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Historic clean sweep for Birmingham at the NIA

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Young athletes from all corners of the UK, gathered in Birmingham on Sunday 22 April, for the Norwich Union sports:hall UK Final, with individual medals and team trophies up for grabs.

 

For the first time in the 24-year history of the UK Sportshall final, Birmingham completed a clean sweep, taking the four team titles for Under 13 girls, Under 13 boys, Under 15 girls and Under 15 boys.

 

Cheered on by the former All Rounder Champion in 1999, Jonathan Moore, who was looking out for athletes that might get close to breaking his UK Standing triple jump record of 9.44m, the athletes had all earned their place after qualifying in their regional or national final.

 

The Under 15 Boys All Rounder title was shared by Olu Oyewobi (Middlesex) and the first Welsh athlete to ever make the podium, Meilir Jones (North West Wales), they finished the day tied with 265 points. Birmingham’s Joe Scott took third place, just three points behind.

 

Oyewobi was competing at his first UK final and was cheered on by his PE teacher Mr Rosen, who encouraged him to take up athletics at St. Thomas More Sports College in Woodgreen, London. He said:

 

“I didn’t know what to expect as it was my first experience of making the UK final. I joined

Enfield & Haringey last year, but I haven’t done much competitive athletics. I think this experience will give me the incentive to carry on with athletics now and see what I can do.”

 

Sportshall Winners
Katharine Merry with the All Rounder Champions

 

Meilir Jones, a member of Menai Track & Field, was hoping for an individual medal after finishing fifth last year in the same age group, but it didn’t all go to plan. He said: “I thought I could get into the medals, but my chances seemed to be getting slim as I was throwing up after the first event, the four lap race!”

 

“I really wanted to be the first athlete from Wales to win the All Rounder title, that was my aim after last year.”

 

Shelley Hazlewood (Warwickshire) took the honours in the Under 15 Girls All Rounder competition. She finished the day with a solid set of performances; nine points clear of Emma Spragg (Birmingham) and Kitan Elajae (Essex).

 

Shelley said afterwards: “I’ve done Sportshall since I was 11 years old, so it has always been important to me. Hopefully winning this title will be a stepping-stone for me. I would love to compete at the Olympics one day.”

 

Full results are available on the Sportshall Athletics website.