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Indoor City Challenge semi-final report

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Nadia Williams
Nadia Williams

3 February 2008

 

Team Bristol had looked certain for the top spot throughout this weekend’s Indoor City Challenge semi-final, at Cardiff’s UWIC athletics centre, however, it was Team London North who triumphed, taking the lead through the last five events of the competition.

 

Team Bristol placed second and Team Cardiff third, both automatically qualifying for the final, while Team London South progress as best runner up.

 

The last minute surge from Team London North, was heavily influenced by Nadia Williams, who wowed spectators with her triple jump performance. Williams smashed her personal best and went far beyond the UK Athletics Power of Ten national target of 12.85m, to place her top of the 2008 national rankings. Her outstanding jump of 13.44m also gained her the coveted ‘Female Performance of the Match’ prize, an adidas kit package worth £500, awarded by the event management team.

 

An outstanding performance from Scott Rider (Team London South) in the shot put set the levels high in the early stages of the competition. The physical education teacher from London got a new ICC record, broke his indoor personal best and achieved the UK Athletics national target. His effort of 18.54m earned him the ‘Athlete of the Match’ award for his city. The tall Londoner said he felt he had a lot more to give and that hopefully it would come through at Sheffield next week where he will compete at the World Trials and UK Championships. 

 

Team Cardiff’s Joe Thomas had a truly spectacular win in the 800m. In this extremely competitive event he strategically backed away from the push and shove of the first lap, choosing to bide his time towards the back of the pack. ‘I started to move up with two laps to go but still I didn’t want to be at the front, I felt in control.’ In the last 200m Thomas began to move onto the shoulder of Damien Moss (Team Oxford) then continued to power past him on the home straight to take victory.

 

Samson Oni
Samson Oni

Team Bristol’s saviours were Jemma Simpson and Holly Croxford who won the 800m and 200m respectively. Simpson, who returned last Monday from warm weather training with the Great Britain team in South Africa, came to Cardiff to ‘test her form’ and confirmed great shape by winning the 800m for Team Bristol. She said: ‘Im focussing on the World Indoors and then hopefully Beijing. I’ll be going back out to South Africa with my coach in April for some more training.’ Croxford set a new personal best with her winning performance of 24.63secs.

 

Samson Oni had the whole arena behind him in the last rounds of the high jump. Oni achieved the UK Athletics national target of 2.18m and moved to number one in the 2008 national rankings with his jump of 2.25m. London South star tried for 2.30m with no success. He said of his performance: ‘I came here to get 2.30m and made pretty decent attempts at it. I’m definitely looking for 2.30 next week in Sheffield and to get qualification for the Olympics.’ Oni was also awarded the Male Performance of the Match prize, an adidas kit package worth £500, awarded by the event management team.

 

‘Athlete of the Match’ prizes, consisting of adidas trainers worth £75, awarded by team managers, went to; Kerry Harty, who claimed Belfast’s only win of the day in the 1500m, taking her personal best of 4:27:58secs to 4:22:30secs. Paul Walker (Team Cardiff) who was consistent with performance’s in the men’s combined events. Scott Rider (Team London South). Stephanie Aneto (Team London North), Serita Shone who won every event in the combined events program and helped Bristol to second place in the medley relay and Jenny Pacey, winner of the women’s long jump for Team Oxford who achieved a new personal best.

 

For full results visit www.ukathletics.net/competitions/indoor-city-challenge/results