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McCain jumpsfest and throwsfest

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Emma Lyons

07 August 2010

Youngsters stole the show on the first day of action at the McCain JumpsFest and ThrowsFest today (Saturday 7 August) at Barnet Copthall Stadium in London.

Wolverhampton & Bilston’s Benji Pearson, who will compete in the discus on day two tomorrow (Sunday 8 August), improved his javelin personal best by over 11m to shoot to the top of this year’s under 17 McCain Power of 10 rankings.

The talented teenager, who is still recovering from an elbow injury to his non-throwing arm, improved his best from 55.08m to 66.34m to climb nine places in the rankings.

He said: “I knew it was in there because I’ve been throwing close to 65m in training but I’m just really pleased to get a good throw out after throwing three fouls in a competition about three weeks ago.”

The women’s javelin saw another young athlete make an impact on the Power of Ten as 15-year-old Laura McDonald (Tim Newenham) threw 47.52m to go from 11th to fourth on the under 17 All Time list.

She said: “To be honest I still can’t really believe it, I’m in a state of shock. It was really enjoyable, I just love being out there and throwing and showing what I can do."

“Going into competitions I never really expect anything, I just hope for the best really and if I come out with a PB it’s a nice bonus. I just like to show what I can do and keep throwing and have fun. That’s really important at the moment," she said

There was also a new T44 World Record (subject to ratification) as Paralympic bronze medallist Stefanie Reid soared to a new world best distance of 5.05m (+0.2m/s).

She said: “I’m thrilled, but it’s something that’s been hovering in the back of my head as I jump that far quite frequently in practice.”

Reid and Dan Pfaff, Director of Lee Valley National Performance Centre, believe she can jump much further, and her next chance will be at the final 2010 UKA Disability Athletics Challenge Series at Crystal Palace on Sunday 15 August.

Click here for a full news story on Stefanie Reid's World Record.

Entries for the weekend were up by 20 per cent on last year and the popularity of the event-specific meeting proved justified as highly-ranked athletes produced a number of lifetime bests.

Emma Lyons (Scott Simpson) leapt to a new outdoor best in the pole vault, clearing 4.25m with ease on her first attempt, before narrowly missing a new outright best of 4.32m.

“I’m pleased. Conditions were quite reasonable compared to what we’ve been used to and I’ve been working on quite a few things in training. As a result I had a much cleaner competition right from the start," she said.

Multi-eventers were out in force with England Combined Events Champion Dominique Blaize (Julie Hollman) jumping a new personal best of 6.31 to win the long jump and Louise Hazel (Fayyez Ahmed) improving her shot put best by 30cm with a throw of 12.70m.

Hazel said: “Shot put is something I’ve really been working on. I’ve been training with Bob Weir in Loughborough which means I’ve been travelling there regularly and doing lots of my running and jumping sessions there just so that I can improve my shot, so I’m glad it’s paid off.”

Nick Cruchley (Steve Rippon) added 5cm to his lifetime best to win the pole vault and creep up the Power of Ten rankings at the same time.

Torrential rain hampered the final events of the day, including the men’s javelin, but Daniel Pembroke (Kevin Pembroke), fresh from the IAAF World Junior Championships in Moncton, Canada, managed a solid throw to finish second behind Australian Matthew Outzen with 69.40m.

For full results, click here.