TOM Gale will need to re-discover his major championships mentality if he is to keep alive his ambition of qualifying for the World Championships in Doha next month, writes KEVIN FAHEY.

This weekend, the Trowbridge international high jumper returns to Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium for the British Athletics Championships, hoping for a complete reversal in form.

Last Sunday, Gale suffered three no jumps in the Diamond League meeting at the same venue, and if that happens again, his chances of making the team would be minimal.

But that disappointing performance must be seen in the context of a recent ankle injury that severely hampered Gale’s training and left him seriously under-prepared for the event.

Gale said: “I know I can raise my game for championships, so as long as I sort out my head and forgot about what happened last week and remember what I have done this season, I should be competitive.

“I knew I wasn’t in the best shape last weekend after the ankle injury. It just felt better being able to walk out for the competition rather than limp along.

“The competition was an opportunity to test my ankle and while it is not 100 per cent, I am feeling a lot better about it.

“My biggest challenge now will be to have a fresh mindset for the trials.”

For a psychological boost, Gale need only cast his mind back a month to when he won silver at the European U23s Championships in Sweden with a season’s best of 2.27m – just three centimetres off his lifetime best.

That 2.30m height is the standard set by British Athletics as a qualifying target to make the team for the Worlds and, on paper, it would seem that Gale and close rival Chris Baker, of Sale Harriers, are the only men capable of achieving that.

Going to Birmingham, they are currently tied on top spot in the UK rankings at 2.27m with a five centimetres gap to the next athlete.

“It will be great if both I and Chris are both going for 2.30m as I think we need each other on top form so we can bounce off each other,” added Gale.

“If we are both on form, it should be a great competition and I am very excited about it.”

Meanwhile, Jenna Blundell’s ambition is not quite as lofty as that of Gale, but she has set herself a clear target for her first appearance in the trials in the 100m hurdles.

The 18-year-old, from Staverton, said: “I am so excited to be racing at Birmingham and mixing it with the big girls.

“I have raced some of those girls recently and done pretty well, so that has given me a lot of confidence.

“The heats and final of the hurdles are both on Saturday so my main aim is to reach that final. That is my big goal.”

If Blundell can get close to her PB of 13.56secs, then she will certainly be in the mix to win a place in the final.

“My starts have been really good recently, so if I can get away well and execute a clean race, then it would be very nice to make that final,” added Blundell.

“I like racing at Birmingham as that is where I ran my PB to win the English Schools’ title last month, so it is a good track for me. I am really looking forward to it.”