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Aviva British Grand Prix

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31 August 2008



For full results click here




Brit’s give the crowds top class show at the British Grand Prix in Gateshead, the final event of the UK Athletics domestic Major Events outdoor season.


All glad to be back competing on home soil, Goldie Sayers, Martyn Rooney, Marilyn Okoro, Lisa Dobriskey and Christine Ohuruogu took wins in their events despite autumnal conditions in the North East.



Martyn Rooney (Croydon Harriers), who finished sixth in Beijing and has run sub 45 seconds three times this year, cemented his place as Britain’s top 400m athlete winning the first track event of the day in 45.35.


He said: “After Beijing and the Bird’s Nest I was finding it hard to get up for it before today. But as soon as I stepped on the track I realised it was good to be home as the crowd were massive and really got behind me.


“I didn’t feel I ran that well considering the conditions were perfect for 400m running, but obviously it was great to win.”


 Michael Bingham (Trafford AC) came through strongly in second with 45.71.


Lauren Williams (USA) won the women’s 100m in 11.24 (-0.8m/s) ahead of Olympic gold medallist Shelly Ann Fraser (JAM) who followed in 11.29. Deborah Ferguson (BAH)finished third with 11.42. First Brit to cross the line was Montell Douglas (Blackheath & Bromley) who broke the UK 100m record earlier in the season. She ran convincingly clocking 11.47.


Williams said: “It’s a bitter sweet type of win as we all wanted to win the Olympics, but to beat the medallists here was nice. I’ve heard Gateshead would be windy, but it felt good to race out there today and I hope it looked good for the fans.”



Crossing the line in first place in the men’s 1000m America’s Bernard Lagat clocked a personal best of2.16:18 leading throughout the race. Andy Baddeley (Harrow AC), who finished ninth in the Olympic 1500m final, failed to perform in his last UK Grand Prix after a long season of tough competition. He finished in last place and looked to struggle throughout. 


Marilyn Okoro (Shaftsbury Barnet Harriers) had an incredible win in the women’s 800m, leading throughout and comfortably setting a very fast pace. Her time of 1.59:48 sees her retain the top spot on the UK Athletics Power of Ten rankings for the 800m. Jenny Meadows (Wigan AC) crossed the line in fifth place in 2.01:64.


Okoro said: “That’s my second race in quick succession so to win it like that was great. I was determined to come out hard and dominate and just get away from them on the second lap.


“Even though the Olympics didn’t go as I’d hoped, I’m consistently running really good times now so really feel this has been a breakthrough season for me.”


Josephine Onyia (SPN) ran a blistering 12.65 to win the women’s 100m hurdles, setting a new Gateshead International Stadium record. In second place Olympic Silver medallist of Australia Sally McClellan with 12.70.


Sarah Claxton (Woodford Green & Essex Ladies) and Kelly Sotherton (Birchfield Harriers) failed to get into contention finishing in fourth and sixth place with 13.13 and 13.41 respectively.


In the men's 110mh Aries Merritt (USA) got away well in lane two and maintained first place contention with a strong second half. He took first place, crossing the line in 13.39. “I’m pleased to win, but guess I expected to in that field. It started to rain just before the gun which made things a little tricky, but I held it together and got the win.”


British number one Andy Turner (Sale) and Allan Scott (Shaftsbury Barnet Harriers) finished in seventh and eighth place respectively with 13.74 and 13.94. 


Brad Walker (USA) took first men’s pole vault with a jump of 5.72m. British number one Steve Lewis (Newham & Essex Beagles) looked to make an impression this weekend following a disappointing Olympic campaign which saw him bow out in the qualifying stages, he finished in a respectable third place with 5.52m.


Walker said: “It’s good to get a win under my belt. I had a tough Olympics so I came here to get the win as I really needed to get some confidence back.”


Lewis aimed to use the competition to rid his Olympic demons: “The conditions weren’t great, it was just to come here and get over the bar after my Olympics. It wasn’t a good experience out there and very disappointing for me.”


Miguel Pate (USA) bounced back from a disappointing Olympics. The American athlete jumped 8.04m (0.7m/s) in the first round of competition, which wasn’t bettered for the duration.


He said: “It was nice to jump over 8m and get back in the saddle so to speak. I did have the feeling that I would just call time on the end of my season after the Olympics but I think it was a good decision to come here.”


Greg Rutherford (Marshall Milton Keynes) took his Olympic revenge in the men’s long jump after a bitterly disappointing Olympic campaign. He jumped his way into second place with his second attempt of 7.71m (0.5m/s).


Rutherford, who was extremely unlucky not to perform to his potential and get amongst the medal contention in Beijing, said: “It wasn’t a great jump at all but I have had a couple of viruses since Beijing and I am still feeling the after effects of them.”


After a testing couple of months for the North East athlete Chris Tomlinson (Newham & Essex Beagles) endured another frustrating competition finishing in seventh place with a best of 7.54m (0.3m/s).


Double Olympic champion Kenenisa Bekele (ETH) set the world’s fastest time of the year in the men’s 3000m with his astonishing run of 7.31:94. “At the moment I am very happy. i have to thanks all of my team and my family. My results are not just down to me, it takes a good team to get good results.”


Mo Farah (Newham & Essex Beagles), currently ranked top of the UK Athletics Power of Ten 3k rankings, looked to struggle through the first stage of the race but found his form towards the close and pushed for fifth place, crossing the line in a time of 7.46:39.


“I am not feeling good at the moment. You have to try to get back after the disappointment of the Olympics, that is what the sport it about. As for the race today, I could have run better but I let them go too early.”


Tyson Gay (USA) flew past the line in 20.26 in the men’s 200m. Following a tough summer with hamstring injuries throughout the season Gay reminded crowds of his previous event dominance and now threatens for the indoors. Wallace Spearman (USA) pushed his team-mate throughout finally settling for second place clocking 20.41.


Gay said: “The victory means a lot today. I went to Beijing to get gold, not silver or bronze and it was so frustrating having to watch rather than perform.”


Current British number one Christian Malcolm (Cardiff AAC), who made the final of the men’s 200m in Beijing, was first Brit past the line in 20.65 rounding off a solid summer campaign.


Marlon Devonish (Coventry Godiva) crossed the line in 20.80.


Goldie Sayers (Belgrave Harriers) was the only athlete over 60m in the women’s javelin. Her winning effort of 61.62m came on her first attempt and was not bettered throughout the rounds in bad conditions.


Britain’s number one, who agonisingly finished fourth in the Olympic final, said: “I came here to enjoy the competition.


“I don’t quite know what to make of the Olympics. I’d like to say it was a good experience but the best I think I can say is that I was satisfied.”


Lauren Williams (USA) secured the 100m and 200m double as she stormed home in 22.65 to win the latter event. Debbie Ferguson (BAH) took third place in 22.73 followed by Bahamas athlete Shericka Williams in 22.80.


Montell Douglas (Shaftsbury Barnet) finished in sixth place with 23.53.


Lisa Dobriskey (Ashford AC), cemented herself as one of Britain’s top middle distance athletes winning the women’s 1500m in 4.09:68. Lying in fourth place with one lap to go the Ashford athlete bided her time, making a move with 300m to go, picking off four competitors and finishing strongly.


Dobriskey, who had a fantastic but frustrating Olympic campaign finishing just shy of a podium position in fourth in the 1500m said: “I wanted to come here today to get finishing fourth in the Olympic final out of my head. I felt very good in the race and was strong at the end. I wanted to run well in front of home fans so I am glad I won.”


Susan Scott (Victoria Park City of Glasgow) followed her teammate coming through into second position in the last 200m with 4.10:23, making it a British one-two. 


Olympic silver medallist Germaine Mason (unattached) took first place in the men’s high jump despite bad conditions. He took the bar to 2.27m for his winning jump, leaving Jesse Williams (USA) in second place and Samson Oni (Belgrave Harriers) in third, both with 2.24m.


Tom Parsons (Birchfield Harriers) took fourth place with the same height but two no jumps before finally clearing on his last attempt.


Mason said: “It has been only two weeks since Beijing but this was quite the opposite from the Bird’s Nest out here today! The rain made things tough, but the crowd got into it, especially with the competition between Tom (Parsons), Samson (Oni) and me.”


Marek Plawgo (POL) won the men’s 400m hurdles in 49.07, followed by Bershawn Jackson of the USA and Jamaican athlete Markino Buckley, crossed the line in 49.11 and 50.04 respectively.


Richard Yates (Trafford AC), currently Britain’s number one 400m hurdler following an impressive 49.06 run at the London Grand Prix in July, ran 50.66 to leave him in sixth place.


Olympic bronze medallist Natasha Danvers (Shaftsbury Barnet) brought her fantastic form back from Beijing, finishing in third place with 55.61. Danvers who smashed her personal best with her 53.84 effort in the Bird’s Nest stadium in Beijing said: “Back to earth now after the Olympics. With it being a home meeting there has been such a lot to try and fit in and still keep focussed on the race. The people have been great to me and I hope they keep on supporting me.”


Jamaican Melanie Walker took the win in 54.51, with second place going to Anna Jesien (POL) who clocked 55.35.


Priscah Cherono (KEN) set the fastest time in the world this year and just missed out on setting a new stadium record with her run of in the women’s 3000m. Team mate Vivian Cheruiyot (KEN) followed her home in second place with 8.33:66.


Asafa Powell, who ran the anchor leg in the winning Jamaican 4 x 100m team in Beijing, won the men’s 100m by a length in 9.87 (0.7m/s) in the pouring ran. With amazing acceleration he left teammate Nester Carter with 10m to go, Carter clocking 10.13. 


Powell said: “I just had to excecute my race plan and it came good. The rain doesn’t help but I still won in under 10 seconds.”


Craig Pickering (Marshall Milton Keynes) was the first Brit home in fifth place with 10.26. 


Olympic silver medallist and 2008 World Indoor champion Phillips Idowu (Belgrave) finished fourth in the men’s triple jump with his second attempt of 16.42m. The bad conditions didn’t help his competition but that didn't ease his ever growing frustration in repeatedly falling short.


Jadel Gregorio of Brazil took first place in 17.13m achieved on his second jump. Larry Achike (Shaftesbury Barnet) finished in fifth with 16.30m.


Olympic and World Champion Christine Ohuruogu (Newham & Essex Beagles) finished her UK Grand Prix season in style, giving the crowds at Gateshead a top class show with a win in the women’s 400m. Her ever strong finish brought her home in 51.27.


Nicola Sanders (Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow) started very well leading on the second bend but as the pack caught up out of the turn she carried on to finish in third place in 51.79.


Heptathlete Kelly Sotherton (Birchfield Harriers) who ran splits of 50.60 and 50.40 in the relay in Beijing finished in fifth with a PB of 52.19.