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Long jumper’s recovery on track

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From the outside it might look like Chris Tomlinson is going it alone in his bid for London 2012 glory, but the Newham & Essex Beagles long jumper insists that couldn’t be further from the truth.

The 30-year-old will head to Birmingham this weekend for the Aviva 2012 Trails looking to earn selection for a third straight Olympics – his best Games finish so far being fifth place in Athens 2004.

He does so having missed the entire indoor season following knee surgery and having managed just two jumps outdoors, a season’s best 8.01m last month being 19cm off the Olympic A Standard.

But the reason for Tomlinson’s sparse showing so far this year is not solely down to his rehab from injury as his wife Lucia gave birth to their son Raphael in March.

But, while juggling parenthood with his dream of claiming London 2012 silverware can’t have been plain sailing, Tomlinson insists he wouldn’t be in with a shout if it wasn’t for his wife.

“Training has been going better than ever,” he said. “I have competed sparsely so far this year and I had an ok jump at 8.01m, but it is all about making sure I jump well when I need to jump well.

“I wouldn’t say I planned to only jump a couple of times, it is just the way it has worked out with the season starting so much earlier than normal.

“But everything is all fine with the winter surgery now and to be honest my wife has been fantastic with the new arrival and has really helped out on that front.

“She has taken my son away for long periods of time so I have been spending half of my time with him and the other half I have been away and concentrating on my training.

“I am enjoying the experience of being a father, but I feel very lucky that I have a good wife that allows me to still train hard. My London 2012 assault is very much a team effort between me and her.”

It isn’t just Tomlinson’s family that is helping the European bronze medallist stay focused on London 2012, the emergence of compatriot Greg Rutherford also doing the trick.

Commonwealth silver medallist Rutherford, 25, shares the British record of 8.35m with Tomlinson and having a young pretender to his throne is keeping the latter on his toes.

“It has been good to see Greg at the top of the world rankings and it is great to have two British guys up there,” added Tomlinson.

“Although you want to be number one by some way, it is good to have someone pushing you all the way and I am very lucky to have Greg. He has shown me that if he can do it, then why can’t I.”

n Back the team and watch over 750 British best athletes at the Aviva 2012 Trials in Birmingham from 22-24 June. For tickets visit www.uka.org.uk/aviva-series or call 08000 55 60 56. #backtheteam

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