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weekend update 

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Ross Murray
29 June 2015 

Welsh Athletics Championships, Cardiff International Sports Stadium, 27-28 June

In less than ideal conditions, British pole vault record holder Holly Bradshaw (coach: Scott Simpson) showed no signs of rust as she returned to competition in record breaking style. Competing in her first event since the 2014 World Indoor Championships and her first under her married name, the 23 year old sailed over 4.35m at the first attempt then  registered a second time clearance at 4.50m, the qualifying standard for the IAAF World Championships in Beijing in August.

The 2013 European Indoor champion had three narrow failures at 4.62m but was justifiably happy enough with a winning height that earned her a championship record, eclipsing a four-year mark of 4.30m held by her training partner Sally Peake (Scott Simpson), who finished second on Sunday with 4.05m. Bradshaw, who also claimed the Welsh all-comers’ record, improving on Zoe Brown’s 4.45m, tweeted: “I competed today for the first time in 16 months and it felt flipping awesome - literally the happiest person in the world!”

The Blackburn Harrier, who took time out to overcome a series of niggling injuries, confirmed that she would be competing this coming weekend at the Sainsbury’s British Championships in Birmingham.

There was also a championship best performance in the men’s pole vault. The 5.45m achieved by 2010 world junior bronze medallist Andy Sutcliffe (Christian North) was a 20cm improvement on Neil Winter’s record.  The championship best in the women’s high jump fell to another English athlete, Birchfield’s Bethan Partridge (Aston Moore) clearing 1.84m to better Julie Crane’s mark by 2cm.

Former European 400m hurdles champion Rhys Williams (Adrian Thomas/Wynford Leyshon) retained his Welsh title over the one-lap barriers, winning in 51.90 from his Cardiff AAC club-mate Paul Bennett (Matt Elias), who clocked 52.40 as runner-up. Brett Morse (Nigel Bevan), another leading light of track and field in the Principality, won the discus with a throw of 58.69m.

Swansea schoolgirl Hannah Brier (Neil Merry) claimed her first senior Welsh titles and a sprint double. The 17-year-old won the 100m in a wind assisted 11.40 (+2.6) and the 200m in 23.26 (wind reading unknown). 



Meeting International Lotto de Nivelles, Nivelles, Belgium, 27 June

Running in her first individual 400m race of the summer, Seren Bundy-Davies (Stephen Ball) notched an impressive victory that updated her outdoor PB from 52.50 to 51.72, matching the Welsh indoor record she set on the boards at the Sainsbury’s Birmingham Grand Prix in February. In doing so, the 20-year-old Trafford AC athlete moved to third on the 2015 UK outdoor lists, behind reigning world champion Christine Ohuruogu (51.48) and Anyika Onuora (51.67), teeing up an intriguing one lap battle at the Sainsbury’s British Championships in Birmingham next weekend.

Bundy-Davies is now the third on the Welsh all-time list outdoors, behind Michelle Scutt (50.63) and Catherine Murphy (51.36). Aldershot’s Amy Allcock (Nick Dakin) finished fifth in the same race in 54.07. In the men’s 400m, 19-year-old Birchfield Harrier Elliot Rutter (Daniel Cossins) finished third in 48.16.

Rutter’s Birchfield club-mate Jake Porter clocked 14.02 (+1.9) for victory in one of the 110m hurdles races, while Jacob Paul (Marina Armstrong) notched a 400m hurdles win in 50.97. In the women’s 400m hurdles, Hayley McLean (Lloyd Cowan) recorded a season’s best of 58.79 in a race won by Ireland’s Christine McMahon of Ballymena and Antrim in 58.10.



British Milers’ Club Grand Prix, Watford, 27 June

Ross Murray (Craig Winrow) won the men’s 1500m in his fastest time since 2012, the summer in which he reached the Olympic semi-finals. The 24-year-old Gateshead Harrier clocked 3:37.76, the fastest outdoor time of the year by a British athlete, with Tom Lancashire (Steve Vernon) second in 3:38.36, 5,000m specialist Tom Farrell (Mark Rowland)  third in 3:38.57 and Ross Millington (Steve Vernon) fourth in 3:40.09, a PB. European Junior champion Jake Wightman (Geoff Wightman) ran a season’s best of 3:40.34 in sixth.

In the women’s 1500m, sub-two minute 800m runner Jess Judd (George Gandy) lowered her PB to 4:09.56, finishing runner-up to Kenya’s Nancy Chepkwemoi, a clear winner in a lifetime best of 4:03.09. Third placed Melissa Courtney (Mark Pauley), another British Under 23 athlete, clocked 4:09.74, moving the 21-year-old Shaftesbury Barnet athlete to fourth on the Welsh all-time list, behind Hayley Tullett (3:59.95), Kirsty Wade (4:00.73) and Rhianwedd Price (4:09.56).

The fastest men’s 800m time of the night came in the B race, 43-year-old two-time Olympian Anthony Whiteman winning in 1:48.97. Zak Curran (Alasdair Donaldson) - more than half his age, at 21 – was runner-up in 1:49.30. Dale Clutterbuck (self-coached) won the A race in 1:49.05, with Gareth Warburton (Darrell Maynard) second in 1:49.37.

In the women’s 800m, Pudsey and Bramley’s Alexandra Bell (Aaron Thomas) ran a PB of 2:02.57 for third place behind New Zealander Angie Petty (2:00.62) and Poland’s Paulina Mikiewicz (2:02.44). Katie Snowden (Alasdair Donaldson) was fourth in 4:02.99, with Commonwealth silver medallist Laura Weightman (Steve Cram) fifth in 2:03.59, Leah Barrow (Trevor Painter) sixth in 2:04.06 and Hannah England (Bud Baldaro) seventh in 2:04.61.

Jonathan Thewlis (Thomas Watson) of Notts AC finished runner up in the men’s 5,000m, clocking 13:59.85 behind Poland’s Marek Skorupa (13.59.71). There was also a Polish winner of the women’s 5,000m, Dominika Nowakowska prevailing in 15.29.20, ahead of three Britons running lifetime bests: Laura Deadman (Bill Foster), second in 15:45.12; Becky Straw (Bud Baldaro), third in 16:03.25; and Jennifer Nesbitt (David Walker), fourth in 16:03.51.

Doug Musson (Trevor Muxlow) finished runner-up in the men’s 3,000m steeplechase in a PB 8:51.89, Ugandan Ben Silva winning in 8:49.70. Silva’s compatriot Juliet Chekwel won the women’s race in 9:46.01, with Sara Tracy (Bud Baldaro) second in 9:55.19 and Iona Lake (Pauline Ash) third in 9:56.64, a PB.



Bauhaus Junieren Gala, Mannheim, Germany, 27- 28 June

There were several impressive performances by members of the British junior contingent, not least in the sprints. Joseph Dewar (Gladys Bird) won the men’s 100m in 10.34 (+0.1), a PB, with Reuben Arthur (Ryan Freckleton) second in 10.47 and Theo Etienne fourth in 10.54. Elliot Powell (Glenys Morton) won the men’s 200m in a lifetime best 20.68 (+0.9), while Blackheath and Bromley’s Shannon Hylton (John Blackie) finished runner-up in the women’s race in 23.16 (+0.5). Hylton’s twin sister, Cheriece (John Blackie) was second over 400m, clocking 53.69 behind Lina Nielsen (Frank Adams), who won in 53.38, a new lifetime best performance.

Jack Hatton (Malcolm Arnold) clocked 13.62 (+1.0) for third place in the 110m hurdles, while Pitreavie’s Jack Lawrie (John Macdonald) ran a lifetime best of 51.17 as runner up in the 400m hurdles, which saw him go inside the European Junior qualifying standard of 51.80. The GB & NI team also won the men’s 4x100m relay in 39.68, with the women second in their race in 44.72. In the field 2015 European Junior leader Adam Hague (Trevor Fox) won the pole vault with a second time clearance at 5.40m, while Taylor Campbell (Paul Dickenson/Chris Black) threw 77.34m for second place in the hammer.

In a series of U23 110m hurdles races, David Omoregie (Benke Blomkvist) clocked a season’s best of 13.55 (+1.4) as a runner up. The Cardiff athlete also ran 13.66 (+0.1) in second place in a separate race, David King (James Hillier) finishing third in 13.92.



Fast Cow Invitational, Indianapolis, USA, 28 June

Hannah Cockroft (Jenni Banks) continued her successful Sates-side tour, following up her hat-trick of victories in the US Paralympic Championships last weekend with another trio of T34 wins. The double London 2012 Paralympic champion took the 100m in 17.93 (+0.7), the 400m in 1:04.17 and the 800m in 2:13.12.

Sammi Kinghorn (Ian Mirfin) finished second in the T53 100m in 17.65 (+0.00), third in the 400m in 57.26 and third in the 800m in 1:57.02. Jade Jones (Ian Thompson/Tanni Grey-Thompson) was also in action, placing sixth in the T53/54 5,000m in 11:49.83 and eighth in the 1500m in 3:27.02.

Richard Chiassaro (Banks) took three second place finishes in the T54 100m 400m and 800m, while there was a victory for Mo Jomni (Jenny Archer) in the T52/53 200m crossing the line in 27.36



Bonus Track Meeting, Nottwil, Switzerland, 27 June

Paralympic, world and European T44 champion Jonnie Peacock (Steve Fudge) clocked 11.10 (-0.8) for sixth place in the 100m. Daniel Obeng (Leon Baptiste) finished second in the A race in 10.62 (+0.9), while Chris Clarke (Steve Fudge) won the 200m in 20.71 (-0.7).