So many times it takes that single performance to make all the difference and turn your fortunes round as the confidence and feel-good factor settle back in and sometimes everything seems to click on the way.

Steve Lewis had to wait for nearly two years to vault into the 5.70s, either indoors or outdoors, until he found his Nevers-neverland over an Olympic A qualifier of 5.72m in France mid February but has now followed up with a second straight mark in that region and moved a notch higher on the international ladder.

On Friday, at the Springer Meeting in Dessau in Germany, he negotiated brilliantly a high quality, mainly German-made up, field to occupy an excellent runner-up spot behind in top-form Bjorn Otto, in a fascinating duel that yielded a new total PB of 5.77m in the process.

The German, twice over a global second-spotted 5.92m this winter, eventually stamped his authority over a classy 5.84m but the Briton will take plenty of heart of his showing, also attempting at the same height, and is going to fancy his own chances of silverware in Istanbul this weekend.

Apart from his new marker, a string of fine scalps of the likes of Malte Mohr (5.87 this season, indoor best) and Raphael Holzdeppe (5.82, PB), tied at 5.60m immediately below for third and fifth, will provide a further mental boost and substantially raise his own stakes as a contender.

From a British perspective, that 5.77m takes Lewis a step closer in pursuing Nick Buckfield‘s outright UK record of 5.81m from 2002, also on German soil, and the forthcoming World Indoor Championships could shape a fitting stage to pull such a feat.

As importantly, things seem to have sparked into life for good in the men’s department as young Andrew Sutcliffe has taken great strides to 5.55m this winter while the duo of Luke Cutts and Max Eaves show signs of a return to form.

There was a high jump competition laid on for the women instead in Dessau and Svetlana Shkolina (RUS) dominated with ease at a standard 1.94m to place a good 10cm on the opposition.



David Forrester broke ground into the legendary sub 4 minutes territory as he came through strongly from the outside in the late stages of the mile to grab third in a PB of 3:59.13 in a tight finish on the oversize track at the Alex Wilson Invitational at South Bend, near Notre Dame in Indiana.

The 22-year-old hadn’t raced over the distance for two years but blew away his previous best of 4:07.77 on his first call and underline the substantial headway he has made since, a display that augurs well for a potential charge on the Olympic A standard in the 5000m this summer.

Kirubel Erassa, the junior men’s winner at the BUPA Great Edinburgh XC, shadowed the race in a total PB of 3:58.84 from also U20 Robby Creese, runner-up a tenth of a second behind (PB), for an American one-two while Brit Ross Clarke earned a substantial PB of 4:01.15 in seventh place.

U23 Tom Curr must have been rather disappointed to trail back in eleventh place in 4:04.32 having narrowly missed out on the four-minute barrier himself recently in 4:00.11 in Seattle.

Scot Josephine Moultrie was dragged to a big PB of 4:38.87 for second behind unheralded American winner Aisha Praught (4:37.77, PB) where ‘chaser Lennie Waite came fourth in a SB of 4:39.81 in the women’s version.

Sarah Waldron mounted her own breakthrough as she crept inside 16 minutes over 5000m for the first time ever in 15:59.93 on the first day slightly behind Juli Accurso (15:58.69, PB).

The highlight of the meet turned a blanket finish in a quality men’s 400m that saw Tavaris Tate pip compatriots Mike Berry and Thomas Murdaugh at the end to a fast 46.10 as the top three came home within 0.07 of one another, the latter two setting 46.16 and 46.17 secs respectively.