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UK Challenge Review

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The battle for selection for the European Championships was the main focus at SportCity, Manchester on 15 and 16 July, but the event also formed an important part of the UK Challenge.

 

Here is a review of how the leading athletes scored event by event at the Norwich Union European Trials.

 

100m


Marlon Devonish (Coventry) won the first part of his double in 10.19 seconds to earn 222 points. The UK Challenge leader prior to the event, Craig Pickering (Marshall Milton Keynes) failed to make the final but did run 10.39 seconds in his semi to score 182 points.

 

200m

Marlon Devonish (Coventry) and fast improving Rikki Fifton (Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets) shared the winning time of 20.69 seconds, which scored 211 points. Devonish also ran 20.69 in his semi final. Somto Eruchie (Leicester), who led the Challenge prior to the event had a great Championship. He ran three personal bests in one afternoon in the 200m; 21.01 in his heat, 21.00 in his semi and then 20.79 in the final to earn 201 points.

 

400m

Returning from injury, Tim Benjamin (Belgrave) won in a respectable 46.00 seconds, which earned exactly 200 points. Challenge leader Adam Charlton (Huntingdon) failed to make the final (48.81 in his heat for 87 points) and the big mover will probably be junior Grant Baker (Leicester) who was lying third and was twice inside 47 seconds, with a 46.82 heat and 46.77 final, the latter earning 169 points.

 

800m

Michael Rimmer (Liverpool Pembroke) became the first to win 800m national titles at under 15, under 17, under 20 and senior level. His winning time of 1:47.20 earned 196 points though UK Challenge leader Sam Ellis (Barnsley) was second in 1:47.49 and his 190 points puts him a very strong position.

 

1500m

Andrew Baddeley (Harrow) won easily in 3:41.18, which earned 190 points. Current leader Gareth Price (Shaftesbury Barnet) did not contest the 1500m.

 

5000m

Pete Riley (Leigh) was a surprise winner in a pb 13:46.68 to score 168 points. Challenge leader Dave Mitchinson (Newham & Essex Beagles) struggled in the heat and finished 17th in 14:33.26 (93 points) and should be overtaken by Challenge second placer Mike Skinner (Blackheath & Bromley) whose 13:53.83 earned 172 points.

 

3000m s/c

Jermaine Mays (Kent) won his first national title in 8:39.95 with a strong 60 second last lap which earned 200 points. Current leader James Bailey (Sale) finished 10th in 8:55.31 (169).

 

110m Hurdles

Andy Turner (Sale) produced a fast wind assisted 13.24 seconds, which equated to 247 points total - the highest on the track all weekend. Challenge leader Will Sharman (Belgrave) continues to progress and his windy 13.45 gave him 231 points.

 

 

400m Hurdles

Rhys Williams (Cardiff) produced his usual strong finish to win in 49.28 which scored 243 points. UK Challenge leader and defending UK Challenge winner Matt Douglas (Belgrave) set a season's best of 50.09 in third to score 222 points.

 

High Jump

Martyn Bernard (Sheffield) made a rare UK appearance to win with a clearance of 2.25m, which earned 225 points. UK Challenge leader Adam Scarr (Enfield & Haringey) was sixth with 2.16m, which earned 180 points.

 

Triple Jump

Philips Idowu leapt a world class 17.50m and earned a whopping 240 points. UK Challenge leader Julian Golley (Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow) was fourth in 16.19, which earned 169 points.

 

Pole Vault

Steve Lewis (Newham & Essex Beagles) won with a 5.40m clearance which earned 210 points. UK Challenge leader Joe Ive (Sutton & District) no heighted.

 

Long Jump

Going within one centimetre of the British record, Greg Rutherford (Marshall Milton Keynes) produced a 8.26m leap, that most people adjudged was the performance of the Championships, though it scored a relatively modest 236 points in the Challenge.

 

Challenge leader Belgrave's Richard Danso wasn't at his best and his 6.93m for 11th earned just 103 points.

 

Shot Put

Carl Myerscough (Blackpool & Fylde) won with a world class 20.00m, though will be surprised to find his 250 points was the highest score of the weekend over all events. UK Challenge leader Emeka Udechuku (Woodford Green with Essex Ladies) chose to focus on his discus.

 

Discus

Carl Myerscough (Blackpool & Fylde) made it a shot and discus double with 61.04m winning throw, which gained 219 points.  The UK Challenge leader Emeka Udechuku (Woodford Green with Essex Ladies) maintained his lead with a strong second place in 58.72 (203 points).

 

Hammer

Andy Frost (Isle of Wight) retained his title in 69.15m to earn 190 points. Challenge leader Simon Bown (Newham & Essex Beagles) was third and scored 178 points.

 

Javelin

Nick Nieland easily defended his title with a 80.56 opener (217 points). Challenge leader Michael Allen (Trafford) didn't compete.

 

Women

 

100m

Joice Maduaka (Woodford Green with Essex Ladies) set a fine personal best of 11.23 which scored 245 points, one of the highest women's score of the weekend. UK Challenge leader  Susan Deacon (Edinburgh Southern) was 6th in 11.71 (173 points) though ran a quicker 11.69 (176) in her semi final.

 

200m

Joice Maduaka (Woodford Green with Essex Ladies) gained an easy sprint double winning in 23.24 to score 207 points. UK Challenge leader Susan Deacon (Edinburgh Southern) was 8th in 24.19 (143 points) though ran 23.96 (159) in her heat.

 

400m

Nicola Sanders (Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow) won in a world class 50.74 that scored 244 points, just one down on Maduaka's 100m. Challenge leader Rebecca Sweeney (Sale) just missed out on the final with a 55.20 heat (132 points).

 

800m

Becky Lyne (Hallamshire) won in a very fast 2:00.31 which earned a relatively modest 216 points. Challenge leader Nisha Desai (Morpeth) earned 163 points with a 2:05.62 heat.

 

1500m

Defending champion Helen Clitheroe (Preston) won an exciting race in 4:09.64 to score 201 points. The challenge leader, junior Jessica Sparke (Woodford Green with Essex Ladies) didn't compete.

 

5000m

In sweltering conditions, Jo Pavey (Exeter), won in a fast time of 15:07.38 and that scored 232 points.                   

 

3000 steeplechase

Hattie Dean (Hallamshire) won with a fast 9:52.04 to score 238 points.

 

100m Hurdles

Sarah Claxton (Woodford Green with Essex Ladies) easily retained her title in 13.19 and that earned her 207 points. UK Challenge leader Catriona Pennet (Edinburgh Southern) ran 14.19 in her heat to score 140 points.

 

400m Hurdles

Natasha Danvers Smith (Shaftesbury Barnet) won a good battle with fellow Commonwealth medallist Lee McConnell (Shaftesbury Barnet).to win in 55.58 (248 points) to 55.82 (243 points). Danvers Smith's score was perhaps surprisingly the top women's score of the weekend. UK Challenge leader Hannah Stares (Belgrave) ran 63.99 in her heat and earned 80 points.

 

High Jump

Ireland's Michelle Ryan won in an Irish record 1.92 with the leading UK competitor Julie Crane (Sale) going over 1.86 for 200 points. UK Challenge leader Vicki Hubbard (Grantham) jumped 1.82 for fifth and 180 points.

 

Pole vault

Ellie Spain (Shaftesbury Barnet) won in a personal best and stadium record 4.21 which gave her 211 points. UK Challenge leader Janine Whitlock (Belgrave) no heighted.

 

Long Jump

Kelly Sotherton (Birchfield) defended her title with a 6.51 jump which gave her 191 points. UK Challenge leader Gillian Cooke (Edinburgh Southern) was only 9th in 5.92, which gave her 132 points.

 

Shot Put

Shaftesbury Barnet's Julie Dunkley defended her title with a season’s best of 16.08 that scored 191 points. UK Challenge leader Woodford Green with Essex Ladies' Jo Duncan, threw 15.50 for third and scored 180 points.

 

Discus

Claire Smithson (Brighton & Hove) won in a personal best 56.15 to gain 185 points. UK Challenge leader Blackpool & Fylde's Kara Ndwiobe, was second with 55.21 to score 181 points.

 

Hammer

UK Challenge leader Shirley Webb (Trafford) had to settle for second behind Ireland's Eileen O'Keefe who threw 65.52. Webb's 63.57 picked up 202 points.

 

Javelin

Goldie Sayers (Belgrave) defended easily with a strong 58.81 throw to earn 209 points. UK Challenge leader and defending champion Laura Whittingham (Wakefield) was third in a season's best of 50.22 to earn 166 points.]