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mccain Challenge Series - 2012 winners

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Eden Francis

12 September 2012

JUGGLING an Olympic assault with a part-time banking career would take it out of most people, but not discus thrower Abdul Buhari who finished top of the pile in the McCain Challenge Series.

Buhari splits his time between London and Loughborough, working at Credit Suisse on Monday and Tuesday before heading north to train before repeating the trick all over again.

But it hasn’t slowed him down as he improved his personal best by six metres in 2011 to reach the World Championships in Daegu, his first major international event, before going on to reach London 2012.

However the 30-year-old still found time to finish top of the McCain Challenge Series, his six meets bringing him 883 points, 24 ahead of Zane Duquemin in second with Brett Morse finishing third.

Buhari’s life is set to get even more hectic as he and his wife go on their long overdue honeymoon – having married in 2010 – but no matter what is on his calendar the two-time UK champ will always make time for the McCain Challenge Series, believing it is his domestic challenges that set him on the path to international stardom.

“This season has been a bit of a challenge with the Olympics but it has been a pretty good season and winning the McCain Challenge Series was actually a nice surprise,” he said.

“It is these events that are your bread and butter and it is always good to finish on top of your domestic rivals as it gives you momentum.

“The season saw me finish top of the trials again, compete in my first European Championships and although I just missed out on the final at the Olympics it was great to be a part of my first Games.

“Next year I want to keep on improving and work on the areas that need improving and the McCain Challenge Series plays a big part in that.”

Finishing top of the other men’s throwing events are Lee Doran, the 2011 champion holding on to his javelin crown, Scott Rider repeating the feat in the shot put and Mark Dry topping the hammer pile with 896 points.

Nathan Fox’s ten meets helped him win the triple-jump while just four was enough for JJ Jegede to claim the long jump title.

In the pole vault 779 points had Andrew Sutcliffe claim victory, while Tom Parsons put the disappointment of missing out on London 2012 to claim high-jump victory.

“I enjoy the McCain Challenge events as it gives me an opportunity to compete against good domestic talent, whilst trying to achieve my goals as an athlete,” Parsons said.

On the track, Chijindu Ujah was the 100m victor, Luke Fagan claimed the 200m title, Jarryd Dunn the 400m, Ed Aston was top over 800m while Joseph Hylton and Richard Davenport were the 110m and 400m hurdles champions respectively.

The 1500m title went to Frank Baddick, Matt Barnes is the 5000m champion while Ben Nagy finished top of the 3000m steeplechase pile.

In the women’s events Eden Francis is able to celebrate double success after claiming both the discus and shot put titles, while Sarah Holt and Izzy Jeffs claimed hammer and javelin wins respectively.

Jazmin Sawyer backed up her World Junior bronze medal with victory in the long jump, while Laura Samuel was the triple jump champion, Katie Byers took home the pole vault gong and Isobel Pooley was the high jump queen.

Meghan Beesley, who just missed out on a spot at London 2012, is the 400m hurdles champion, with Emily Stewart claiming the 3000m steeplechase crown.

The 100m title is in the hands of Ashleigh Nelson, beating Beijing Olympian Montell Douglas into top spot, with Louise Bloor and Laura Wake claiming the other two sprint titles over 200 and 400m respectively.

Emily Dudgeon is the 800m champion, the 1500m crown is in the hands of Amy Campbell and Caryl Jones finished atop the standings over 5000m.

The 100m hurdles victor was Sarah Claxton and after missing out on a spot at the Olympics a long-term Achilles tendon injury, the 32-year-old insists this is a sign that she is not to be ignored any time soon.

“Some people have written me off. I don’t really shout about how bad my injury was but I wasn’t running well and not performing to the level I’m capable of,” Claxton said.

“I hope I can prove some people wrong with my performances next season. I have got to come back and prove to myself that they are wrong.

 “Being injured in the London Olympics season made it even more frustrating because I knew in myself that I should have been running quicker than what I did.

 “But now I hope to make the European Indoor Champs in Sweden next March and get to the World Championships next season – and I think with an injury-free season I can get back to my best.”

Full results table: http://www.thepowerof10.info/ukchallenge/


The McCain UK Challenge is a nationwide, season long competition comprising a series of events from mid May until August for Britain’s top club athletes and aspiring internationals vying for a share in a £30,000 prize fund