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Norwich Union World Trials and UK Championships, Day 3

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Marlon Devonish and Jeanette Kwakye both claimed impressive sprint doubles at the third and final day of the Norwich Union World Trials and UK Championships.

 

The two athletes claimed 200m gold in thrilling races at the Manchester Regional Arena less than 24 hours after winning over the shorter sprint.

 

Devonish proved he is Britain’s fastest man taking his second national title of the weekend by beating European Junior Champion Alex Nelson.

 

In one of the tightest finishes of the weekend the Olympic relay gold medallist won in 20.79, just edging out Nelson (Sale Harriers Manchester) who ran 20.84.

 

European Junior bronze medallist Luke Fagan (Enfield & Haringey) made up the first three in a personal best of 20.86.

 

Devonish said: “I did not start well today. It was cold. I can’t keep giving these young guys leads. They put me under a lot of pressure. It was very close - too close.

 

“It looks like I will focus on the 100m in Osaka, but I will speak to my coach before making a final decision.

 

“I will definitely run the 100m then I’m not sure about the 200m, and we’ve got to focus on the relay.”

 

Kwakye (Woodford Green & Essex Ladies) ran 23.66 to edge Emily Freeman (Wakefield Harriers) into second. Donna Fraser (Croydon Harriers) showed she is making good progress back from injury by winning the bronze.

 

Kwakye said: “Coming to Manchester I just thought about doing my best and that’s what I have done.

 

“I think I am 1/100th off the ‘A’ qualifying standard and hopefully I will get a lane at Crystal Palace to get that time.”

 

In an enthralling afternoon of athletics in windy but sunny conditions Andy Baddeley (Harrow) followed up his impressive win over 1500m at the Norwich Union Grand Prix in Sheffield with a victory over the same distance in Manchester.

 

The 25-year-old’s lethal kick took him away from the field with 200m to go as he eased away to win in 3:43.25.

 

The fight for silver and bronze was won by Stephen Davies (Newport Harriers) in 3:45.29 with Tom Lancashire (Bolton United Harriers) coming third in 3:45.64.

 

Baddeley said: “I decided before the race to kick hard in the last 200 metres. If I’m going to be successful in Osaka then I need to be able to do that, so I thought I’d try it today.

 

“I know there is more pressure on me now than there was, but I’m also growing in confidence so it goes both ways, and no one puts more pressure on me than myself. I’m just looking forward to the World’s now.”

 

In the endurance events Mo Farah and Jo Pavey showed their class as they both won gold in the 5000m

 

In his first 5000m of the season Farah (Newham & Essex Beagles) ran with the pack in the early laps of the race, but slowly wound up the pace up after 3000m to win in 8:40.19.

 

Michael Skinner (Blackheath & Bromley) ran a season’s best to claim the silver in 13:54.35, while Anthony Ford (Blackpool, Wyre & Fylde) ran a personal best of 13:56.61 in third.

 

Farah said: “It was good to have the crowd behind me with such a good atmosphere. The plan was to go out hard and having spoken to my coach I decided to wind it up during the race and everything went to plan.

 

“It was great to get back to the 5K after my calf injury. I really enjoyed it and wanted to test myself.

 

“I’ve never been to a major championship so I’m really looking forward to Osaka and I’m also looking forward running at Crystal Palace in what will be a great line up.

 

“I am going to train hard and make sure I’m ready. It’s great being able to train with the Africans based in London as they are a big help.”

 

Pavey (Exeter Harriers) was nearly a minute ahead of her nearest rival as she took the title in 15:17.77, with Sophie Morris (Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow) coming second in 16:14.57. Jo Wilkinson (Bedford & County) took the bronze in 16.18.76.

 

Pavey said: “It was a bit strange today as I did not ease down for these Championships. I needed to keep the mileage high for the 10k in Osaka. I would like to be named in the 5k for Osaka, but the aim is the 10k.”

 

It was a disappointing weekend for Phillips Idowu (Belgrave Harriers) as had to pull out of the triple jump following one attempt after feeling a tightening in his back, which he hopes won’t stop him going to Osaka.

 

He said: “It’s a recurring back problem. My muscle is weak and I’m getting back spasms and tightening up. I thought rehab was going well, but not as well as I had hoped.

 

“I have not done as many competitions as I would have liked to, which will affect my preparation for the World Championships. If I’m still in pain I won’t go, there’s no point going not to jump.”

 

The triple jump was won by Tosin Oke (Woodford Green & Essex Ladies) with a season’s best of 16.59m.

 

He said: “It wasn’t great losing Phillips so early on. After he went I knew I had to go for gold.”

 

In the men’s 400m Andrew Steele (Trafford) showed his metal in blustery conditions to win in 45.70. Martyn Rooney (Croydon Harriers) came second in 45.93m, with Richard Buck (City of York) coming third in 46.93.

 

Steele said: “After years of, what I think, has been underperforming, I have finally got the title.”

 

Heptahlete Kelly Sotherton continued her hectic weekend by winning the women’s long jump in a season’s best 6.53 metres in the first round.

 

The Birchfield Harriers athlete, who competed in the high jump and 100m Hurdles yesterday, triumphed over Jade Johnson (Herne Hill Harriers) by just two centimetres.

 

Sotherton said: “It was a good competition and obviously my rivalry with Jade makes it even  more exciting. I won with a season’s best jump so I’ve got to be happy with that.”

 

Johnson said: “It was good to get second, but I really wanted to jump 6.70 today, which is why it was so frustrating they called my last jump a foul. It looked like being a big one and they’ve disallowed it for a technicality.”

 

Sotherton achieved a mark of 13.62m in the shot put to come seventh. The shot was won in Northern Irish national record of 16.63m by Eva Massey (Belgrave Harriers).

 

A close fought women’s 800m was won by Jemma Simpson (Newquay & Par) in 2:00.91 from Marilyn Okoro in second and Jenny Meadows in third.

 

Joanne Duncan (Woodford Green & Essex Ladies) won silver in the shot with 15.92, with Eden Francis (Leicester Coritanians) winning bronze with a put of 15.52m.

 

Local girl Kate Dennison (Sale Harriers Manchester) won the women’s pole vault with 4.20m, beating Fiona Harrison (Trafford) into second and Louise Butterworth (Birchfield Harriers) into third.

 

In the women’s 400m Hurdles US-based Tasha Danvers-Smith (Shaftsbury Barnet) set a new stadium record to win in a swirling wind in 55.43 secs.

 

The 29-year-old was pushed by Lee McConnell (Shaftsbury Barnet) who took silver in 56.91 and Eididh Child (Pitreave) who claimed bronze in 57.15.

 

Danvers-Smith said: “I think the track in Manchester is extremely fast so when you throw in a +4 wind in there as well it does make it very difficult for hurdlers. I made really good adjustments to the conditions and I’m pleased it paid off.”

 

The men’s high jump title was won by Martyn Bernard (Wakefield Harriers) with a jump of 2.24m. Bernard’s jump was 6cm higher than that of Germaine Mason (unattached) who won the silver on count back from Tom Parsons (Birchfield Harriers).

 

Helen Clitheroe (Preston Harriers) continued her impressive conversion to the 3000m steeplechase by winning the event in 9:47.49, the second time she has dipped under the World Championship qualifying time.

 

Jo Ankier (Shaftsbury Barnet) came second in 10:08.53 with Claire Entwhistle (Trafford) claiming the bronze in 10.13.83.

 

The women’s 5000 metres walk was won by Johanna Jackson (Redcar) in 22:03.65 secs. The 22-year-old Redcar athlete won gold almost three minutes ahead of Sophie Hales (Steyning AC), with Estle Viljoen (Hercules Wimbledon) taking bronze.

 

Jackson said: I did not expect to go as quick as that today. I came here to get close to my PB, but to go 35 seconds quicker is fantastic.”

 

The men’s walk over the same distance was won by Dominic King (Colchester Harriers) in a season’s best 20:57.90. Ben Wears (Redcar) won the silver in a personal best of 22:11.85, with Peter Kaneen (Manx Harriers) claiming bronze in 22:55.00.

 

Phillipa Roles to the women’s discuss title with a throw of 57.83 metres. The 29-year-old Sale Harriers Manchester thrower was pushed throughout the rounds by Emma Carpenter (Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow) who took silver with 54.40 metres. Eden Francis (Leicester Coritanians) claimed the bronze with 54.08 metres. 

 

For full results, click here.