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UK Athletics

Double in Europe for Douglas

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Montell Douglas (Blackheath and Bromley) enjoyed two fine 100m victories in Germany and the Netherlands last weekend, defeating European Championships 4x100m Silver medallist Anyika Okuora (Liverpool Harriers) on both occasions. At the Stadionfest Konings i9n Germany on 1 September, Douglas won in 11.64 seconds with Onuora second in 11.77 and Jeanette Kwayke (Woodford Green with Essex Ladies) fifth in 11.91.


Marilyn Okoro (Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers), who has had a great summer, won the 800m in 2:01.90 with Karen Harewood (Corby AC) second in 2:03.14. Jo Ankier (Shaftesbury) was sixth in the 3000m steeplechase in 10:17.14.

Moving on to the Arene Games in the Netherlands on 3 September, the 100m was run into a head wind officially measured at 2.4 metres per second. Douglas prevailed in 11.72 with Onuora again second in 11.84.


Okoro also had a super run at the EAA Premium Meeting at Rovereto, Italy, on 30 August. She clocked 2:01.36 for third place behind Zulia Calatayud (Cuba), who won in 2:00.78, and Jolanda Ceplak (Slovenia), second in 2:01.20. Jemma Simpson (Newquay and Par) finished sixth in 2:01.83.


It was Simpson’s turn to star at the EAA Permit Meeting in Padua, Italy, on 1 September. She led the 800m until the final 70m but, in a desperate finish, was shunted back to fourth. Her time of 2:00.56 was still admirable at the end of a summer in which she has been one of the five UK athletes to run sub-2. And this time she finished more than a second ahead of Ceplak. Calatayud won again, in 1:59.55.


The UK’s only representative at the Berlin leg of the IAAF Golden League, James Thie (Cardiff AAC) finished fifth in a very competitive 3000m in 8:04.67, his fastest time of this summer, just ahead of the European 10,000m Champion Jan Fitschen. Victory went to Jesus Espana (Spain) in 7:56.36.


The sprinters should have stayed home for following winds! Despite gales at that Under 20 Home International at Abingdon, Emma Lyons (Notts AC and UWIC) sailed over 3.90m, a 20cm PB, in the U20 women’s pole vault. This is a UK Under 20 leading performance outdoors for 2006 and places her equal 3rd on the UK all-time list for Under 20s. It follows several 3.70m performances this summer, including her AAA Under 20 title-winning jump.


Elaine O’Neill (Wessex and Bath) won the 100m for South of England in 11.67 seconds with the help (?) of a following wind officially measured at 7 metres per second at the Under 20s’ Home Countries International at Abingdon. It makes her the fastest UK Under 20 this summer, though Under 17s Asha Philip (Newham and Essex Beagles) and

Ashlee Nelson (City of Stoke) have run faster.


The gale had calmed a little by the time of the 200m. Under 17 hurdles ace Meghan Beesley (Tamworth AC) won the B race (wind a mere +5) in 24.45 and Scotland’s Stacey Downie (Pitreavie) the A race (wind: +5.8) in 24.47, a hundredth of a second ahead of O’Neill.


Jade Surman (Birchfield) won the 100m hurdles (wind: +3.7) in 13.81. But it was much harder for the runners who had to face the elements: for example, Eilidh Child (Pitreavie) did well to get within two and a half seconds of her season’s best in winning the 400m hurdles in 62.28.


If you are aware of any additions that should be made to these highlights, please send the details to tfrecknall@hotmail.com