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UK Athletics

Meadows in near-record opener

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Among the athletes aiming for places in the Norwich Union Great Britain and Northern Ireland Team at the forthcoming SPAR European Indoor Championships in Birmingham, 800m runner Jenny Meadows and heptathlete Jessica Ennis were in sprightly form at the City of Manchester Open Meeting organised by Sale Harriers Manchester and sponsored by Reebok at Sportcity last weekend.


Meadows (Wigan and District Harriers) got to within two-fifths of a second of the UK Women’s 600m record held by Dame Kelly Holmes in winning her heat in 1:25.81. It places her second in the UK all-time rankings behind Dame Kelly, who clocked 1:25.41 in the autumn of 2003 as she built up towards her historic 800m-1500m golden double at the 2004 Olympic Games.


Ennis (City of Sheffield AC) won her 60m heat in 7.52 and the shot with 12.71m, only 1cm behind her lifetime best at last summer’s European Championships. The Commonwealth heptathlon bronze medallist also finished second in her 60m hurdles heat in 8.36, six-hundredths of a second behind Sara McGreavy (Sale).


Fastest of the 60m sprinters with 6.78 seconds was Alex Nelson, the World Juniors 200m and 4x100m bronze medallist who has joined Sale. Another of Norwich Union GB’s Junior internationals, Luke Cutts (Dearnside High School) won the pole vault with 5.10m, 2cm higher than at this stage last year.