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mccain loughborough international

Jess Ennis

23 May 2010

World outdoor and indoor Heptathlete champion Jessica Ennis drew huge crowds to the McCain Loughborough International and proved it worth their while with an outstanding performance in the high jump.

Having progressed through the rounds of the high jump she ended the event as the sole performer, wowing spectators and clearing 1.93m with relative ease. Instead of raising the bar to match her personal best of 1.95m she went for the British record of 1.96m which was just out of reach.

Previously in the competition she won the hurdles in 12.85 (+2.3m/s), followed closely by Louise Hazel in second with 13.28, and in her last event of the day, she threw a best of 43.83m in the javelin.

After the hurdles she said: “I feel really good, everything is going to plan and I’m feeling alot stronger and quicker. From what I ran last week I just feel in really good shape. I definitely think I’m quicker than last year.

“I didn’t feel the wind too much. It’s just nice to be here with the sun out. It’s a great atmosphere and great to run here.”

Sophie Hitchon continued her domination of British hammer throwing with a win and two throws close to her own British junior record. Battling throughout with Sarah Holt and Zoe Derham, all three women threw over 65m but Hitchon edged the group with 65.93m. Holt recorded 65.51m and Derham 65.13m.

In his first race of 2010 and following an injury which cut his 2009 season short James Dasaolu impressed in the 100m with a win over an experienced field. Lining up against sprint legends Marlon Devonish and Christian Malcolm and with pressure from Levan Yearwood, Rion Pierre and Nick Smith he ran a superb race to win in 10.06 (+2.5m/s).

Eilidh Child stormed to victory in the women’s 400m hurdles to record the fastest time by a British woman this year with her 55.84 effort. While on the 400m flat Perri Shakes -Drayton won by a large margin in 52.42 which was good enough to take her to second in the British rankings this year behind Christine Ohuruogu.

William Sharman, Chris Baillie, Lawrence Clarke and Gianni Frankis were amongst the high calibre line up in the men’s 110m hurdles. In his first track outing of 2010 and returning from a broken wrist, Sharman took the win in 13.60 (+1.4m/s) -just inside the European Championships B qualifying standardand - and said: “I was confident coming into today but I woke up with a back spasm and I can still feel it abit, but I’m glad I did run.

“Getting your first competition done is not about setting off fireworks or getting medals. It’s just one on the board and was my fastest ever season opener so I have to take positives from that. Given the fact that I had a wrist injury earlier on in the season and I am still wintering, it’s looking good for the year.”

Clarke took second in 13.73 while Baillie finished third with 13.79.

Leon Baptiste ran a blistering 200m to set a new personal best of 20.53 (+1.3m/s)- achieving the European Championships A standard- ahead of 100m specialists Craig Pickering and returning Olympic medallist Mark Lewis Francis who both crossed the line in 20.89. Earlier in the day he used the 100m to stretch his legs clocking 10.27 (+1.9m/s).

1500m runner Hannah England triumphed in the 800m over close rival Charlene Thomas. Following a stint at altitude in California during the winter season, she came back to the track looking strong with a time of 2.02:31. Thomas, who challenged the 1500m at the World Championships in Berlin last year, followed in 2.02:56.

England said: “I’m really really pleased with that. My only aim was to win. I wasn’t worried about the time. I felt really strong with 50m to go and normally mentally I’m not good there but today I was. Hopefully I can take that onto some of my other races this year.

“It was my first time at altitude and I think it’s made me really strong. It was really hard but I have to be stronger because of it. I’ve got a busy few weeks of races planned and then I’ll have two weeks off before the Aviva European Trials and UK Championships.”

In the men’s 400m Martyn Rooney returned to the track with a victory over Richard Buck and Graham Headman who pushed him to the line. Rooney, who clocked 45.85 at the Mt. SAC relays earlier this year, finished in 46.10, his second outing of the season.

Top performances from the junior GB&NI team will be shown in a separate report on: www.uka.org.uk