NATHAN Douglas fell short of Olympic qualification but took heart from his display at the British Championships, WRITES STUART WEIR.

The Oxford City AC veteran claimed silver in the triple-jump final, achieving a season’s best of 16.20m behind gold-medal winner Ben Williams.

It means the 38-year-old is all-but guaranteed to miss out on his goal of a third Games, having competed in Athens and Beijing.

A hip injury prevented Douglas from his final jump as the Olympic standard of 17.14m proved too far, but he took the positives.

He said: “It was a promising day but a frustrating one as well.

“It has been a hard couple of years with being away from the track so much and my nan passing away.

“It is hard competing without her.

“I was beginning to feel like my old self, but unfortunately I hurt my hip and couldn’t take my last jump.

“I came here to win, but with a season’s best and silver, things are beginning to feel a little better.”

There were other encouraging performances from some of Oxford City’s rising stars.

Zoe Pollock clocked a personal best of 57.47secs to claim eighth place in the women’s 400m hurdles, having run well to qualify for the final.

That time puts her in the frame for a spot at next month’s European Under 23 Championships.

Pollock said: “What an incredible race to run in, with an amazing field to pull me along.

Witney Gazette: Zoe Pollock claimed a personal best in the 400m hurdles Picture: Stuart Weir

“I’m really happy that I got the European Under 23 qualifying time of 57.50, which I’ve been chasing for a while.

“Coming into this my aim was to get that time, with the final never in sight, so making the final and getting the time was very exciting.”

Elsewhere, Alice Hopkins had a nightmare start in the long jump, with fouls in her first three attempts, before finishing sixth with 6.32m.

The 22-year-old said: “Overall I am happy with it given the difficult year we have had, but I would have liked a little bit more distance.

“The run-up was difficult as the wind was swirling.”

Hopkins’ target for this year is to achieve the qualifying standard of 6.50m for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Ella Turner savoured her 400m heat, where she was sixth in 56.15secs.

Witney Gazette: Alice Hopkins was sixth in the long jump Picture: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

She said: “I think it went OK – very windy. It was amazing to be running against people who are going to the Olympics, a really good experience.

“It’s disappointing that there weren’t more spectators, but at least my sister was able to come.”

Abingdon’s Ben Claridge was fifth with 1min 51.68secs in his 800m heat behind Oliver Dustin, who ran a world-leading time earlier this year.

He said: “It was tough and it’s my first year back in 800m.

“I didn’t really expect to qualify for the British Champs but when you are invited, it’s rude not to accept.

“Those boys are a level above at the moment – I was in the race until 600m but didn’t have enough in the last 200.

“It’s a good learning curve.”

In the discus, Oxford City’s Kathryn Woodcock was ninth with 44.85m and Luisa Chantler-Edmond (Radley) 11th with 39.12.

Emily Thompson crossed the line in 4.34.93 to take 11th in her 1,500m heat.