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UK School Games preview

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UK School Games

Talented teenage athletes from all over the UK will be get a taste of Olympic and Paralympic style competition on Saturday and Sunday 9 and 10 September on the way to London 2012.

 

They are taking part in the UK School Games, a multi-sport, multi-venue sporting event for elite young people of a school age, which begins today.

 

The Games, taking place in Glasgow this year before moving to a different city annually in the build-up to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, are being funded by a £1.5 million National Lottery grant from the Millennium Commission and Visa as presenting sponsor. The 2006 Games are also being supported by Glasgow City Council, EventScotland and sportscotland.

 

With five sports taking part in the first year, athletics – alongside swimming, table tennis, gymnastics and fencing – has strong representation. The Under-17s will be representing nine English regions, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales in a track and field competition at Scotstoun Stadium on Saturday and Sunday.

 

Many of the competitors have already tasted success this summer. Tickets are available on 0870 405 0445 or online at www.ukschoolgames.com

Under 17 Men’s preview…

100m offers the prospect of another fascinating confrontation between championships specialist Richard Kilty (Gateshead Harriers) and the country’s fastest 14-year-old of this year, Funmi Sobodu (Worthing). Kilty, who will represent North-East England, has struck Gold at both Sainsbury’s English Schools’ Championships and British Schools’ International this summer. Sobodu has only an English Schools’ bronze medal as tangible reward for a year in which he has clocked 10.49 seconds to go equal second being Mark Lewis-Francis (Birchfield) and alongside Wade Bennett-Jackson (Belgrave) in the UK all-time Under 17 rankings. To add to the interest, North-West England’s pick, Eddie Chan (Sale Harriers Manchester) has also run sub-11 seconds; and Scotland are represented by their Schools’ Champion, Connor Hill (Fife).

 

200m: British Schools’ winner Chris Tandi (Portsmouth AC) faces a rematch with the speedster who beat him at the English Schools, Tony Corrigan (Liverpool Harriers), who represents North-West England. Eugene Ayanful (Havering Mayesbrook) also has a sub-22 seconds clocking and will hope to be well-placed for East of England.

 

400m: British Schools’ winner Jordan McGrath (Solihull and Small Heath) goes for West Mids against Louis Persent (Colchester and Tendring), who beat him at the English Schools in a field that also includes Scottish Schools’ Champion Sean Watson (Shettleston Harriers) and Ulster Schools’ Champion Josh Williamson (Newry High School), representing Northern Ireland.

 

800m: English Schools’ Champion Adam Moore (Bracknell) is the fastest in the field of 10, but it will be tactics that matter in this straight final, which also features Ulster Schools Champion Andrew Gourley (Dundonald High School).

 

1500m: Ross Millington (Stockport Harriers) has won English Schools’ Bronze and British Schools’ Silver on his way to the top of this season’s rankings – his best of 3:50.01 puts him within 2.4 seconds of Steve Cram’s UK record in the age group – and could complete the full set by earning Gold here.

 

3000m: British and English Schools’ Champion Simon Horsfield (East Cheshire Harriers) is the fastest in a field that also includes, in rankings order, British and English Schools’ Silver medallist Abdirisak Ahmed (City of Sheffield), English Schools’ Bronze medallist Ryan Parker (Bedford and County) and Welsh Schools’ Champion Dewi Griffiths (Carmarthen Harriers).

 

1500m steeplechase: Phil Norman (North Devon AC), the British and English Schools’ Champion bids for a hat-trick in a field that includes English Schools’ Silver medallist James Wilkinson (Leeds City AC), Scottish Schools’ Champion Stephen McGoldrick (Kilbarchan AAC) and Welsh Schools’ Champion Adam Lewis (Aberdare).

 

100m hurdles: The fastest in the UK this year, James McLean (Southend-on-Sea), the English Schools’ Champion, faces British Schools’ Champion Aaron James (Enfield and Haringey), Welsh Schools’ Champion Daniel Jenkins (Cwmbran) and Scottish Schools’ Champion Calum Innes (Victoria Park AAC).

 

400m hurdles: The top two in the country at the moment, Nathan Woodward (Tamworth), this year’s World Schools’ Bronze medallist, and Mike Baker (Medway and Maidstone) square-up again. Woodward won at the English Schools. Baker got his revenge at the British Schools. Woodward made it 2-1 at the AAA Championships.

 

High jump: A great contest is in prospect. Cameron Lake (Windsor, Slough, Eton and Hounslow), who heads the season’s rankings with 2.05m, faces British Schools’ Champion Gary Coulter (Ballymena and Antrim), English Schools’ Champion Philip Collins (Gateshead), Welsh Schools’ Champion Daniel Williams (Aberdare) and Chris Berns (Solihull and Small Heath), who has cleared 1.98m this summer.

Pole vault: Given decent weather, Andrew Marsh (City of Stoke AC) will aim to join the select band of 5 metres jumpers a week after raising his PB to 4.90m in an unpredictable crosswind at the UKA Young Athletes’ League Final at Birmingham. Already the British and English Schools’ Champion and AAA Gold medallist, Marsh can expect his strongest competition to come from the London representative, English Schools’ Bronze medallist Ian Smart (Harrow AC), whose PB is 4.20m.

 

Long jump: British and English Schools’ Champion Nonso Okolo (Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers) is the only 7 metres-plus jumper in an entry that also includes Welsh Schools Champion Thomas Kivell (Brynmawr) and Ulster Schools’ Champion Nathan Reid (Belfast Royal Academy / Ballymena and Antrim).

 

Triple jump: Trevor Okoroafor (Croydon Harriers), who has already won the British and English Schools’ titles and the AAA age group Gold medal, puts his great record on the line against the current rankings leader Nathan Fox (Shaftesbury Barnet). British Schools Bronze medallist Adam Williams (Friars School, Eryri) represents Wales and Ulster Schools’ Champion Stephen Wilson (Craigavon High School) carries the hopes of Northern Ireland.

 

Shot: British and English Schools’ Champion Jamie Stevenson (Spartan AC, Channel Islands) is the only putter over 17 metres in an entry that also includes Kareen Imbert (Newham and Essex Beagles), the Silver medallist in both of this summer’s main Schools events, and British Schools’ Bronze medallist Allan Mackay (Shettleston Harriers).

 

Discus: Curtis Griffith-Parker (Cambridge Harriers), the British and English Schools’ Champion and AAA shot/discus Gold medallist, is more than 5 metres clear of the rest this season with a best of 57.57m. There’s a competitive line-up behind him: the South-East’s Jake Scanlon (Lewes AC), the AAA Bronze medallist, has a better PB than Lee Mathurin (Woodford Green with Essex Ladies), who won the English Schools’ Silver medal and British Schools’ Bronze this summer, and English Schools’ Bronze medallist Martin Bartholomew (City of Stoke), who was also in form last weekend at the UKA Young Athletes’ League Final.

Hammer: Three 60 metres-plus throwers head a highly competitive entry in the absence of UK No.1 Peter Smith. The longest thrower in the field, English Schools’ Silver medallist Sam Coe (City of Norwich AC) represents North-West England because he attends Sedbergh School. Scottish Champion Chris Bennett (Victoria Park AAC) carries home hopes after defeating Coe at the British Schools’ Championships. Richard Al-Ameen (Blackheath and Bromley) is the London representative. Michael Jennings (Kingston-upon-Hull) carries the hopes of the Smith-coached clan and of the Yorkshire and Humberside team, having already pocketed the English Schools’ Bronze medal this season.

 

Javelin: After an injury-ruined summer, Bonne Buwembo (Havering Mayesbrook AC) proved he is fully fit in sensational style by going to the top of the season’s rankings with 66.54m at an Inter-Counties match at Biggleswade on 3 September. Now he faces British and English Schools’ Champion Dan Pembroke (Windsor, Slough, Eton and Hounslow AC), Welsh Champion Michael John (Carmarthen Harriers) who won the British Schools’ Silver medal; English Schools’ Silver medallist Stephen Reynolds (Gateshead), who was third at the British Schools’ International; and Scottish Champion Ryan Knight (Dundee Hawkhill Harriers).

Under 17 Women’s preview…

100m: Fresh (!) from setting meeting records over 100m and 200m and finishing flat-out after she helped her club win the 4x100m and 4x300m at last weekend’s UKA Young Athletes’ League Final, 15-year-old Ashlee Nelson (City of Stoke AC) will attempt to add to the Gold medals she has won this summer at World Schools Under 18 Championships, English Schools’ Championships, British Schools’ International and AAA Championships. Chief among her rivals could be English Schools’ Silver medallist Rebekah Wilson (Sale Harriers Manchester). Scottish Champion Suzanne Begg (City of Glasgow AC) has home advantage while Northern Ireland offer invaluable experience to Ulster Schools’ Champion Kiki Maloma-Paris (Regent House), who will surely be adored by TV commentators if she makes it as a Senior.

 

200m: Another of the Stoke super-speedsters, Jazmine Rowe continues her season-long battle with Chinedu Monye (Windsor, Slough, Eton and Hounslow). They have identical PBs, 24.12. Rowe took Gold and Monye Silver at both the English and British Schools’. Rowe also won the AAA 200m with Monye fourth. Battle recommences in the heats this weekend!

 

300m: Carmen Gedling (Liverpool Harriers) aims to add to her English and British Schools’ titles against AAA Champion Holly Croxford (Winchester and District AC). Scottish Champion Nicola Campbell (Dundee Hawkhill Harriers) will be the home crowd’s favourite.

 

800m: English Schools’ Bronze medallist Ejiro Okoro (Birchfield) and Rachel Stringer (City of Norwich AC) are the sub-2:10 performers in a field that also includes that Schools’ Champions of Ulster, 15-year-old Rachel Gibson; Scotland, Kirsty Hunter; and Wales, Katie Parkes.

 

1500m: All local eyes will be on Eilish McColgan (Dundee Hawkhill Harriers), promising daughter of famous mother Liz, as she bids for revenge over one of the athletes who pushed her into third place over this distance at the British Schools’ International, Louise Webb (Team Southampton). To add to the intrigue, two other competitors have slightly faster PBs than both of them: Natalie Grant (Rotherham Harriers) and Jessica Burns (City of Plymouth AC).

 

3000m: 15-year-old Charlotte Purdue (Aldershot, Farnham and District AC) aims to add to her English and British Schools’ Silver medals in a field that also includes dangers such as Scottish Champion Josephine Moultrie (City of Glasgow AC).

 

80m hurdles: English Schools’ Champion Jenny Taker (Trafford AC) renews battle with Bronze medallist Stephanie Gaynor (Herts Phoenix) in an entry that also includes the Ulster and Welsh Schools’ Champions Samantha Miskelly (Lisburn AC) and Rebecca Gatehouse (Aberaeron). And West Mids include Meghan Beesley (Tamworth AC), who has enjoyed a storming season over 300m hurdles.

 

300m hurdles: The timetable spreads out the events well enough for Beesley to bid for a double. She heads the 300m hurdles rankings with a UK record of 41.41 seconds at last month’s AAA Championships. She has also won the English and British Schools’ titles. Here, she renews battle with current UK No.2 Caryl Granville (Carmarthen Harriers), the Welsh Champion. Also racing are Scottish Schools’ Champion Holly Belch (Kilbarchan AAC) and Ulster Schools’ Champion Katie Hewitt (North Down AC).

 

High jump: English Schools’ Champion Rebecca Pottinger (Birtley), the UK No.1 this season at 1.74m, faces the Golden girls of Northern Ireland, Linzi Herron (Lisburn AC) and Scotland, Emma Lowry (Edinburgh Southern Harriers).

 

Pole vault: Abigail Haywood (Sale Harriers Manchester) will aim to add to the AAA, English Schools’ and British Schools’ Gold medals she has already won this season. Her chief rival should be Scottish Champion Stephanie McKenzie (Falkirk Victoria Harriers), the British Schools’ and AAA Silver medallist, though the field also includes Sarah Clifford (Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers), who enjoys the big occasion: she won the AAA Bronze medal with a PB last month.

 

Long jump: Ulster Schools’ Champion Hannah Lewis (North Down AC) has the furthest PB, 5.78m. Only 4cm separates the PBs of three other contestants – Eleanor Markendale (Pendle AC), Welsh Schools’ Champion Zara George (Cardiff AAC) and Alex Lennox (City of Stoke AC).

 

Triple jump: Kayley Alcorn (Worthing and District Harriers), the AAA Champion and British Schools’ Gold medallist, bids for more success against a field including British Schools Silver medallist Kerry Steel (City of Glasgow AC), representing Scotland in her home city.

 

Shot: Having already won the AAA, English Schools’ and British Schools’ titles, Rachel Wallader (Halesowen A and CC) will start as clear favourite. Her closest rival again could be Jenny Brown (Mid Ulster AC), the Ulster Schools’ Champion who has already finished second at both the British Schools’ and AAA Championships.

 

Discus: Shaunagh Brown (Blackheath and Bromley AC) will be aiming to add to her AAA, English Schools’ and British Schools’ victories. Her domination does not deter her rivals. She again faces Katie Wickman (North Devon AC), who has finished second in all those three previous major competitions, plus Ulster Schools’ Champion Orla Drysdale (Belfast Royal Academy), Welsh Schools’ Champion Sarah Richards (Swansea Harriers) and English Schools’ Bronze medallist Jodie Jacobs (Crawley AC).

 

Hammer: All three British Schools’ medallists renew battle – Champion Hayley Murray (Nuneaton Harriers), who is also the AAA Gold medallist; runner-up Melissa Cooper (Invicta East Kent), who is second in the season’s rankings; third-placed Charlotte Murray (Swansea Harriers), the Welsh Schools’ Champion who ranks fourth in the UK.

 

Javelin: Sarah-Anne de Kremer (Corby AC) aims to complete a full set, having already bagged the English Schools’, British Schools’ and AAA titles on her way to the top of the summer’s rankings. She is more than 4 metres clear of her nearest rival – but that won’t deter rivals such as Simone Huggins-Ward (Coventry Godiva Harriers), who finished second at both the English and British Schools’ events; Scottish Champion Lisa Glover (Fife), who is second in the UK rankings; and Welsh Schools’ Champion Charlotte Murray (Swansea Harriers), who finished third at the British Schools’ International.

 

Hammer: Sarah Anne De Kremer (Corby), who is more than 4 metres clear at the head of the UK rankings, aims to complete a full set, having already won at the English Schools’, British Schools’ and AAA Championships. But that doesn’t deter her most frequent opponents. Second ranked Lisa Glover (Fife) leads the opposition and, as Scottish Schools’ Champion, should not lack support!

 

Saturday timetable: 11.00 Men’s hammer. 12.30 Men’s seated shot. 1.30 Men’s triple jump. 2.00 Women’s discus. 2.10 Men’s 400m hurdles heat 1. 2.20 Men’s 400m hurdles heat 2. 2.35 Women’s 300m hurdles heat 1. 2.40 Women’s high jump. 2.45 Women’s 300m hurdles heat. 2.55 Men’s ambulant 100m. 3.00 Men’s pole vault. 3.05 Women’s ambulant 100m. 3.15 Men’s 100m heat 1. 3.25 Men’s 100m heat 2. 3.35 Women’s 100m heat 1. 3.45 Women’s 100m heat 2. 3.50 Women’s long jump. 3.57 Men’s 100m hurdles heat 1. 4.07 Men’s 100m hurdles heat 2. 4.15 Men’s javelin. 4.20 Women’s 80m hurdles heat 1. 4.30 Women’s 80m hurdles heat 2. 4.40 Men’s 400m heat 1. 4.45 Women’s shot put. 4.50 Men’s 400m heat 2. 5.00 Women’s 300m heat 1. 5.10 Women’s 300m heat 2. 5.20 Women’s 200m heat 1. 5.30 Women’s 200m heat 2. 5.40 Men’s 200m heat 1. 5.50 Men’s 200m heat 2.

 

Sunday timetable: 11.15 Women’s hammer. 12.30 Women’s seated shot put. 1.30 Women’s triple jump. 1.52 Women’s 300m hurdles final. 2.00 Men’s discus. 2.05 Men’s 400m hurdles final. 2.20 Men’s wheelchair 100m. 2.30 Women’s 100m final. 2.35 Men’s high jump. 2.40 Men’s 100m final. 2.53 Men’s 100m hurdles final. 3.00 Women’s pole vault. 3.05 Women’s 80m hurdles final. 3.15 Women’s 1500m final. 3.22 Men’s standing shot. 3.28 Men’s 1500m final. 3.40 Women’s 200m final. 3.50 Men’s 200m final. 3.55 Men’s long jump. 4.00 Men’s 1500m steeplechase. 4.10 Women’s 300m final. 4.15 Women’s javelin. 4.20 Men’s 400m final. 4.30 Men’s 800m final. 4.40 Women’s 800m final. 4.45 Men’s shot put. 4.50 Men’s 3000m final. 5.05 Women’s 3000m final. 5.20 Women’s 4x100m race 1. 5.30 Women’s 4x100m race 2. 5.40 Men’s 4x100m race 1. 5.50 Men’s 4x100m race 2.