Hague has really hit the heights

Hague has really hit the heights
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Great Britain's Adam Hague leads the pole vault field with 5.60m entering the European Athletics Junior Championships in Eskilstuna.

Two years ago in Rieti, the gold medal in the men’s pole vault at the European Athletics Junior Championships was won with a height of 5.30m, a fine clearance for competitors slowly edging their way towards the senior ranks.

But for those lining up in Eskilstuna this week for the 23rd edition of this event, they need to look a fair way higher because the youngster at the top is already reaching a level beyond his years.

Yorkshire’s Adam Hague is still only 17 and he is top of the European Athletics junior lists with a brilliant 5.60m, achieved in March at the Texas relays in Austin where he finished sixth.

It is a height that puts him 19th on the senior rankings and takes him to Sweden as an athlete who still has 18 centimetres on arguably his nearest challenger, fellow Briton Harry Coppell, while Italy’s Luigi Robert Colella is third on the lists this year with 5.32m.

Both clearances by the latter two would, of course, have brought gold in Rieti but Hague is the athlete they have to watch out for.

When he went over at 5.60m, it was a national junior record having broken the World Youth indoor record with his 5.55m in Vienna in January.

Born in Rotherham, he has taken that impressive indoor form outdoors and is one of Britain’s big hopes for gold at the championships which start on Thursday.

When he spoke to British Athletics back in March, prior to his 5.60m in Austin, he talked of how he was using one season to work towards the next.

He said at the time: "I never expected it (to jump 5.55m) – I was looking more around 5.40-5.45m as a marker to go into the outdoor season. To be jumping so high already is very good.

Even then he knew what his top target was for 2015.

"The European Juniors are the main aim," said Hague. "I want to reach the final first and then do well once I get there, that’s the main goal. I can think about the Olympics in the long term but the juniors are my focus now."

That focus is upon us…and the pole vault runway is waiting his superb talent.