On Saturday morning last in Qatar at the World Indoor Championships, Kelly Proper of Ferry bank AC failed in her bid to make the final of the Long Jump Championships.
The best of her three efforts in the qualifying round was a distance of 6.29 metres – well short of her Irish Record of 6.62m and placed her 16th of the entry of 22.
As things turned out, a jump close to her best would have easily made the final as all the jumpers failed to make the qualifying mark of 6.65m; the best effort being 6.61 and the last of the eight qualifiers jumped 6.46.
Kelly said she was “quite disappointed in my last jump. I was a bit behind the board but I thought it felt good but obviously not good enough because I needed 6.47 to get through. I came out here trying to get to the final and seeing what I could do there. I know it was well within my capabilities to make it to the final but it just wasn’t my day. All my preparation went great. I felt good today – felt great in the warm up.”
While Kelly will be frustrated, she can nevertheless take some positives from the experience in such exalted company; after all 6.29 wasn’t too far away from the final qualifying position.
If she can, with the help of her coach and back-up team in her club, transfer the kind of performances that she is capable of achieving in National Championships etc to the big stage (which requires so much more concentration, with no distractions) then the day will surely come when she gets the opportunity to fulfil her ambitions.
Also in action in Qatar on Saturday morning was 19-year-old Billy Ryan, again from Ferrybank AC, who was on a very young Irish Relay team in the heats of the 4x 400 metres event up against some of the world’s best. The Irish quartet finished last, but they will all have gained an insight as to what is required to progress up the ladder in one of the world’s most competitive sports. Time is on their side.