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Aviva World Trials report

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Leon Baptiste

 

14 February 2010

To see full results from today's action click here

On day two of the Aviva World Trials and UK Championships, more athletes put forward cases for World Indoor selection, although all eyes will be on next weekend’s Aviva Grand Prix in Birmingham as athletes have one last chance to impress selectors.

World bronze medallist Jenny Meadows provided a stadium record for the EIS in winning the day’s final event – the women’s 800m final. In a dominant display of front-running the Wigan athlete solo-ran to victory in 2:00.91 proving her world class credentials once again.

It was even better news for second placed Vicky Griffiths (Liverpool Harriers) who ran a well judged race to take second in 2:02.94 and also secure a qualifying time for the World Indoor championships.

Meadows said: “I would have liked to have gone a bit quicker but it’s hard to keep going when you’re on your own, so it wasn’t to be. I felt ok at the end so I kicked myself a bit for not putting in a bit more on the third lap but it’s nice to get the win and I’m looking forward to Birmingham next week. I do think that I am in 1.59 shape and hopefully I can run a 1.58 in Doha.”

Earlier Leon Baptiste (Enfield & Haringey) ran an impressive PB in taking the 200m title which underlined his strong indoor form in 2010.

Looking easy he strode across the line in 20.90, also dragging Conrad Williams (Kent) to a personal best of 21.48 in taking second place. Later he picked up the $1500 cheque for the day’s best performance.

“My indoor season has gone really well and winning in Glasgow the other week gave me a lot of confidence. I am going back to work hard with my coach and make sure I am in the form to perform to the best of my ability outdoors – that’s where it needs to come,” said Baptiste.

“Last year I was disappointed, hopefully going into this season I can perform and make the European Championships, that’s the main thing for me; to come top two at the trials. To try and medal at the Europeans is the aim.”

Over the two lap sprint, Richard Buck (York) took yet another UK Indoor title, although Nigel Levine (WSEH) almost caused an upset when colliding with Buck on the break. Luckily both talented sprinters made it through the 400m race, with Buck using the final 30 metres to secure the win in 47:54 ahead of Levine in 47:73.

Afterwards, Buck was magnanimous over the collision he and Levine endured:

“That was messy and far from my best. I thought I had the break but Levine was like a rocket, he came out from nowhere – he was trying to get the inside line and I didn’t want to give it up. He wasn’t going to bail on it and neither was I, so we had to have a bit of a scrap in there!

“I couldn’t have asked for a better result, slightly disappointed with the time but I’m sure that’s down to what happened in the race and I hope to get better in Birmingham.”         

The crowd on the back straight were treated to a high quality pole vault competition which resulted in victory and a fifth successive title for Steve Lewis.

Earlier, Sale’s Andrew Sutcliffe had thrilled the pole vault faithful with a number of exciting clearances taking him to a significant PB of 5.36m – an 11cm improvement on his previous best and cracking form for the junior talent. It was at that stage where the top GB pair of Steve Lewis (Stoke) and Luke Cutts (Dearnside) entered the competition.

With Cutts only clearing the mark on his second attempt, it meant the young pretender was playing catch up on Lewis from the word go, and although Lewis maxed out at 5.56m, it was enough to take the title leaving Cutts in third with5.36m, Sutcliffe splitting the two with his first time clearance.

“I am pleased to win here today. I am looking forward to Doha - I think that technically, it’s all coming together so I am happy with today,” said Lewis.

In the slowest of slow tactical races, Colin McCourt (unattached) took the honours as the final 400m turned in to a classic middle distance burn-up in the men’s 1500m final. With Scot Overall (Blackheath), Stephen Davies (Belgrave) and Tim Bayley (Belgrave) all taking turns to drive on the pace, McCourt stormed past Bayley with 100m to go to take the win and UK title in 4:04.83.

After his win, McCourt was buoyed by the sprint finish that took place: “I know I’m fast so I thought I could get him at the end. I ran about 100 mile last week and I was tired so this week I’ve just eased down a bit more,” he said.

“It was too slow today though, but none of us are front runners and no one wanted to do it. I’m quite happy if it’s slow though because I can just sit in.”

In the men’s 800m Andrew Osagie (Harlow) took an expected win, although there was a close finish in a highly competitive race. With Paul Bradshaw (Blackburn) and Ed Aston (C&C) both looking strong in the closing stages, Osagie looked most impressive in taking the title in 1:50.21.

“It’s massively good to win. Last year I sat in too much and got caught off guard so in today’s race, I knew that there were going to be some quick finishers. Luckily, my tactics paid off well,” said Osagie.

“I want to thank my coach Craig Winrow, not just with training but with education at St  Mary’s University as I have been allowed to push back work deadlines in order to train.”

Helen Clitheroe ran a strong 1500m leading from start to finish to take the UK Indoor title in 4:13.90 – it was an easy race for the Preston athlete whose only real opponent was Ireland’s Rose Anne Galligan who tracked her much of the way but could not get on equal terms at any point, having to settle for a well deserved PB of 4:15.13 in second.

After, Clitheroe said: “It’s actually a lot of pressure coming to events like this knowing you’ve got the best time. It’s quite hard to go to the front to run hard and win. I wanted to try and run a decent pace and hope to pull some of the others to a good time. It’s great to come here and win though.

 “I’ve done everything I can do – I got the qualifying time and won the trials, so I hope I’m picked. Then I’ll need to get a little nippier before I go to Doha.”

Joice Maduka (Woodford Green with Essex Ladies) made it a weekend sprint double in claiming the 200m win in 23.48 ahead of Katherine Endacott (Plymouth) in second with 23.57.

“Training’s going well; I’m just having fun, remembering why I decided to take up this sport. I’m learning; to be in the sport for so long and still be learning is great,” beamed Maduaka.

“I’ll go to the world indoors and then go from there. I don’t want anything this time round so I can’t disappoint myself, whatever comes I’m just going to enjoy it.”

The women’s 400m was won by Kim Wall (Basildon) ahead of Wigan’s Hayley Jones following withdrawal by Victoria Barr who did not start the final. Wall looked impressive in crossing the line in 53.07  - inside the world indoor qualifying standard – and ahead of Jones’ 53.85 although places in the Aviva GB & NI 4x400m relay team  are clearly available ahead of Doha.

In a round-up of other titles taken on Sunday:

Samson Oni (Belgrave) took the men’s high jump title ahead of Tom Parsons (Birchfield) in a closely fought competition. Oni’s 2.25m enough to beat Parson’s who cleared the same height on count-back. Bedford’s Robbie Grabbarz took third with 2.22m.

In the men’s shot put Mark Edwards (Birchfield Harriers) threw 17.40m to take the UK indoor title ahead of Ryan Spencer Jones (Swansea) with 17.02m.

Amy Woodman overcame Birchfield team-mate Louise Hazel to take the UK Indoor long jump title with 6.20m to 6.14m. However both were over shadowed by event winner Kelly Proper guesting from Ireland and taking the victory with a final round 6.48m.

The men’s triple jump was won by Tosin Oke guesting in the championships, but the UK title went to Nick Thomas (Newham & Essex) with a leap of 16.22m. World Youth gold medallist Ben Williams (Stoke) took senior silver with an indoor PB of 15.94m.

Former World Indoor 60m hurdles champion Derval O’Rourke in a guest slot added extra class to the women’s event and took the race win in 8.11, although the UK title went to Shaftesbury’s Gemma Bennett in 8.20 ahead of Louise Hazel (Birchfield) 8.27.