on the heels of a successful England Athletics Indoor Combined Events Championship at the start of January. Lovell finished fifth in that event, and recorded personal bests in the high jump and 800m.

It looks likely to be another splendid indoor season for the 25-year-old multi-eventer.

Last year Lovell helped the Great Britain senior women’s team finish runners-up at the Combined Events International Indoor Match in Prague.

She also won the women’s long jump at the BUCS Indoor Championships 2017 while representing Brighton University and achieved a superb second place in the women’s pentathlon at the England Athletics Senior Indoor Combined Events Championships.

Lovell has also achieved plenty of outdoor success during her career. In summer 2016 she won a bronze medal for England Athletics in the women’s long jump at the Manchester International and clinched the senior women’s heptathlon title at the Southern All Ages Combined Events Championships.

She also produced what at the time was a personal best performance on her Great Britain & Northern Ireland debut at the European Cup Combined Events Super League event in France in July 2015.

Lovell wished to thank Chris at Core Running for his help during her recovery from the Achilles injury she suffered last summer, and her coach Steve King for his continued commitment and coaching.

Benefit from an ongoing discount on your Observer by joining our voucher membership scheme. Once you’ve subscribed, we’ll send you dated vouchers which can be exchanged for your paper at any news outlet. To save money on your Observer, simply click here (www.localsubsplus.co.uk)