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UK Athletics

weekend round-up 

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18 January 2016

Midland Counties Open Series, High Performance Centre, Alexander Stadium, Birmingham, 16/17 January

In a top-notch high jump battle with his Italian training partner Marco Fassinotti, Robbie Grabarz (Fuzz Caan) cleared 2.29m, which was an Olympic qualifying standard. It was his best performance indoors or outdoors since the 2013 World Championships outdoor final in Moscow. The 2012 Olympic bronze medallist finished second to Fassinotti, who cleared 2.33m. The pair, both coached by Fuzz Caan (formerly Ahmed), are one-and-two at the top of the embryonic world indoor ranking lists for 2016.

British outdoor triple jump champion Julian Reid (Aston Moore) opened his indoor season with a winning 16.04m effort, while his Birchfield club mate Kyle De Escort (Andy Paul) was fastest in the series of senior men’s 60m races, clocking 6.74 and 6.76.


South of England Indoor Championships, Lee Valley, London, 16/17 January

Andy Pozzi (Malcolm Arnold) made a welcome return to indoor competition, running 7.61 in the heats of the senior men’s 60m hurdles at Lee Valley. It was a world lead and his fastest ever season opener in the event. 

It was the 23-year-old’s first competition on the boards since his fourth-placed finish at the World Indoor Championships in Sopot, Poland, in 2014. Pozzi, who suffered a stress fracture of the foot in the 110m heats at the London 2012 Olympics, made a low key return outdoors last August, clocking 13.62 at a meeting in Gothenburg.



Scottish National Indoor Open, Emirates Arena, Glasgow, 16 January

Seven days on from her blistering anchor leg in the mud at Holyrood Park in the mixed 4 x 1km relay at the Great Edinburgh Country, Laura Muir (Coach: Andy Young) opened her indoor season with a fine front running 800m on firm ground inside the Emirates Arena. The 22-year-old Glasgow University veterinary student led from ‘gun to tape,’ finishing 5.73sec clear of her closest pursuer in 2:01.13. That was just 0.19 shy of the 2:00.94 Scottish indoor record that Muir clocked on the same track at the Glasgow Indoor International in 2014. It also put her clear at the top of the world indoor rankings for 2016.

Dylan Ali (David Rae) had an outstanding run in the senior men’s 400m, the unattached 20-year-old slicing 1.10sec off his indoor PB with a winning time of 48.57. Trafford’s James Bowness (William Parker) won the men’s 800m in 1:52.36.



Northern Athletics U17/U20/Senior Championships, EIS Arena, Sheffield, 16/17 January

The precociously talented Tilly Simpson (Steven Marshall) produced a stunning run in the Under 17 women’s 800m. The 15-year-old Hallamshire Harrier won in 2:06.67, a UK under 17 indoor best. Wakefield high jumper Abby Ward (Ian Hill) was another teenager to shine. The 16-year-old cleared PBs of 1.83m then 1.86m to win the Under 20 women’s title.

Trafford’s Louise Bloor (Toni Minichiello) was just 0.02sec shy of her PB in claiming the senior women’s 60m title in 7.39.



Bermuda 10km, 17 January

A number of athletes headed out to Bermuda to take part in the annual 10km race. Nick Swinburn (Lindsay Dunn) was the highest placed amongst the athletes representing England, clocking a season best of 31:48. Adam Bitchell (James Thie) was 4th overall in 33:22 with Euro Cross athlete Jacob Allen (Mick Woods) 5th, 30 seconds behind the Welshman.

Faye Fullerton (Georgina Fullerton) was the leading English lady in 35:37 narrowly ahead of in-form Charlotte Arter (Thie) posting 35:48 and Suzi Boast (Joe Franklin) (38:29) in 17th.



Katerinas Cup, Latvia, 16 January

World Youth bronze medallist Rechmial Miller (Ryan Freckleton) won the 60m in his second competition of the season and clocked a time of 6.79, just 0.02 seconds outside his lifetime best. Training partner Reuben Arthur (Freckleton) was edged into second with 6.80.

Lukesha Morris (Freckleton) was in personal best shape in the women’s 60m, finishing second on her way to a 7.46 time. There were also wins in Latvia for Khai Riley-La Borde (Ray Gibbens) in the 60m hurdles and Mary Iheke (Christine Bowmaker) in the 300m.