Qualifying for the long jump final in the European Indoor Championships in Prague proved a leap too far for Irish long jumper Adam McMullen.
He got a baptism of fire in his debut at this level when he finished 16th from a qualifying field of 24 which, unusually, was run off in one single group as the O2 Arena in Prague only has one sand pit.
After moving to second on the Irish alltime list this year with a life-time best of 7:80m, the tall Crusaders man knew he needed to match that or go longer to have any chance of making the top eight to contest the final.
He landed a clean 7:50m with his first attempt but had a very choppy take-off for his second and only got to 7:19 and his last effort, while his best, was only marginally his longest (7:53m).
There was double-frustration for the tall Magherafelt man as 7.79m made the final and if he’d come within a centimetre of his PB he would have made it. As expected Sweden’s Michel Torneus led qualifying with 7.97 and his teammate Andrea Otterling jumped a 7.96 personal best also.
"I got three clean jumps off, so it's good to stay consistently on the board," McMullen said. "The 7:50s were good, it’s my fourth best in official competition and something to work on. if I can keep at it hopefully the big jumps will come outdoors."