Sainsburys British Athletics Indoor Championships,Sunday 9th February 2014

Day two of the trials for the World Indoor Championships in Poland next month were held at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield.

Sheffield always referred to as the Steel City,home of one of my favourite groups The Human League has a rich history when it comes to sport,Sheffield FC one of the worlds oldest football teams is just outside past the Totley Tunnel,The Crucible is fhe spiritual home to snooker here,Ponds Forge has held many high quality swimming events and in July the second stage of the Tour de France finishes in this South Yorkshire City.

This afternoon though it was all about getting qualified for Poland as the a athletes took to the track and field to give their all.

The afternoons proceedings began with a few field events with the Men’s Shot Put,this went first as it’s an indoor meeting so the metal caging and mats are put down on the 60m sprint track, The winning throw came from Zane Duquemin from Shaftesbury Beagles with a distance of 18.31 metres in the fifth round,he already looked to have this in the bag from round two and was the deserved winner, the one who got out bed the wrong side was Luke Roach-Christie who had five consecutive red flags until the last round when he threw 13.79m which was a PB,Zane will be representing Jersey in Glasgow this summer.

Women’s Triple Jump was taken by Laura Samuel of Birchfield Harriers,her opening hop,step and jump of 13.32m in the very first round was the best although in the last of the six jumps each athlete got Nadia Williams almost got there but her 13.27 was just a few centimetres short.

Pole Vault action for the men was very action packed with the very talented young athlete Luke Cutts for local club The Dearn waiting until the end as he leaped over 5.60m and got the better of runner up Max Eaves who cleared 5.45 but in the final with Cutts could not get over the winning distance

The opening heats for the Women’s 60m hurdles and 200m came next as did the Men’s 200m but I shall concentrate on the finals.

Two more field events went on during the afternoon,a huge field in the Men’s High Jump,Robbie Grabarz from Newham and Essex Beagles took the honours,his first attempt of 2.24m was enough for him, he did attempt 2.28m along with three others but none of them were able to get over the bar, the Women’s Long Jump was won by Katarina Johnson-Thompson for her club Liverpool Harriers, 6.75m was well clear from Jazmin Sawyers with 6.44m, this was a busy two days for Katarina as the heptathlete also won the High Jump yesterday and with Jessica Ennis-Hill currently in Broodmare condition many of the Women will have an eye on picking up where she left off.

And so on to the track events, the first final of the day was the Men’s 1500m over seven and a half laps of the EIS track, Chris O’Hare made the early running and was being tracked on the penultimate lap by Lee Emanuel before Charlie Grice got in the shake up as the took the bell,eventually with 100m to go Emanuel kicked on and took the gold medal in a time of 3.48.15 for his club City of Sheffield with a blanket for the places,Chris O’Hare rallied for second,Grice got the verdict for third and Kris Gauson was fourth,it was so tight that the second to fourth times were all on 3.48 but the hundredths were 68.69 and 73.

Nine went to post in the Women’s 3000m final over 15 laps,The race was defected by the non declarations of Emelia Gorecka,Lauren Howarth and steeplechaser Eilish McColgan but it was still a good race to watch.

Beth Potter was leading from the start and behind her Jo Moultire and Charlene Thomas who took over with four laps left as Potter began to fade,Thomas subsequently began pouring it on winning in the end in 9.05.93 ahead of Thomas in 9.09.02 then for Bronze was Rosie Clarke 9.10.99, The Wakefield Harriers time did not meet the standard required of 9.02 so I have no idea if it means she won’t be going to Poland or not.

The 200m finals came next so it was from stayers to sprinters.

The ladies went first here and in an enthralling race a mere four hundredths of a second separated Dina Asher Smith and Shannon Hylton with Asher Smith getting the judges verdict as the winning times of 23.20 and 23.24 were recorded, Joey Duck had the Bronze and for the record the other Hylton sister Cheriece was fourth so this meant four of the first three including the winner came from the Blackheath and Bromley club.

For the men Chris Clarke came second but was awarded the victory as Edmond Amaning got disqualified for a lane violation, the Newham and Essex Beagle in lane five may feel its a hollow victory but that’s racing and of you break the rules then you must take the punishment dealt to you.

800m came up for both sexes, the women’s final looked very interesting on paper and so it proved to be when the gun went bang as Shelyana Oskan-Clarke towed them along until halfway or so when the ever popular Jenny Meadows took over then on the last lap recent Glasgow winner Laura Muir led with 100m to go and fought on from the pack behind to win Gold,Oskan-Clarke battled on and got Silver,Katie Kirk just edged the Bronze from Meadows.

Winning time was 2.06.04 with another blanket covering the other places, Laura Muir is one to follow,only 20 she has a serious future ahead of her as a middle distance runner

Drama in the Mens race,Andrew Osagie was first past the post until the stewards disqualified him for a lane violation which resulted in Sheffield RC’s highly regarded Mukhtar Mohammed getting the Gold, Osagie had made all from the gun until getting headed by Guy Learmonth at the bell then Osagie regained the lead in the last 100m, The new winning time was 1.51.71.

Over the jumps with the final of the Women’s 60m hurdles, Their was drama at the start as Angelita Broadbelt-Blake got disqualified for a false start,Gemma Bennett from Shaftesbury Harriers won,her time of 8.20 was her season best, Serita Soloman and Sarah Kate Lavin needed a photo with times of 8.24 and 8.25 to sort there positions out.

The last events of the day were the 400m Women’s and Men’s.

A brutal display of front running saw Margaret Adeoye destroy her competitors in 52.77,runner up in both her heat and semi races she saved the best for when it mattered the most,The Enfield Harrier is under the tutelage of Linford Christie, she will have a good season outdoors,Laura Wake and Meghan Beesley in 53.35 and 53.38.

In the Men’s final Luke Lennel Ford was first past then got disqualified with the race given to runner up Nigel Levine,the WSE Hounslow was just ahead of Richard Buck and Daniel Awde with times of 46.82,46.86 and 46.90.

I have to say this was a very enjoyable afternoons entertainment,a lot of sports including my first love of horse racing can learn a lot from how the people at British Athletics organise an event like this.

The sound of the crowd was very much appreciated by the competitors here as they gave each one a huge amount of love and respect,despite many occasions when the bars got knocked down and red flags given the athletes are only human,born to make mistakes.

A couple of good notable things which did occur from the day is that the supporters are sporting like the competitors and also their was no alcohol on sale which made for a very friendly atmosphere, British Athletics really is on the up.

Next up all being well depending on the weather will be Haydock on Saturday with the Grand National Trial being the main race.

Below,The starter here doesn’t wear a trilby!

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Below,3000m mid race

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Below,Going over the pole vault.

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Below,W800m runners coming out,Wigan’s Jenny Meadows in the shades

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Below,The presentation of the Women’s 400m.

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Below,Myself with Margaret Adeoye

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Below,Two Sporting Legends,On the left the 1991 Lowton County Primary School Sack race and Skipping Rope race Champion Neil Watson and on the right the 1992 Olympic 100m Gold Medalist Linford Christie

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