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UK Athletics

Sprint Doubles for Devonish and Maduaka

On the final day of the Norwich Union European Trials in Manchester in soaring temperatures that reached 28 degrees, there were some encouraging performances from Britain’s leading athletes sealing automatic selection for the forthcoming European Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden including sprint doubles from Joice Maduaka and Marlon Devonish.


Here are the highlights of the action, event by event.



200m (elite standard: 20.60, development standard: 21.10)


On paper, it looked like the final would be a clear win for 100m Champion Marlon Devonish (Coventry), following the withdrawal of Christian Malcolm (Cardiff AC) with a strained hamstring that affected his progress in the 100m. However, the final came down to a photo finish. Rikki Fifton (Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets) flew out of his blocks and powered off the bend, Tim Abeyie was in contention, whilst Devonish had to make up ground from a poor start and came through in the final 50 metres.


In a tight finish, Devonish and Fifton dipped through the line together and were both given 20.69 seconds. Minutes later though, Devonish was confirmed as the winner to claim a historic sprint double, which means he now has his options open to double up or concentrate on one event at the European Championships.


UK Challenge leader Somto Eruchie (Leicester), who improved his personal best to 21.01 in his heat, then 21.00 in his semi, clocked a sparkling 20.79 in the final. 100m finalist Tim Abeyie (Woodford Green with Essex Ladies), who looked in contention at 150m, faded to fourth in 20.84. 110m hurdles champion Andy Turner (Sale) set a pb of 20.93 in his semi, but tired after his busy weekend withdrew from the final. On his comeback from injury, Chris Lambert (Belgrave) finished fifth in his semi final in 21.31.


400m (elite standard: 45.80, development standard: 46.75)


Defending Champion Cardiff's Tim Benjamin was relieved to win in an exciting final in a time of 46.00. Britains’ top Junior Martyn Rooney (Croydon) who has also been struggling with injury since the Commonwealth Games, but is looking towards the World Junior Championships in Beijing, took silver in 46.20 while Robert Tobin (Basingstoke & Mid Hants), who ran 45.01 last year, was third in 46.35.


Benjamin commented: 'I'm really lucky to be here, I ran a sensible race and didn't take any risks. I knew the other guys could finish strongly and that my speed was my advantage, so I took it easy over the first 200m and I knew I'd have enough to see me through.' 


Britain's European Cup representative Graham Hedman (Woodford Green with Essex Ladies) was fourth in 46.59, whilst Junior Grant Baker (Leicester) was an excellent fifth in 46.77.


Men's 800m (elitestandard: 1:46.00, development: 1:47.20)


The average age of the 8 finalists was just 22 and Richard Hill (Notts) started favourite after his 1:45.10 win in Watford. He led through 200m in 25.37, the 400m in 52.83 and 600m in 1:19.97, but was powerless to kick in the straight and 20 year Michael Rimmer (Liverpool Pembroke) timed his race to perfection and came through to seal an upset. The winning time was 1:47.20 and Rimmer has already achieved the Elite standard set for this event.


Rimmer thus became the first person to win AAA of England titles in his event at Under 15, Under 17, Under 20 and senior level. UK Challenge leader Sam Ellis (Barnsley), who ran 1:45.67 at Watford, finished strongly to take second in 1:47.49, and with a top two place and elite time guaranteed his place for Gothenburg.


Defending Champion Tim Bayley (Belgrave) finished strongly for third in 1:47.98 as Hill faded to fourth and 1:48.07. Athletes who failed to make the final included 1:45.76 800m runner Tom Lancashire (Bolton), who was third in his heat in 1:50.39, World Indoor 6th placer Jimmy Watkins (Cardiff) who has improved to 1:46.33 this summer, who fell in his heat (and failed in his appeal) and Michael Colthard (Trafford), who has run 1:46.34, but was 8th in his heat in 1:53.61.


1500m: (elite standard: 3:37.00, development: 3:41.00)


Andrew Baddeley (Harrow) finally won the title with an accomplished piece of running. After a slow 62.00 first lap, he led past 800 in 2:00.94 and controlled the race to win by 10 metres  from Stephen Davies (Newport) was a surprise second in 3:42.52.

World indoor representative Neil Speight (Belgrave) was third in 3:43.17.  AAA indoor champion Colin McCourt (Bournemouth) who won Watford in an impressive 3:38.51, was a disappointing  10th in 3:47.82. Cross-country international Tom Humphries (Cannock & Staffs) set a pb of 3:44.14 for sixth, improving his PB form the heats.


Men's 3000m s/c: (elite standard: 8:25.00, development standard: 8:35.00)


Jermaine Mays (Kent) who gained the UKA development time with a new PB of 8:31.04 in Denmark last week won his first senior title. Mays, who won the junior title in 2001 led through the first two kilometres, controlling the race until he lost the lead briefly down the penultimate final straight but he was back in front at the bell (7:39.79). A 60.16 circuit proved sufficient for Mays, but wasn't helped by a poor last clearance, he finished in a time of 8:39.95. Bowden, who beat Mays at Watford, had to settle for his second successive silver.


2003 winner Stuart Stokes (Sale) was third in 8:42.41 and Luke Gunn (Derby) was fourth in 8:43.86. Tom Payn (Birchfield) set a PB in 7th (8:47.36).


Men's 400mh: (elite standard: 49.65, development standard: 50.60)


Commonwealth Games finalist Rhys Williams (Cardiff) who has run well inside the elite qualifying time this season, showed his usual great finishing strength to win in an impressive stadium record of 49.28 seconds. There was a Welsh 1-2, with talented 20 year-old David Greene (Swansea), well inside the development standard, to claim Silver in a time of 50.00 seconds.


Williams said: 'This is my first senior championship, so I was quite nervous today. I had a really bad race at the European Cup, I choked under pressure and I want to put it right. But, I will have to go much quicker than I did today.'


UK Challenge leader Matt Douglas (Belgrave) who was easily the fastest qualifier set a season's best of 50.09 in third. Last year's runner-up Channel Islands' Dale Garland was fourth in 51.18. Defending champion Matt Elias (Cardiff), who missed a lot of training through illness, was eliminated finishing second in his heat in 53.01                                          


High Jump (elite standard: 2.28, development standard: 2.25)      


Commonwealth silver medallist Martyn Bernard (Sheffield), won with a leap of 2.25 to equal the development standard. Germaine Mason, in his first domestic championship was the silver medallist with a clearance of 2.22m.


Tom Parsons (Birchfield) took the bronze with 2.19 and UK Challenge leader Adam Scarr (Enfield & Haringay) who has also achieved the 2.25 mark this summer was a disappointing 6th with 2.16.


Triple Jump (elite standard: 17.00, development standard: 16.50)


Inspired by his victory at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Phillips Idowu produced a world class 17.50m, in the first round, which ended up being his only valid jump of the competition. He said afterwards:


'I’m trying to jump myself back to fitness. It has taken time but I’m hoping that I’m ready to start fulfilling my potential.'

Defending champion Nathan Douglas (Oxford City), who won last year in a staggering personal best of 17.64m, has a season's best of 17.42m but didn't go beyond the 17m barrier, with a best on the day of 16.99m for second place. It was enough to secure his place in the team for Gothenburg, as he has already achieved the Elite standard set by UK Athletics.


Tosin Oke (Woodford Green with Essex Ladies) took bronze with 16.33 and UK Challenge leader and former Commonwealth champion Julian Golley (Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow) was fourth with 16.19m.


Javelin Throw (elite standard: 81.00, development standard: 77.00)         


Nick Nieland easily defended his title, boosted by the fact that he had already achieved a 84.70 throw, over 3 metres beyond the elite mark before the European Trials. Nieland sealed his automatic place in the Great Britain & Northern Ireland team for the Europeans with an opening throw of 80.56m, which turned out to be his only legal throw of the day. He summed up his efforts:


'It didn't go well today. I've been having trouble with my run up. I had one decent throw and should have consolidated it but couldn't.'


David Parker (Shaftesbury Barnet), the former World junior medallist took silver with a third round throw of 72.39 and Neil McLellan (Stevenage & North Herts) took bronze with 71.19m.


5K Walk


The 5K walk title was retained by Ireland's Colin Griffin in an impressive 19:43.40, which was a new championship best performance. Jamie Costin made it an Irish 1-2 in a pb time of 19:54.72 with the British challenge led by Colchester's twin brothers Dominic King and Daniel King. Dominic walked 21:21.16and Daniel clocked a time of 21:28.87.                                                                                                              




200m (elite standard: 23.00, development standard: 23.75)


An impressive winner of the 100m in a new personal best on Saturday, Joice Maduaka (Woodford Green with Essex Ladies) gained an easy sprint double winning in 23.24 to confirm her improved strength this year.


Emily Freeman (Wakefield) narrowly held on for second from Ireland's Joanne Cuddihy, whilst Montell Douglas (Blackheath & Bromley) continued her run of personal bests in the semi with a 23.71 and was 4th in the final with 23.80.


Commonwealth 400m champion Christine Ohuruogo (Newham & Essex Beagles) made her first appearance of the summer and she looked short of races as she finished 4th in her heat of 24.13, to qualify as a fastest loser and she improved that to 24.10 in the final. Abi Oyepitan (Shaftesbury Barnet) who tops the 200m rankings with a 23.06 from the European Cup, didn't show in the 200m after finishing fifth in the 100m.


Women's 400m (elite standard: 51.50, development standard: 53.40)


Nicola Sanders (Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow) produced an outstanding run and probably the most convincing victory of the day, to win in a time of 50.74, an outdoor personal best to book her a place on the flight to Gothenburg.


She said: 'I'm really pleased to win the European Trials. It has taken a while to get my speed sorted after switching from the hurdles this season. I hope to run quicker at the European Championships, I know I have it in me.'


A distant second place went to Gemma Nicol (Dunfermline West Fife), who ran well to set a PB of 53.46 while Lesley Owusu (Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow) took bronze in 53.63. 2003 champion Helen Karagounis (Birchfield) was fourth in 54.19.


Women's 800m (elite standard 2:01.00, development standard: 2:02.50)


This event lived up to the pre-event expectations, the athletes determined to produce their best on the day and achieve the automatic qualifying spots on offer. Becky Lyne (Hallamshire) on the strength of her world class 1:58.20 in Gateshead was favourite but hadn't proved herself in championships conditions having fallen in the European Cup in a slow run race.


Jenny Meadows (Wigan), went off hard and led past 200m in a quick 29.01, but the pace eased as they went through the bell (60.80). Lyne won her heat in a superb 2:01.23 was in the challenging position and was still there as they passed 600 in 1:31.13. Meadows still led into the straight but Lyne on her way to a 29.0 last 200 hit the front and held on for a narrow win in 2:00.31.


'I could feel them coming at the end but I wanted it badly and I was tying up at the end. This season has been incredible for me so far and I am full of confidence”, she said after the race.


Newquay and Par's Jemma Simpson, 2nd last year also finished strongly and her time of 2:00.49 was a new personal best and also guaranteed her selection for Gothenburg. Cardiff's Amanda Pritchard, had a fantastic finish, she came from last down the back straight and made up a lot of ground to finish third in a pb 2:00.55. Meadows’ brave run saw her finish fourth in 2:01.02 with Marilyn Okoro (Shaftesbury Barnet) another who had the elite qualifying time fifth in 2:01.92.


Vicky Griffiths (Liverpool) set a pb of 2:03.19 for sixth, improving her heat time of 2:03.34 Charlene Snelgrove (Wakefield) set a pb of 2:03.10 in the heats was 7th in 2:04.80 while Indoor sensation Karen Harewood (Corby) who ran 2:00.53 indoors got through to the final as a fastest loser and was 8th in 2:05.33.


Defending champion Susan Scott (Glasgow), who ran 1:59.20 in the Commonwealths, had a hamstring injury and didn't run. Joanna Ross (Edinburgh Southern) struggled in her heat and only finished third in a non qualifying 2:06.17. Hannah England (Oxford City) set a pb 2:05.25 to go top of the UK junior rankings this year and that was again inside the World junior qualifying mark.


Women's 1500m (elite standard 4:05.00, development standard: 4:13.00)


Defending champion  Helen Clitheroe (Preston) was expected to control the pace and that she did superbly. Leading through the opening lap in 65.17, the pace slowed through 800 in 2:14.04. She passed the bell in 3:04.18 and began to up the pace through 1200m (3:20.68). She looked vulnerable as Commonwealth champion Lisa Dobriskey (Ashford) and Katrina Wootton (Bedford) followed her around the final bend but she found a strong kick down the straight to win by over 5 metres in 4:09.64.

Dobriskey was second in 4:10.36 while Wootton held third in 4:12.01. Rachel Ogden (Worthing) finished strongly for fourth with 4:12.60, Hayley Ovens (Edinburgh Southern) was fifth in 4:12.78 while UK age-16 record holder Stephanie Twell (Aldershot Farnham & District) backed her recent 4:12.76 with 4:13.15 in sixth.


Sarah Hopkinson (Gloucester), who at 14 became the youngest ever AAA Finalist after a heat time of 4:22.25, which was a new UK age record withdrew from the final.


Women's 5000m (elite standard 15:20.00, development standard: 15:40.00)


Jo Pavey (Exeter), who last won this title back in 2001 and has already been inside 15 minutes and won a Commonwealth medal and European Cup 3000 title won as expected in very hot conditions in the afternoon sun.


Pavey led from the start and after a fast opening kilometre (2:57.61) and 2K in 5:59.35, she had just three-time and defending champion Hayley Yelling (Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow) for company. By 3Km Pavey (9:03.29) was four seconds clear which she stretched throughout the last five laps passing 4K in 12:07.20, and finishing in 15:07.38. Yelling was on target for the elite time of 15:20.00 well past halfway but had to settle for second in 15:30.25


Hayley's sister in law Liz Yelling (Bedford), who went with the pace for the first kilometre, was an isolated third in 15:50.92. Laura Kenney (Royal Sutton Coldfield) finished strongly for fourth, pipping, Jenny Blizard (Rotherham), who at 31 was making her track debut.


Pavey said, 'I am really pleased to win but it was a shame that it wasn't on later as it just got hotter and hotter. I went off fast but couldn't keep it up.'


UK age 17 record holder Emily Pidgeon (Gloucester), who was only a second outside the development time at Solihull with 15:41.00, struggled in the heat, and after lying fourth at halfway, eventually finished 9th in 16:29.96. Pidgeon said: 'The race got harder and harder, the heat made it tough. I just didn't feel right. I'm going away tomorrow to Spain for 2 weeks training with Sarah Hopkinson and my coach.'


Women's 3000 steeplechase (elite standard 9:40.00, development standard: 10:05.00)


Ireland's Fionnula Britton led through the kilometre in a fast 3:15.34, before improving Hattie Dean (Hallamshire) took up the running. Dean opened up a slight gap in that last kilometre and despite the extreme heat, looked like she might get close to her personal best, which she narrowly missed with 9:52.04. The time was a new championship record, and being well inside the development time of 10:05.0, means the 24 year-old, who has improved over 30 seconds this summer, may be considered for European selection.  It was less than four seconds outside Lizzy Hall's British record. Hall and the previous champion Tina Brown were absent with injury.


Britton set a PB of 9:53.44 in second while twice runner-up, an d former UK record holder Shaftesbury Barnet's Jo Ankier (10:01.93) made a good recovery from injury with 9:58.22 to take bronze.


Dean said, 'I'm really pleased to win. I thought I could possibly win but I had to run well. I was shocked to see Fionnuala run and she ran well and I kept with her. It was so hot. I've improved by having a strong cross-country season.'


400mh (elite standard 56.00, development standard: 57.80)


Former Olympic finalist Natasha Danvers Smith (Shaftesbury Barnet) who heads the UK rankings with a fast 54.85 seconds had a good battle with fellow Commonwealth medallist Lee McConnell (Shaftesbury Barnet).


There was nothing between them as they went over the final hurdle together but Danvers Smith kept her form well to win by less than two metres in 55.58 to 55.82, she said afterwards:


“I knew it would be close, Lee is a great competitor. It was touch and go before today as I have been having treatment for a tear in my calf, so I’m very pleased with the result.”


Michelle Carey (Belgrave) was a surprise third in 56.68 as Emma Duck (Team Southampton) has run 56.84 this year, was disqualified.


Pole vault (elite standard: 4.45, development standard: 4.20)


Ellie Spain (Shaftesbury Barnet) enjoyed an easy victory, winning a second time clearance of 4.21, which was a new stadium record. Spain started slowly with a 2nd time clearance at 3.80 before a third time clearance at 3.95. 22 year-old Kate Dennison (Stoke), who had a 4.30 outdoor best from the Commonwealth Games, was second with 3.80m. Veteran Irie Hill (Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow) took bronze with 3.80. British record holder Janine Whitlock (Belgrave) failed at her opening height.


Long Jump (elite standard: 6.65, development standard: 6.50)


Kelly Sotherton (Birchfield) had a surprisingly easy victory to defend her title, she opened with 6.46 and then sailed out to 6.51 in the second. Sotherton heads the UK ranking with 6.67, which is superior to the elite standard of 6.65, she said:

'I started well but couldn't make any improvement and the wind wasn't any good for anyone. No one jumped particularly well but the important thing is I won. The back's fine at the moment.'


Three times champion Jade Johnson (Herne Hill), is still short of her best form and she had to settle for the silver with two jumps of 6.32, she commented: 'I felt rubbish today.'


100m hurdles gold medallist Sarah Claxton (Woodford Green with Essex Ladies) gained her second medal of the Championships with a fifth round jump of 6.28. Top British junior Amy Harris (Birchfield) was fourth with a jump of 6.20.


Shot Put (elite standard: 18.00, development standard: 16.55)


Defending champion Shaftesbury Barnet's Julie Dunkley defended her title well in what turned out to be a scorching afternoon. She won in a season's best of 16.08 which she achieved in the second round.


Eva Massey (Belgrave) took second with a season's best of 15.59. Woodford Green with Essex Ladies' Jo Duncan, who is theUK Challenge leader and who won the title in 2001 and 2003, has improved this year all the way to 17.11 but on this occasion could only take bronze with an off-colour 15.50. Commonwealth Heptathlon champion Kelly Sotherton  was seventh with an outdoor best of 13.97.


Discus  (elite standard: 60.00, development standard: 56.00)


Brighton & Hove's Claire Smithson, who was runner up last year won in a personal best 56.15, which narrowly exceeded the UK development standard of 56.00 for the 22 year-old and is likely to be considered for selection.

Smithson started with 52.38 for an early lead and then improved to 53.03 in the second, 54.92 in the fourth and then the big throw of 56.15 which came in the last round.


UK Challenge leader Blackpool & Fylde's Kara Ndwiobe, who took the lead with a 54.66 third round throw, improved to 55.21 in the fifth, which led until Smithson's great finale. Emma Carpenter (Exeter) threw 54.28 to take the bronze as favourite, UK leader and four-time champion Phillippa Roles could only manage fourth with 52.70.


Smithson said, 'I'm quite pleased with a win and personal best though I've been throwing further in training. I knew it was a good throw but as my eyesight isn't great I wasn't sure where it landed! I've just finished university at St Mary's and I over enjoyed myself there but now I am back at home and taking it more seriously!'


Hammer (elite standard: 69.00, development standard: 64.50)


UK Challenge leader Shirley Webb (Trafford) won last year with 66.60 but here she had to settle for second with 63.57 as the title went to Ireland's Eileen O'Keefe in 65.52. Lesley Brannan (Birchfield) took third in 62.45 as Zoe Derham (Birchfield) was a disappointing 4th in 61.75.


5km walk


Ann Loughname gained another Irish title in 22:54.97 as Redcar's Johanna Jackson took second in 23:27.56 as just three athletes finished.