8th February 2009

Sheffield Dominant On Home Patch


08 February 2009


Team Sheffield showed why they will be hard to beat in McCain Indoor City Challenge (ICC) final, with Team Manchester and Team Edinburgh also progressing to the final in Cardiff at the end of the month.

Team Sheffield started to stake their claim for a title defence early on with Jamie Williamson in the men’s shot competition, with a best throw of 16.65, and Kay Humberston winning in the women’s high jump competition, clearing a height of 1.78m.

Home advantage seem to spur on Leon Baptiste, who was in dazzling form again, with a time of 21.31secs, quicker than his run in Glasgow last weekend, and looking in good form heading into the Aviva UK Championships next weekend at the same venue.

He said “I’ve been entered for the 60m and 200m next weekend, I’m not really known for my 60m speed but I’ll go there for a scrap. Unfortunately there’s not a 200m event at the Europeans, as I would preferred to have done that.”

More success for Team Sheffield followed, with female athlete of the match Zara Hohn (Team Sheffield) finishing ahead of Helen Asher (Team Manchester) in the women’s 60m hurdles, with a time of 8.43sec. Hohn was looking strong and, while she didn’t place too much emphasis on targets this season, she was looking towards the European U23s in the summer. Team ace Emma Lyons also enjoyed a successful afternoon in the women’s pole vault, clearing the bar at a height of 4.18m

In one of the performances of the afternoon, Team Manchester’s Shaunna Thompson recovered brilliantly from a slow start to win in the 60m women’s race. The 16 year old double Youth Commonwealth Games Gold Medallist provided yet more proof of what an exciting talent she is, with a time of 7.47secs, one hundredth of a second shy of equalling her lifetime best indoors. Team Manchester enjoyed double success in the 60m, with Andy Robertson also winning, 6.86secs.

With Martyn Bernard and Samson Oni already clearing the required height of 2.27m to be considered for selection for Turin, Rob Mitchell (Team Manchester) was looking to do the same. Mitchell eventually bowed out at 2.23m, which was enough to win the event, but was philosophical in chasing that as yet elusive qualifying mark.

“We’re getting there slowly but surely. Me and my coach have been working on my run ups over the last couple of months, getting that sorted. I’m already up on my personal best of five or six years ago, so I’m hoping for big things at the Indoor Trials, and give people a bit of a shock. Hopefully, I’ll hit one come the right time”

Kevin Sempers returned to action today for Team Newcastle, fresh from his third place in Zaragoza, and guesting in the first McCain ICC semi final at Lee Valley. Sempers dominated the combined events challenge, with winning performances in the shot, high jump and 60m hurdles, and accumulating 2,520pts over the 3 events.

“I got an e-mail from the Newcastle team manager the week before asking if I would compete, and I did the ICC the week before Zaragoza, so I couldn’t very well guest in that and not compete for Newcastle this weekend, so I said I’d do it.”

Team mate Chris Kirk brought home top points for Newcastle in the men’s long jump, with a distance of 7.44m. Not content with appearing in the long jump, Kirk also deputised in the relay for his team, bringing them home in second place.

In one of the performances of the afternoon, Vicki Griffiths appearance as an ace for Team Manchester was justified, coming in over 4 seconds clear of the rest of the field to win the women’s 800m race, 2:07.08. In an equally dominant display, Graeme Oudney (Team Edinburgh) won the men’s 800m race, with a time of 1:52.35. Oudney was clearly looking to get more races under his belt in preparation for next weekend’s European Indoor Trials. “I wanted to go out quite hard in preparation for next week. I’ll try and taper down before, as I have been working quite hard this week.”

Other outstanding performances in Sheffield included a new McCain ICC record in the Women’s Medley Relay for Team Manchester, Vicki Griffiths was full of running, leading them to a finishing time of 4:59.11secs.

Winning performances from Francis Smith in the men’s 60m Hurdles, 8.04secs and Nony Mordi in the women’s triple jump, 13.17m, helped to secure Team Edinburgh a final place in the Welsh capital on 28th February.

Alison Rodger (Team Glasgow) also impressed in the women’s shot, with a winning throw of 14.72m, and Jon Taylor provided another success for Team Newcastle, in the men’s 1500m, with a time of 3:51.80.


For full results download the file below or for more info visit: www.uka.org.uk/competitions/indoor-city-challenge/