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UK Athletics

Norwich Union European Trials & UK Championships

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For full results from the weekend click here.


Saturday’s highlights


In the first final of the championship seven of the eight athletes set personal or season’s bests. Flying out of the blocks Sara McGreavy led the way to the finish line in a PB of 8.03, closely followed by Sarah Claxton in a season’s best of 8.05, closing on McGreavy in the final stages. Jessica Ennis pipped fellow multi-eventer Kelly Sotherton to the bronze medal, however both athletes secured personal bests in 8.18 and 8.19 respectively.


Ennis went on to win the high jump with a 1.87 effort, coming close to beating her PB with the Euro qualifying mark of 1.92 and threw 12.38 in the shot put. Kelly Sotherton managed a PB throw of 14.42. Overall Joanne Duncan won the shot with 16.45.


Ashia Hansen took the triple jump title with 13.68, wide of the 14.10 qualifying mark which she was disappointed with, however she still has the chance to qualify for the Euro Indoors at next week’s UK Indoor City Challenge Final at the EIS.


Improving on his bronze from last year, Luke Cutts this time took home the silver pole vault medal with a new British junior indoor record of 5.30, beating the old mark by 5cm set by the eventual winner of this event, Steve Lewis. Clearly improving since he set that record, Lewis won with a 5.50 clearance and narrowly missed out on a new PB of 5.65.   


US athlete and Oxford University student Garrett Johnson won the Shot Put with 18.98 from Trafford’s Australian thrower, Chris Gaviglio, in second and Emeka Udechuku in bronze position with 17.64.


Lisa Dobriskey smashed her indoor PB by almost 13 seconds in the 3000m and was well inside the qualifying mark in a two-woman race with Helen Clitheroe. After sitting on Clitheroe’s shoulder the whole way, Dobriskey made her attack on the final lap to finish in 8:55.23 from Clitheroe’s 8:58.27.


The women’s 200m was won by Kadi-Ann Thomas, who celebrated her 21st birthday with a PB of 23.68. Susan Deacon produced a season’s best of 24.03 to take silver, with Perri Shakes-Drayton hot on her tail for third in a PB time of 24.09 – the second time the youngster recorded a PB that day.


Elsewhere, Bernard Yeboah took the long jump title with a 7.50 PB jump in the second round and Rikki Fifton improved on his indoor PB twice to take the 200m gold in 21.06.


Sunday's highlights


On day two of the UK Indoor Championships, Nicola Sanders once again stole the show with a sensational 400m performance. But the drama was saved for the final event of the day, the men’s 60m.

The action started with a breakthrough performance for Birchfield’s Amy Harris. The 19-year-old long jumper won her first senior title with a 6.47 jump, further than her outdoor PB. Gillian Cooke improved her own Scottish record of 6.33 for second place, while Jessica Ennis picked up her third medal of the weekend in third (6.15).

Sanders, 24, improved on the 400m stadium record she set last year with a 50.60 PB run – quicker than her outdoor best – winning from Emma Duck and Kim Wall, who both dipped under 54 seconds.

Just like last year, the women’s 800m came down to a close finish as just one hundredth of a second separated the first two. Defending champion Jenny Meadows was this time made to settle for silver, as Marilyn Okoro won it on the dip. The relatively slow winning time of 2:04.39 was largely due to a slow second lap, when no one took up the pace, until Karen Harewood sought to make the race an honest reflection of GB women’s 800m standards.

Competing on home soil, Martyn Bernard argued convincingly for his place on the team for the European Indoors with a high jump win of 2.23m. He bowed out after three close attempts at a would-be PB of 2.30m. Rob Mitchell, clearing the same height, was second.

The men’s triple jump suffered slightly from the fact that the leading two contenders – Nathan Douglas and Phillips Idowu – only took four jumps between them. Commonwealth champion Idowu jumped 16.68 in the first round before withdrawing so as not to risk aggravating a heel injury. Douglas took three attempts, but just one was legal. Fortunately, it turned out to be an indoor PB of 17.19m, but he too withdrew after feeling slight tightness in his ankle.

Richard Buck was originally declared the overwhelming winner of the men’s 400m, but his first place finish and potential PB of 47.26 was scrapped after he was disqualified for a lane infringement. Conrad Williams was disqualified also, leaving Gareth Warburton to pick up the gold medal.

The 1500m finals were won by Katrina Wootton and Chris Warburton respectively, both earning their first national senior titles. But the two races could not have been more different. Wootton led from the gun to win by more than three seconds in 4:17.90. In a slow, tactical men’s race Warburton edged ahead in the final few metres to win in 3:56.47, as three other men – Colin McCourt, James Thie and Michael Coltherd – joined him under 3:57.

Andy Turner enjoyed a confidence-boosting win in the 60m hurdles. His time of 7.55 catapulted him to equal third on the UK all-time list and fastest in Europe this year. Allan Scott (7.76) and Will Sharman (7.84) both set season’s bests in second and third.

European Cross Country Champion Mo Farah ran the fastest 3000m time by a Briton in four years to win from Nick McCormick in 7:50.86. His performance, however, was hardly a surprise compared to the result of the men’s 800m.

World junior semi-finalist James Brewer took the scalps of Richard Hill, James McIlroy and David McCarthy, among others, to win thanks to a powerful final 100m. Already at No.2 on the UK all-time junior indoor lists, Brewer took more than a second off his PB with 1:49.03, to get within half a second of the UK junior record of David Sharpe set 21 years ago.

Six women dipped under 7.40 in the women’s 60m final, but the winning results was a surprise one as Laura Turner edged Jeanette Kwakye by one hundredth, smashing her lifetime best with a 7.25 performance. Montell Douglas set a PB of 7.33 in third, while 16-year-old Asha Philip equalled Katharine Merry’s UK junior indoor record of 7.35 in fourth.

But while the winner of the men’s short sprint final was no surprise, the rest of the results will doubtless cause a headache for selectors of the team for the European Indoor Championships. Craig Pickering stormed to victory in 6.58, but the rest of the field were almost inseparable as they crossed the line, with just 0.04 between second and eighth place.

One of Pickering’s training partners finished second, but it was the lesser-known Ryan Scott in a PB of 6.64. Malcolm Arnold’s other recruit – former world indoor champion Jason Gardener – was relegated to seventh place with 6.67. Simeon Williamson was third in 6.65, equalling his PB.

For further reports and results from the UK Indoor Championships, see this week’s Athletics Weekly, out on February 15.