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senior teams secure second at combined events international indoor match

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Ashley Bryant

There were second place finishes for both the senior men’s and women’s teams at the weekend’s (Sat 28, Sun 29 Jan) Combined Events International Indoor Match against the Czech Republic, France, Poland and Spain in Prague, the highlight of which was Ashley Bryant (Aston Moore) coming agonisingly close to a new British record for the men’s indoor heptathlon.

Starting with a personal best of 7.08 over 60m, he followed this up with another lifetime best in the long jump of 7.79m to lead the British long jump rankings this winter.  He then followed up with a solid 14.32m in the shot put and an indoor high jump best of 1.98m to lie second at the end of day one behind Jorge Urena (Spain), who went on to record a Spanish record of 6249, the best score ever recorded in this match.

Day two opened with the 60m hurdles, with Bryant missing his best by a mere hundredth of a second, before following it up with a solid best clearance of 4.50m in the pole vault.  He went into the last event needing to run just outside 2:40 for the 1000m to break the British Record held by John Lane. He came tantalisingly close with a posting of 2:40.84, missing the record by a mere 7 points with an overall score of 5975, good enough to move to him to third place on the UK all-time list.

Also competing in the senior men’s competition, Ben Gregory broke his own Welsh Record by 6 points, recording 5770 points, the highlight of which was a 5.20m clearance in the pole vault, the highest of the competition. Aiden Davies (Sam Stanislaus) was the U23 athlete selected for the men’s team, and aided by personal bests in every event but the 1000m the Yorkshire-born athlete beat the best he had set at the England Championships by 111 points to move to 8th place on the UK U23 all-time list.

The senior men’s team placed second in the overall match standings, a mere 20 points behind Spain, with Liam Ramsay being the UK’s third scoring athlete with 5618 points, the highlight of which was a best jump of 7.27m in the long jump, just 1cm shy of his overall lifetime best.

The women’s team secured second place in the team standings thanks to strong showings from Jessica Taylor-Jemmett (Mike Holmes) and Katie Stainton (Kelly Sotherton), with England’s pentathlon champion Taylor-Jemmett edging out Stainton by just 8 points, the latter producing a lifetime best score of 4147 points to move to 14th on the UK all-time senior list and third on the U23 list. It was a weekend to remember for Elise Lovell (Stephen King) as she joined several of those on the team in setting a personal best, with her overall score of 3892 149 points up on her previous best.

In the U20 men’s match, Howard Bell (Ian McEwan) missed a Scottish junior record by just 8 points as he improved his score from the England junior championships by 69 points, while with much thanks to an indoor high jump PB of 1.99m Joseph Hobson (Mike Corden) recorded a score of 4893 to finish 12th individually.

In the U20 women’s match each of the trio of Grace Bower (Holmes), Holly McArthur (Ian McEwan) and Ada’ora Chigbo (Fuzz Caan) - all competing in their first Combined Events International matches - recorded lifetime bests, with Bower adding a massive 161 points to her best with a score of 3713 and Ada’ora Chigbo adding 22 points to her best with 3620. For McArthur, the UK’s fastest U17 hurdler in 2016, a 55 point addition to her best for 3859 saw her move up to 13th on the UK all-time U20 list.

Full results are available at www.atletika.cz