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UK Athletics

Alex hammers home a Euro Juniors qualifier

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Alex Smith: Euro qualifier.
Great hammer throwing at the Kingston-upon-Hull AC Open meeting was highlighted by Alex Smith (Sale Harriers Manchester) going beyond the qualifying distance for this summer’s European Junior Championships and Sophie Hitchon (Pendle AC) breaking the UK Under 17 Women’s record.


Smith, based in Hull and a star of the great group coached by his parents, reached 70.08m, a couple of metres further than 12 months ago, in the Under 20 Men’s competition. His form suggests he is on course to improve on his performances of last year, when he exceeded 70m in nine competitions.


Hitchon improved the Under 17 Women’s national record to 49.61m, beyond the previous best of 48.94m achieved by Frances Miller (Elgin Harriers) at the 2001 IAAF World Youth Championships in Debrecen, Hungary.


It marks an amazing first 12 months in the event for Hitchon: she won her first competition of 2006 with a throw of 28.84m at Wigan last April; and ended last summer with a PB of 40.98m at Liverpool. Such are global standards, however, she needs 53m to qualifying for this summer’s IAAF World Youth Championships.


Of the Seniors in action at Hull, Andy Frost (Woodford Green with Essex Ladies) reached 70.11m, within 70cm of the distance he achieved when representing Norwich Union Great Britain and Northern Ireland at last month’s European AA Throws Challenge. Zoe Derham (Birchfield Harriers) won the Women’s competition with 64.97m and another member of the UKA National Squad, Rachel Gair (Mansfield Harriers) threw 55.98m.


Peter Smith (Hull Achilles AC) hurled the Junior Men’s hammer 62.70m for second place behind his brother Alex, and also threw the Under 17 implement 67.74m as a guest.


If you are aware of any more qualifying performances being achieved this weekend for the forthcoming major championships, please email the details to UK Athletics Communications Officer Trevor Frecknall at tfrecknall@hotmail.com for them to be added to this report.