FORMER Colchester Sixth Form pupil Thomas Hewes has been crowned the British indoor high jump champion after winning the UK Championships in Birmingham.

Tom Hewes, from Langham, set a new personal best of 2.18m on Sunday to beat William Grimsey of Woodford Green and Akin Coward of Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers to take the first British title of his career.

Hewes, 24, is from Langham and studied at Colchester Sixth Form College as a teenager.

His clearance of 2.18m at the UK Indoor Championships was not only the best jump of his life, but was also an improvement of 8cm from his season’s best set in 2023.

Hewes came into the competition at 1.99m, clearing the height at his first attempt before clearing 2.08m, and 2.12m on his second attempts.

The Chelmsford AC athlete then cleared 2.15m and 2.18m at the first time of asking to take the title ahead of Grimsey, who took two attempts to clear 2.18m.

Hewes’s previous personal best dates back to 2017 when he jumped 2.15m to take bronze at the English Schools Championships.

The BBC’s athletics commentator Tim Hutchings described Hewes’s clearance of 2.18m as “absolutely brilliant”.

He said: “He’s in cloud cuckoo land.

“It’s one of the performances of the weekend – his season’s best coming into this was 2.06m and he’s just jumped 2.18m!”

The 24-year-old first started athletics at Colchester and Tendring Athletics Club before he then registered for Chelmsford Athletics Club in 2014, according to the athletics ranking website The Power of 10.

Hewes won the English U15 title in 2014 and then the U17 title in 2015 before representing Great Britain at U20 level at the European Junior Championships in 2017.