THE Doha Dream may be over but ‘Target Tokyo’ is now being wheeled out for Trowbridge international high jumper Tom Gale, writes KEVIN FAHEY.

Gale is already looking to the future after failing to secure one of the automatic two spots for next month’s World Championships when attempting to qualify at the British Championships in Birmingham last weekend, finishing third.

However, as none of the medallists have cleared the qualifying standard of 2.30m this season, the selectors may decide not to take a high jumper to the competition in Doha.

That’s not an issue worrying 20-year-old Gale as he has mentally written off the Worlds and is already planning his moves to take him to Japan next year for the 2020 Olympics.

“I felt frustrated to only jump 2.22m but was happy that I came out of the event in one piece after my recent injury problems,” said Gale.

“Sadly, my preparations were not perfect. Having said that, my consistency this season – with my 10 best jumps averaging 2.22m – is a good basis for going forward.

“Unfortunately, that is unlikely to be good enough to qualify for the World Championships but next year and the Olympics remain the big goal.”

That recent ankle injury, which prevented Gale from any meaningful training at a crucial stage of the summer, explains why he was unable to push on from the silver medal he won at the European U23s Champions in Sweden in July.

Gale cleared a season’s best of 2.27m in Sweden and looked more than ready to challenge his two-year-old best of 2.30m before the ankle problem struck.

“I think it is highly unlikely I will be selected for the Worlds, so now I will finish my season in Holland on Wednesday and then get straight into my winter training programme,” added Gale.

“If I can train well and efficiently, plus avoid any injury problems, then I think we will see some good progression in 2020.

“To be honest, I am very excited going into the winter and the fact that I am ending this season in one piece is a blessing.”

At least Gale made it to the trials because fellow Wiltshire international athlete Danny Talbot didn’t even reach Birmingham as he is back on the treatment table having suffered a series of niggles since making his comeback from an ankle operation last year.

Talbot has raced just once this summer over 100m in France, clocking 10.44secs.

Bearing in mind he didn’t compete at all in 2018, it has been a wretched period for him.

Also at the British Championships, Staverton junior international Jenna Blundell just failed to make the final of the women’s 100m hurdles, finishing fifth in her heat.