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UK athletes produce top performances at ICC

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Louise Hazell ICC 2009 Lee Valley

24 January 2009 

Former Commonwealth champion Julian Golley (Team London North) stole the show at the first Semi-final of the McCain Indoor City Challenge (ICC). He reached the UKA Power of Ten mark with his jump of 16.00m which was good enough to take the win and points for his city.  

“It was a little bit tense on the runway but very solid distance so I just want to keep this up for the trials in Sheffield. It’s my first jump off a full approach, I have been struggling with my right hamstring so I have been doing long jump in the early season.” 

The return of the evergreen Donna Fraser (Team London South) was another highlight of the day. The 36 year old dominated the women’s 200m in 24.26 and tested her speed in the women’s 60m with 7.66, which was won by Team Belfast’s Anna Boyle in 7.62.  

Her disappointment of not taking to the track at the Beijing Olympics has forced her to take back her threat of retirement voiced during the summer. “After not running in the Games I just didn’t want to end my career like that. I thought, ‘I’ll do the indoors, have some fun and just enjoy it’ and then ill be happy to say goodbye on that note. I have my own self targets, it’s not about making teams, I’m just taking every day as it comes.” 

The quality field in the men’s 800m produced personal bests from every participant. Winner and eventual Athlete of the Competition Andrew Osagie (Team London North) crossed the line in 1.49.70 with a strong lead, followed by World Junior semi-finalist Rick Ward (Team Oxford) with 1:50.54 and Steven Morrow (Team Belfast) in 1:52.54.  

Osagie, who is returning to competition from a stress fracture said: “Basically the plan was to go out abit quicker, which I tired to do. I feel better than ever, I have missed a lot of racing. There wasn’t a lot I could do about being out of competition because of the nature of the injury but there is an anti-gravity treadmill at St Mary’s which reduces the loading on the foot and was perfect for me to train on.”  

Other impressive performances on the day came from: 

Louise Hazel (Team Birmingham), who was recently selected for the forthcoming Combined Events International in Spain, she conquered the women’s pentathlon with solid performances throughout. 

“I have had a tough week in training but I pulled out the long jump result in the last round with 5.81m. I felt like I could have done abit better in the shot but the hurdles were good. I love competing for the GB & NI team so I’m looking forward to Spain.” 

After being diagnosed with arthritis two years ago Sian Scott (Team Bristol) won the women’s 400m with a strong performance. After a fight with Melinda Cooksey (Team Birmingham) at 60m to go Scott got the edge and the points crossing the line in 56.50. 

Team GB Olympic team member Vicki Barr, who recently relocated to be based at Lee Valley with new coach Ayo Afola, won her 200m heat in 24.48. The London North athlete has already seen a difference in performance since the move 

“It wasn’t really that quick, but it’s OK for indoors. I’m tall so I probably won’t run massively quick. I moved just before New Year and it’s been a massive change, everyone’s been so supportive, the whole training group. My main aim is to get quicker over 200m so im racing 200’s and 60’s.” 

Conrad Williams (Team London South) impressed in the 200m. He won by a wide margin with a new personal best of 21.90. He attributes his recent indoor form to training move from Crystal Palace to Brunel UKA HiPAC.  

“I was pleased when I saw I had lane five because I know the track, it’s quite tight so that’s a better lane draw. The change in training group is working for me, it’s a different mentality and having a senior group around me to encourage and help is great.” He said. 

“I wasn’t thinking about the trials or anything but I have got a taste for indoors now, I felt really good today so I might take a change in my competition plans.” 

In the women’s high jump Charis O’Connor (Team London South) equalled her life time best with a winning performance of 1.80m, just ahead of former British Universities champion Sophie Hine (Team Birmingham) who was favourite for the win.  

Commonwealth Youth Games 1500m bronze medallist Ciara Mageean (Team Belfast) ran an impressive 800m, finishing second to London North’s Michaela Hutchinson (2:10.10). 16 year old Mageean, who was recently nominated as a UK School Games ambassador, crossed the line in 2:10.50.  

“I just went out there and ran. I’m happy, it was a senior race and im only 16. Being asked to be an ambassador for the UKSG was amazing, such an honour, I won 3000m in 2007 and 1500m last year so perhaps it’s because of that.” 

The men’s pole vault proved to be an exciting contest with just Chris North (Team Bristol) and World Junior athlete Scott Huggins (Team London North) battling in the closing stages. After his pole snapped early on and a few subsequent nervous no jumps, North went round for round with youngster Scott, both finishing on 5.01m.  

Team Bristol’s James Brewer worked up an impressive lead throughout the men’s 1500m race and won in 3:50.66 way ahead of the pack. He said: 

“I thought looking at the best’s from the field that I was going to have to take it on, which I did. I would have preferred to have been pushed abit more but it’s nice to come here and win and have that under my belt.”

Team London North, Team London South and Team Bristol progress to the final of the ICC in Cardiff on 28th February as top three from today’s competition. While Team Birmingham, Team Belfast and Team Oxford’s fate will be decided at the second semi-final on the 7th February at the EIS in Sheffield.  

Full results attached below: 

For more info visit: www.ukathletics.net/indoor-city-challenge