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Jean Pickering Olympic Scholar Tom Gale: Season in Review.

Jean Pickering Olympic Scholar Tom Gale: Season in Review.

Consistency has been the key for Tom Gale in 2019, a factor which will stand him in great stead as he heads into 2020.

Whilst Gale’s PB is an outstanding 2.30m from 2017, this year arguably sits amongst his most successful seasons due to the regularity with which he has been jumping over 2.20m. He tells us that this level of reliability in his jumping was one of his major goals for the year. In addition to his consistency, there have been moments of brilliance throughout the season. His seasons best of 2.27m marks his third highest jump of his career.

It’s been a packed competition calendar for the 2017 European Bronze medallist, as he has competed at the European U23 Championships, the London Anniversary Games and the Birmingham Diamond League. For Gale, competing amongst this high calibre of athletes at prestigious competitions is a vital part of his mental preparation for the Olympics next year.

One of his biggest highlights of 2019 was the European U23 Championships, where the Bath athlete brilliantly demonstrated his ability to perform at championship level. He walked away with a Silver medal after an exciting dual with Maksim Nedasekau of Belarus. Despite his satisfaction with his performance, Gale is always yearning for more, as he remembers that “I was disappointed not to have walked away with gold as I was feeling really good on the day and feel there were bigger heights there than what I finished with.” All this suggests there is still much more to come for the young High Jumper heading into 2020.

However, as is common in sport, it hasn’t all been plain sailing. In his final jump at the Anniversary Games, Gale rolled his ankle. Whilst the diagnosis of a ruptured ATFL sounds disastrous, Tom remained positive and assured. His attitude and commitment to rehabilitation and recovery meant that within only 3 weeks he was back competing at the Birmingham Diamond League.

Whilst Gale unfortunately missed the qualification for the World Championships, and has thus ended his 2019 season, there is great promise for next season. The aim for 2019 was to lay sound technical foundations, and this decision has reaped many benefits during the competitive season. Gale credited the amount of time he has dedicated to working technically with his coach, Denis Doyle, for his success this year. His Jean Pickering Scholarship has been used to fund training camps where he can dedicate plenty of time to quality 1-1 sessions.

As the seasons ends, the European U23 Silver and British Championships Bronze medallist wanted “to thank and express my gratitude to the Ron Pickering Memorial for the support they’ve provided me and hope to repay them by competing in the Tokyo Olympics.”

With an injury-free winter behind him, the prospects for Tom Gale next year are bright.

Text: Ashleigh Spiliopoulou

Photo: Mark Shearman: Athletics Images

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