ATHLETICS: Hunts AC star jumping for joy with British Masters double - only four years after taking up the sport
- Credit: Archant
Hunts AC star Jo Abel is really making up for lost time.
The jumping talent only took up the sport competitively in 2015 at the age of 42.
Now, only four years later, she is celebrated a major medal double after striking gold twice in the W45 at the British Masters Championships last weekend.
Abel flew out to 4.57m in her final jump of the long jump competition to claim her first victory on Saturday and she followed up with a new club veteran women's record of 9.92 to take triple-jump glory the following day.
Incredibly, Abel only attempted the triple jump for the first time in 2017, but her winning leap means she now sits 11th in the all-time British rankings for her age group.
And Abel, who is also a Huntingdon Hockey Club player, admits she is looking forward to showing off her new 'jewellery' to her friends.
"Now that I've come back down to earth, I want to thank everyone who support me on a weekly basis - my coaches, my fellow athletes and their families, and my own family," said Abel.
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"They are now used to me turning down nights out in favour of training, or wild weekends in favour of competing,
"But these moments are not achievable without sacrifices. It takes weeks of commitments to training - regardless of the weather - along with a lot of mental strength and self-belief.
"It my first full year training with a coach and competing in triple jump so hopefully there is plenty more to come.
"But, in the meantime, I will be showing off my new gold jewellery to everyone I see this week!"
Abel is coached by Andy Phipps for the long jump and Neil Carrington for the triple jump. She also coaches the Under 13 age group at Hunts AC of which her son, Jamie, is a part.
Carrington certainly practiced what he preaches when also winning a British Masters medal.
Carrington took silver in the M50 triple jump with an 11.06m effort while Sandra Pedley was another runner-up when clearing 1.80m in the W50 pole vault.
Yinka Opaleye finished sixth in the 100m and fifth in the 200m in the M45 section while Philip Bowers was fifth in both the long jump and triple jump at M50.
Bob Ellingham only narrowly missed out on a medal in that age group as he finished fourth in the hammer.