After a few weeks break it was back to sports blogging and this afternoon saw the third day of the British Championships at the Birmingham Alexander Stadium.
A good mix of events with the cream of British athletes battling out for the title of British Champion and places in the GB squad for the European Championships in Zurich in August.
As usual the organisation undertaken by British Athletics was second to none with the commentary and reporting of all the events kept up to a very high standard to keep the crowd entertained, I’ve said it before and I shall keep saying it that a lot of sports should come to a days athletics at a big event to see how they do it.
Below,The pop up museum of British Athetics.
On the track we kicked off with the Women’s 5km walk, now this may not sound an exciting event but from the word go Heather Lewis for Liverpool P set the pace and had the field well strung out but on the last lap Alana Barber came up on the outside with 200m to go but Lewis found extra on the bend and eeked out a bit more to get the first spot, Emma Achurch who was the youngest competitor at 16 filled the third spot.
The Men’s Walk followed and Dane Bird-Smith from Australia was going hammer and tongues with Tom Bosworth but managed to pull away as the got to the last few laps to win comfortably they were clear from Kiwi Quentin Rew
First of the finals came up at 2pm with the Men’s 400m final and unlike events in Brazil the fans celebrated a win for Rooney but this one was Martyn Rooney for Croydon who just got the better of Conrad Williams and got the lead in the last 15m, Michael Bingham of host club Birchfield got third.
After the men we had the Women’s 400m final which saw Sale Harrier athlete Kelly Massey just hold favourite Shana Cox down the straight to win in 52.45s to her 52.51, these two finished ahead of Emily Diamond on third spot.
Jumping action then came up with the Women’s 400m hurdles final and Eilidh Child who is no doubt dreaming about getting gold at Hampden in a few weeks time warmed up here comfortably in a time of 55.59, she had plenty in hand over Megan Beesley for Birchfield and the Pitresvie AAC runner will be in many peoples shortlist for Glasgow,her stride pattern altered a few times but it was nothing to get panicky about.
We then went from short distances to a race I was keen to see,the Women’s 5000m, this had a real abundance of stayers in it.
Below,5000m runners pass us and the women’s long jump in full flow!
The race resulted in a 100m sprint in the end as Jo Pavey made nearly all the running but the 40 year old had the company of 20yo young whippersnapper Emelia Gorecka who sat right behind her as the laps tumbled and the seventeen runner field got slowly whittled down,Laura Whittle and Helen Clitheroe were also in the Van guard as was little Charlotte Purdue and Elinor Kirk but as they got down to the serious side of the race it was Pavey and Gorecka who treated us to the finish of the day.
With three laps to go Pavey and Gorecka began to open up from Clitheroe and Whittle then with 450m to go Gorecka took the lead but it wasn’t over yet as Pavey came back on to Gorecka’s quarters with 150m left,down the straight they battled on like two prize fighters with both giving it everything but eventually the line came in time for Emelia Gorecka, it was the sort of finish you pay to see in athletics.
This was a fine win for Emelia Gorecka and only being 20 she has lots of good races ahead of her over the years and is becoming the worthy successor to Jo Pavey in these long distance events.
Men’s 1500m came next with favourite Charlie Grice of Brighton Phoenix duly obliging,the pace was steady with a bit of drama as they went down the back with 300m left as we had a couple of tumblers in Chris Warburton who seemed to have got pushed and he forced Alex Tovey down and both got hurdled by David Bishop,thankfully we didn’t end up with another Foinavon!
Charlie Grice won as easy as he did,only 20yo he has a bright future ahead of him.
Women’s 800m came up next.
Below,finish of the W800m
It was another win for Scotland as Edinburgh’s Lynsey Sharp the 2012 European Champion took the spoils, As expected Jenny Meadows set the early fractions with Jess Judd following along with Sharp as they did the first lap,going down the back Meadows was headed and overtaken by Judd but Sharp overtook her around the final bend with 200m to go and kicked on in the last 100m and the result was never in doubt in a time of 2.01.40., Alison Leonard and Jenny Meadows filled the minor places.
Back to the jumpers with the Men’s 110m Hurdle final and William Sharman destroyed the field in a time of 13.18,he was a country mile clear of Lawrence Clarke who would have been closer but made a real horlicks of one of the hurdles and that cost him dearly.
Women’s 100m final had a bit of controversy at the start as Bianca Williams false started so could not take part under the current one false start rule, the win went to Asha Phillip of Newham and Essex Beagles in 11.11s with a photo needed for second and third which ended up going to Ashleigh Nelson and Jodie Williams despite both having the same time of 11.15s, this was a thrilling finish.
Below,Finish to the Women’s 100m
So to the last track event and this was a fifth British title in a row and an eighth in all for 36yo Dwain Chambers who powered down the lane to take the Men’s 100m final, despite not hitting top stride early he came through with 40m left and just hung on from the fast finishing Harry Aikines Aryeetey in second with third spot filled by Chijindu Udah with times of 10.12,10.14 and 10.18, it was that close at the end!
Below,A quick selfie
It wasn’t all track though, the field events had some exciting action too.
The main one for me was the Women’s Long Jump in which Liverpool’s Katarina Johnson Thompson leapt into the sand with a score of 6.81m on her second jump which was was 32cm clear of Jazmin Sawyers who got second with 6.49m and Sarah Warnock for Edinburgh was third with 6.42m
KJT who you may remember won at Sheffield back in February is in good heart at the moment and with Jessica Ennis-Hill currently pregnant the heptathlon is in good hands with Katarina,this young lady is going places in the sport.
In the Men’s Shot Put a throw of 18.34m was enough for Birchfield Harrier’s Scott Rider,the nearest challenger was Zane Duquemin with 18m.
Women’s Hammer went to Blackburn’s Sophie Hitchon,she threw 65.56 m.
The Men’s Pole Vault was the victor of Steve Lewes,his 5.55m was more than enough for the Newham and Essex Beagle,he had the two Sale Harriers behind him of Paul Walker and Andrew Sutcliffe with their height of 5.35m.
The Men’s Triple Jump went to Julian Reid with 16.82m on his third jump,He was almost caught by Ben Williams of Sale but his 16.73 on his last jump was a few centimetres to short.
Men’s Discus went to Zane Duquemin who was doubling up today,he threw 60.38m on his fourth throw which was enough to seal the gold.
The Women’s Javelin was taken by Goldie Sayers,her distance of 62.75m did the trick although before that she had three consecutive foul throws,this was a real bounce back for Sayers,injury in London 2012 kept her out so it’s hopefully onwards and upwards from here for the javelin thrower who surprisingly hails from Newmarket of all places.
A lovely afternoon then in the world of track and field,next Saturday racing returns with the Lancashire Oaks and Old Newton Cup at Haydock.
The people at British Athletics really do know how to put on a good show for the crowd and with some promising young athletes slowly coming through I can safely say that the future is secure of this sport.
Until next weekend, a very goodbye.