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Awesome anyika's day to remember

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Anyika Onuora

14 July 2013

The final day of the Sainsbury’s British Championships saw a number of athletes confirm their places on the Great Britain & Northern Ireland Team for the forthcoming 2013 IAAF World Championships in Moscow.

The hottest weekend of 2013 will be remembered for some scintillating athletics action at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham.  

Anyika Onuora (coach: Rana Reider) is an athlete heading to the Russian capital in imperious form. The Liverpool Harrier was denied a winning personal best of 22.71 in the 200m due to a wind reading of +2.5m/s.

“I’d like to think I’m in the form of my life,” said the 2013 British 200m champion.

“I’m feeling really good and I just hope it all bodes well for Moscow. I’ve now got that opportunity now I’ve secured the actual ticket for the plane. Although it was an illegal wind, it wasn’t that much of a wind and it was a great race.”

In the men’s equivalent, James Ellington (Rana Reider) retained his national title, storming to victory in 20.45.

A delighted Ellington said: “I’m over the moon. It’s more a sense of relief than anything.

“I had the time already and I knew I was capable of winning but with Delano (Williams) coming over, I know he was a hot contender. I wanted to secure my spot for Moscow and I achieved that so I’m happy.”

Perri Shakes-Drayton (Chris Zah) displayed her world-class credentials with victory in the 400m hurdles posting a time of 54.36.  

“I couldn’t really ask for more if I’m honest,” she said. “I just had to get past that line first, that’s all I wanted.”

Michael Rimmer (Norman Poole) achieved his sixth 800m British title to secure his seat on the plane. The 27-year-old fought off a late challenge from Mukhtar Mohammed (Mustafa Mohammed) to win in 1:47.79.

“It was a tough last 50m, I was so scared,” revealed Rimmer. “I could tell from the crowds that there was someone coming, but luckily I sneaked in on the line.

“Now I need to get some good training in before Moscow. Leading into this race I’ve been the most consistent that I’ve ever been.”

Joining Rimmer in the Russian capital will be Brett Morse (Andy Brittan), who confirmed his place on the GB & NI team with a winning throw of 62.05m in the discus.  

“It was a relief to win to be honest,” said the Welshman. “I’m a little disappointed with the distance because I threw a bigger foul in round four. I didn’t feel that I really got going, I started off pretty easy and that seemed to be my best. There’s a lot more to come.”

In one of the most eagerly anticipated showdowns of the Sainsbury’s British Championships, Nigel Levine (Linford Christie) came out on top with a win inside the A standard time.  A season’s best of 45.23 somewhat surprised the newly crowned British champion.

“I wasn’t expecting to go that fast to be honest,” he said. “I had two rounds in my legs but I still believed I could do it. I kept that belief, and I did it.”

William Sharman (Jerzy Maciukiewicz) equalled his season’s best of 13.44 to win the 110m hurdles, but it was still short of the 13.40 A standard time.

“I need to get another couple of tenths by the late season and another tenth on top of that ideally,” admitted Sharman.

“We’ll have to see if that’s going to be enough for selection, but happy for the win.”

Olympic bronze medallist Robbie Grabarz (Fuzz Ahmed) eased to victory in the high jump with 2.28m. Afterwards he admitted the conditions were not conducive for good jumping.

“I wanted to defend my title, I managed that. I think the heat took its toll as the bar went up, I got a bit tired.

“I think the height was acceptable – probably the lowest I’d go home with and not cry myself to sleep. I need to jump higher than though.”

Shara Proctor (Rana Reider) continued her excellent 2013 season to win the long jump with a leap of 6.84m.

There was drama in the 1500m with Lisa Dobriskey (self) and Laura Weightman (Steve Cram) both having their races ending early through injury. The latter was due to a collision with Charlene Thomas and a spike incident for Dobriskey. Hannah England (Bud Baldaro) won the race in 4:10.99.

Reflecting on the race England commented: “I’m pleased to have won, I am delighted to have booked myself on the plane to Moscow, but I am disappointed to have won in that way. 

“I wanted to beat the others fair and square so I am disappointed I didn’t get to do that.”

Eilish McColgan (Liz McColgan) retained her British title in the 3000m steeplechase with a run of 9:56.03.  

The day got off to a blistering start with Alex Wright (Raphael Rinaldi) breaking the British record to win the men’s 5000m walk in a time of 19:27.39.

“I was really happy coming over the line to a big cheer from the crowd,” said Wright. “It was my plan from the start to go for the national record, but the first one kilometre was a bit slow, but I think that actually helped for later on in the race.”

In the women’s 5000m walk Bethan Davies (Andi Drake) produced a personal best of 23:21.08 to win.

Christine Ohuruogu (Lloyd Cowan) ran a season’ best of 23.30, a B standard time, in the women’s 200m heats. The former Olympic champion did not contest in the final.

“The B standard for Moscow was pleasing, but really the main plan for today was just to do the one round because I’ve had quite a heavy week,” she explained.

“The main aim was to just use it as an introduction of speed for Moscow so I can sharpen up a little bit.”

49.76m was the winning distance in the women’s javelin from Rosie Semenytsh (self).  Julian Reid (Aston Moore) leaped to 16.79m to secure the triple jump national title.

Steph Twell (Mick Woods) did her Moscow hopes no harm with victory in the 5000m in 15:55.01. The Aldershot, Farnham & District athlete is already in possession of the B standard.

“I’m super happy to win the senior trials for the first time. The time was ok but today was all about winning the race and I’m so happy to have been able to do that,” said Twell.

In the absence of British record holder Holly Bleasdale (Scott Simpson), Sally Peake (Scott Simpson) won gold with a vault of 4.23m.

There were national titles for Andy Vernon in the 5000m, Greg Beard (Mark Chapman) in the shot put and Shaunagh Brown (John Hillier) in the women’s hammer.


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