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UK Athletics

UK Challenge Athlete of the Month

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Trafford's hammer thrower Shirley Webb, wins the UK Challenge athlete of the month award for June, after amassing a total of 820 points.


Webb, who was clearly UK’s number one hammer thrower last year, hasn't quite hit top form in the summer of 2006. After throws of 64.76m and 64.95m in the Pre Commonwealth meetings she was a disappointing 10th in the Commonwealth Games Final in Melbourne with just 59.31m.


Her form in June though has been ultra consistent. She won the league match in Manchester with 63.78m (204 points), then threw 64.60m (208) to win the Northern Ireland Championships, followed a day later by a 64.44 (207) in Bedford (though losing to Zoe Derham) and then a 63.27m (201) to win the North of England Championships.


On July 29, Shirley Webb will be one of Britain’s leading athletes competing in the UK Challenge throwsfest at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium, an exciting new competition just for throwers.


Webb was one of the few top class athletes to fit in four UK Challenge competitions in the month and she won the award ahead of Emeka Udechuku who scored a slightly higher average (215) with his 646 in 3 competitions in the Shot. Third was Junior Joe Ive, who achieved his 635 points thanks to doing both the South of England Junior and Senior Pole Vault competitions at Crystal Palace.


Middle and long distance runners haven't made too much impression in the overall totals but Gareth Price took advantage of the two BMC Nike Grand prix events in June, plus Area Championships and British League by scoring 617 points in his four events at 1500m. His PB in the BMC meeting at Solihull, where he set a PB of 3:41.92, gave him his best score of 185 points.

At each fixture there is an award for the best scoring performance with either of UK Athletics’ official sponsors adidas or Powerbreathe donating a prize.


The best performances in each weekend during June were as follows:


June 3rd/4th (8 British League matches): David Greene (British League Division 2 David Greene 50.52 400H: 212 points

June 7th: adidas St Mary's Relay: Emily Pidgeon clocked 9:06.87 over 3000m: 189 points

June 10/11th (Watford/Bedford/Northern Ireland Champs): Watford BMC/UKA endurance initiative: Lizzie Hall recorded 9:48.51 for new UK Steeplechase record - 244 points

June 17/18th (Territorial Championships): South of England Champs: Joice Maduaka 11.33 for 100m: 231 points

June 24th: Solihull BMC Jo Pavey clocked 4:05.91 for 1500m: 220 points


The UK Challenge series provides British athletes just below that of international standard and aspiring athletes, with top-class competition throughout the summer and throughout the UK.


Altogether there are 48 events throughout the season to score points in culminating in a final at Manchester on the 27 August.