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UK Athletics

Statistical Review of recent performances

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The weekend of 10-11 June was very special for British athletics, probably the best weekend, Championships apart, for several years, according to Rob Whittingham, a member of the National Union of Track Statistians. There were so many good performances it is not possible to include all in the review, but here are details of some of them with emphasis on the younger athletes, with thoughts of London 2012.


The big headline of the weekend was Jamaican Asafa Powell equalling the world record for 100 metres at the Norwich Union British Grand Prix in Gateshead. This is good for British athletics since it demonstrates that it is possible to run fast in Britain and is the first men’s sprint world record here since Peter Radford in 1960.  In the same race, Dwain Chambers, now 28 years of age ran the best time by a British athlete for two years, 10.07. Although only 8th in the race 17 year old Harry Aikines-Aryeetey (Sutton & District) was close to his PB was given the wonderful opportunity to experience being in a world record race.


In the 1500 metres at Gateshead, Andrew Baddeley, 23 (Harrow AC), was close to his best with 3:36.52. The long jump saw both Nathan Morgan, 27 (Birchfield) and Chris Tomlinson, 24 (Newham & Essex Beagles) jump 8 metres.


The women’s 800 metres saw a magnificent breakthrough for 23-year-old Rebecca Lyne (Hallamshire Harriers) running 1:58.20 for 800 metres to go third on the British All Time List. More importantly, Rebecca is fourth on this year’s world list, only 0.04 behind second place. Jenny Meadows, 25 (Wigan) ran a PB of 2:00.16 as did Marilyn Okoro (Shaftesbury Barnet), 21 who recorded a time of 2:00.57. Both these performances take them into the British All Time top 20 and the Top 20 for the world this year. Tasha Danvers-Smith (Shaftesbury Barnet), 28 was the only British winner in the Gateshead GP with 54.85, which takes her into the world top ten for 2006.


The junior sprints produced some good times with 400 metres specialist 16 year old Chris Clarke (25.01.90) setting a PB of 10.74 in the Spar Sprints 100 metres, and 14 year old Shaunna Thompson (8.04.92) winning her 100m in 12.00 seconds.

At Watford on Saturday 10 June at the BMC Grand Prix, we had the rare event of a British record in the Women’s 3,000m steeplechase being overshadowed by a Men’s 800 metres where some huge breakthroughs were made, by athletes all under the age of 24.


First the 800 metres. Last year Richard Hill (Notts AC), now 20 finished with a PB of 1:48.89, that is now history as Richard ran 1:45.10 to go 12th on the British All Time list and sixth on the world list for 2006. Even better for Britain was the fact that all athletes behind him also set significant PBs, including Michael Rimmer (Liverpool Pembroke) 20, with 1:45.47, Sam Ellis (Barnsley) 23, with 1:45.67, Jimmy Watkins (Cardiff AAC) 23, with 1:46.33 (30.10.82) and Michael Coltherd (Barrow & Furness) 23, with a time of 1:46.34.


In the Women’s steeplechase, 21 year old Lizzie Hall (Herts Pheonix) broke the British record with 9:48.51 and Hattie Dean (Radley AC) 24, set a personal best of 9:52.22. With Tina Brown (Coventry Godiva) 29 and Jo Ankier (Shaftesbury Barnet) 23, both close to this time last year and the enormous potential of 17 year old Emily Pidgeon (Gloucester AC), the steeplechase record could be in for several revisions.


In amongst many other good performances at Watford, 14-year-old Sarah Hopkinson (Gloucester AC) ran an 800 metres PB of 2:07.55.


At the Bedford International Games, several juniors made significant improvements. In the javelin, 18 year old James Campbell (Cheltenham & County) threw 71.60, not only a Scottish junior record but also the senior record as well. Adam Scarr  (Enfield & Haringey) 21, jumped 2.25 in the high jump to take him into the British All Time top 10.


There was also a 110 hurdles race at the junior height of 3’3’, 18 year old Gianni Frankis (Basildon) ran 13.76 seconds to move 5th on the UK all-time junior list. He has the remainder of this season and all next to move even higher. Those above him include Colin Jackson, Jon Ridgeon and Tony Jarrett!


In Geneva, Christian Malcolm (Cardiff AAC) 27, came back to form with a 10.28/20.46 100/200 metres double and Nathan Douglas (Oxford City) 23, triple jumped 17.42 to go fifth on this year’s world lists.


In Belfast, Michael Allen (Abbey) 26, threw 79.55 in the javelin for a Northern Ireland record and move to ninth place on the British All Time List.


Amongst the leading results in the Schools County Championships is Michael Wheeler (Herne Hill Harriers), only 14 years old achieved 18.09m with the U15 shot, to rank third on the UK all-time list.


Finally there was a major Championship this weekend, the American Collegiate (NCAA) Championships. The occasional British athlete has done well in this but on Saturday three British athletes won medals. Tim Bayley (Belgrave) 24, was second in the 800m with 1:46.64, Tom Lancashire (Bolton) 20, second in the 1500 metres 3:44.20 and 19 year old Yasmine Regis (WSE&H), third in the triple jump 13.60w.


Report provided by Rob Whittingham (NUTS / ATFS), some statistics supplied by Martin Rix.