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UK Athletics

Lyne takes second place in Oslo - updated with photos

Becky Lyne (Hallamshire Harriers) continued her flying start to the season with a fantastic second place in the Women’s 800m at the Bislett Games in Oslo on Friday 2 June. Lyne settled into the back of the group as they were led through the first lap in 59.34 seconds and then moved into contention with 200m remaining. She finished strongly, closing on the eventual winner Janet Jepkosgei (Kenya) in the final 20 metres, to take a surprise second place in 2:00.67.


Lyne, former European Under 23 Champion, who missed out on selection for the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, said afterwards:


“I almost resigned myself to second place, I just left it too late to win. The line came too soon; it was all a bit of a blurr!


“I felt really good, I just tried to keep driving for the line. It’s a dream come true really competing here in Oslo. I’ve beaten some of the fastest girls in Europe tonight so I just hope to make the Europeans, potentially there are five girls with the qualifying time, so the trials should be really interesting.”


Tim Benjamin (Belgrave) lined up in his first 400m since last summer, up against Olympic Champion Jeremy Wariner (USA), Lashawn Merritt (USA) and Chris Brown (Bahamas). Drawn in lane 8, Benjamin held his own until 300m, but suffered in the closing stages as Wariner pulled clear to win in 44.31 seconds. Benjamin finished seventh in a time of 46.01 seconds.


He said afterwards: 'I am just race- rusty, but it's great to be racing again. I just need more races now and hopefully things will start to come together.'


In the Men’s 400m B event, Rob Tobin (Basingstoke & Mid Hants) finished third in 46.64 seconds. Nicola Sanders (WSE&H) opted to compete in the Women’s 400m A race and set an outdoor personal best of 51.81 seconds, taking seventh place behind American Sanya Richards who improved her world leading time to 49.82 seconds.


In the Men’s 100m, Jason Gardener (Bath & Wessex) ran in the first heat won by Asafa Powell in 9.96 seconds and finished fourth in 10.37 seconds. Mark Lewis-Francis (Birchfield Harriers) ran in the second heat and finished fifth in 10.28 seconds, whilst training partner Marlon Devonish (Coventry Godiva) lined up in the third heat and clocked 10.29 seconds for fifth place.

Abi Oyepitan (Shaftesbury Barnet) made her return from injury that ruled her out of competition in 2005 in the Women’s 200m. Oyepitan lined up with training partner Emma Ania (Shaftesbury Barnet), having both recently returned from warm weather training with their coach Tony Lester in Florida. Ania recorded a new personal best of 23.38 seconds taking fourth place, ahead of Oyepitan who finished eighth in 23.56 seconds.


In the Men’s long jump, Chris Tomlinson (Newham & Essex Beagles) failed to make it through to the final eight with a best of 7.68m in the first round, that left him in 11th place. James McIlroy (WSE&H) was ninth in the 800m in a time of 1:50.06.

In the final event of the evening, Nick McCormick (Morpeth Harriers) finished sixth in the Dream Mile in 3:55.60, won by Kenyan Alex Kipchirchir in 3:50.32. Neil Speaight (Belgrave) finished 10th in 4:07.03.


In Saturday's Reebok Grand Prix meet in New York, Chris Thompson (Aldershot & Farnham District) continued his fantastic comeback from two seasons of injury woe to clock 13.31.83 in 8th place in the 5000m. This beat the UKA elite entry standard of 13.32 for the European Championships in Gothenburg in August.


In Zaragoza, Spain, Andy Turner (Sale Harriers) came second in the final of 110m Hurdles in 13.34 (+3.8m/s), after recording 13.38 seconds in the heat, also assisted by an illegal wind. The UKA Elite standard for the European Championships is 13.55 seconds, Turner is now confident he can attain the standard in more favourable conditions.