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Weekend Action Round Up

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Frank Tickner
Tickner - Excellent performance in Italy this weekend


02 February 2009

Mara Yamauchi (Harrow AC) set an excellent PB in winning the Kagawa Mararugame International Half Marathon in her native Japan as Steph Twell (Aldershot, Farnham & District) and Frank Tickner (Thames Valley) shone at the Cinque Mulini Cross Country in Italy.

British athletes were in the thick of the action at the prestigious  Cinque Mullini Cross Country in San Vittore Olana, Italy on Sunday.

European Junior Champion Steph Twell (Aldershot, Farnham & District) continued her fine run of form, placing 2nd in the senior women’s 6k race behind experienced Hungarian Aniko Kovalics.  There was also an excellent showing from Frank Tickner (Thames Valley) in the senior men’s 10k race, placing third behind steeplechase world record holder Said Saaeed Shaheen (Qatar) and eight-times European Cross Country Champion Sergiy Lebid (Ukraine).

Twell had to work hard throughout. The 19 year old was stuck in the pack when Kovalics put in a burst after the first kilometre to go 50 metres clear. Eventually Twell clawed her back and actually briefly took the leading in the last kilometre before Kovalics put in a decisive kick with 500 metres remaining. Kovalics clocked 19:34 with Twell four seconds adrift.

Freya Murray (Chester le Street) was a fine third in 19:59. Of the other British athletes, Sonia Samuels (Sale Harriers) was 5th in 20:09, Kate Avery (Shildon Running) was the leading junior in 6th in 20:20,  Susie Hignett (Bournemouth AC) was 7th in 20:23 and Victoria Wilkinson (Bingley Harriers) was 9th in 20:37.

In the men’s race, Tickner enjoyed another fine performance on the international stage, following his worthy 10th place in December’s Europeans. Running a strong second half of the race, he finished in 31:53, just seven seconds adrift of Lebid and 16 seconds behind winner Shaheen. 

Of the other Brits, Andy Vernon (Aldershot, Farnham & District) was 4th in 32:06, Steve Vernon (Stockport Harriers) was 5th in 32:11, Lee Merrien (Newham & Essex) was 7th in 32:30 and Tom Lancashire (Bolton Harriers) was 12th in 33:01.


Olympic marathon 6th-placer Mara Yamauchi (Harrow AC) won the Kagawa Mararugame International Half Marathon in Japan on Sunday in a new personal best of 68:29. She was nearly one minute clear of second-placed Yuri Kano and several other prominent Japanese distance runners, including fourth-placed Reiko Tosa, marathon bronze medallist at the 2007 World Championships in Osaka.

Olympic vaulter Kate Dennison (Sale Harriers) set a season’s best of 4.35m to win the women’s pole vault.