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Titles Win for Finch and Jackson

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Johanna Jackson
Jackson - cruised to title this weekend


15 April 2009

Luke Finch (Colchester Harriers) stormed to his first national senior title in the UKA/RWA 20km Championships this weekend staged at Shrewsbury Sports Village.

Held on a 1km cycle circuit, each lap consisted of a 250 metre climb, which athletes had endured on twenty occasions. Despite this Finch took 7 seconds off his previous best of 1.28.38 set last month in Lugano, Switzerland in clocking 1.28.31.

Finch set the early pace with Junior Ben Wears (Redcar RWC) stepping up in distance in close proximity. He went through 5km in 21.45, with Wears passing the same mark in 22.00, but the youngster was soon withdrawn by the judges.

Finch passed the halfway point in 43.30. The tough course began to take its toll in the second half as he passed 15km in 65.45 but hung on well over the last 5km to record a new personal best of 1.28.31. This puts him at the head of the Power of 10 rankings for 2009 and moved him up to 27th on the UK All Time list.

Finch backed up his performance over 10km of 41.51 in the previous week’s McCain UKA Race Walking Challenge opener in Coventry. Carl Thompson (Sarnia) took 2nd in 1.39.51 ahead of Paul Evenett (Redcar RWC) 1.40.57.

In the Women’s 20km British Record Holder Jo Jackson (Redcar RWC) put behind a disappointing performance the previous weekend in the IAAF Challenge in Rio Major, Portugal. Recovered from the hamstring injury – she took the title in 1.35.37.

Jackson passed halfway in 46.00, but as she had two cards on the board throttled back to cruise round the last 10km to secure the national title. In second place was triple Commonwealth medallist and former national record holder Lisa Kehler (Wolverhampton & Bilston) who clocked the second fastest time by a British athlete this year in clocking 1.44.18, ahead of Dianne Bradley (Tonbridge) 1.53.39.

In the Junior Men’s 10km, Ben Wears stepping up to the 20km race led to a showdown between Mark O’Kane (Coventry Godiva Harriers), Alex Wright (Belgrave Harriers) and Tom Bosworth (Tonbridge) for the two remaining places in the Aviva Great Britain and NI team for the forthcoming European Cup in Metz, France.

Boswoth set the early pace and Wright moved ahead of O’Kane. However, by the halfway point O’Kane had moved ahead of both of his rivals. Wright was soon to be removed by the judges, leaving the way clear for O’Kane to take his first national title in 47.46. Bosworth hung on for second place (49.18) ahead of his team mate Liam Baldwin (Tonbrige) in 3rd (49.18). The Junior Women’s 10km saw Birchfield’s Holly Smith rack up a comfortable victory in 56.16.

The next leg of the McCain UKA Race Walking Challenge is the UKA/RWA 50km Championships in Stockton on Tees on the 26th April.