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Latest News from Aviva Olympic Trials

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Greg Rutherford
Rutherford - back at number 1 for the Marshall Milton Keynes athlete




12 July 2008





Latest start lists and results are available here


There were thrills and spills at Saturday’s session of the Aviva Olympic Trials as there were some popular victories for Greg Rutherford, Perri Shakes Drayton and  Jeanette Kwakye, whilst Simeon Williamson made a significant breakthrough in the 100m.


Greg Rutherford (Marshall Milton Keynes) was the ultimate “comeback kid” at Saturday’s Aviva Olympic Trials when he nailed the Olympic A standard with his fifth round leap of 8.20m in the long jump to take the UK Championship – following on from his fourth round 8.19m. In a superb competition, Rutherford usurped pre-event favourite and World Indoor Silver medallist Chris Tomlinson (Newham & Essex) who produced a leap of 7.76m and could only finish in 5th.


Rutherford revealed post competition his Grandfather is dying of cancer and dedicated his victory to him – preparing to dash from the stadium to Hemel Hempstead to show him his championship medal.


Perri Shakes Drayton gave selectors a headache by taking the UK 400mH title in a PB and Olympic B standard time of 56.09 – beating Tasha Danvers into second place with 57.00 in a thrilling final. After the final Shakes Drayton said: I hope I can get the A standard between now and July 20. I’d like to go with the relay team anyway. But in 2012, definitely I’ll be there.”


Jeanette Kwakye (Woodford Green Essex Ladies) showed the type of form that took her to World Indoor silver earlier this year with victory over the 100m. Despite Emma Ania (Shaftesbury) being the more fancied athlete based on 2008 performances so far, Kwakye dominated the afternoon’s semis and final – taking the title with a lifetime best of 11.26 ahead of Montell Douglas (Blackheath) 11.35 and Laura Turner (Harrow)11.36.


In the men’s 100m Dwain Chambers (Belgrave) took the title in 10.00, but there was a significant performance and lifetime best from the second placed athlete Simeon Williamson (Highgate) in 10.04 – to go fourth on the UK all time list. Craig Pickering (Marshall Milton Keynes) got a blistering start and held decent form to make sure he held off the challenge of Tyrone Edgar to take third place in 10.19.


In the women’s 1500m there was a storming sprint finish by Lisa Dobriskey (Ashford AC) after a tactical race to take the national title and hopes of an Olympic spot. Her clocking of 4.15.84 beat both Susan Scott and Hannah England in a slow race, and will potentially give selectors a headache, with Steph Twell – currently at the World Juniors in Bydgoszcz also waiting in the wings.


Michael Rimmer (Liverpool PS) took a third consecutive 800m title with a strong finish against Andy Baddeley (Harrow) and Richard Hill (Notts). Rimmer’s winning 1.49.13 may not have been his fastest this season but the Liverpool man looked much stronger than in some early season races when he was suffering with illness and justified his decision to take some time out of racing in June.


Lee McConnell (Shaftesbury Barnet) took good advantage of the absence of Nicola Sanders and Christine Ohuruogu to bag herself the 400m title in 52.31 and a strong chance of making the Olympic 400m team – having nailed an A standard the other week. In second place was Rugby’s Vicky Barr who pipped Donna Fraser for the silver medal.


Andy Turner (Sale) enjoyed a victory over Allan Scott (Shaftesbury Barnet) in taking his third successive UK National Championship title in the 110m hurdles. Turner, who managed to hit the majority of the hurdles in his lane, was pushed to the line by his fellow GB team mate but had enough advantage to take the title in 13.58 ahead of Scott’s season’s best of 13.67.


Emma Carpenter (WSEH) was a surprise winner of the women’s discus ahead of Philippa Roles (Swansea) with a throw of 57.26m stealing the show from GB’s European Cup representative who managed 57.13m.


Emma Lyons (Sale) chose an ample opportunity to set a new PB of 4.12m in taking the women’s pole vault title. She beat Kirsty Macguire and Louise Butterworth into 2nd and 3rd. Gateshead junior Sally Scott made a significant improvement on her PB of 3.80 to 3.92m in 4th place.


Steph Pywell (Sale) set a season’s best of 1.88m in winning the women’s high jump ahead of  Susan Moncrieff (Trafford) 1.85m and Kelly Sotherton (Birchfield Harriers)


Joanne Duncan (Woodford Green Essex Ladies) won the women’s shot competition by 4cm with 15.99m over Eden Francis (Birchfield Harriers) 15.95m. The 41 year old was thrilled with her victory over the young field, insisting she would continue with her season chasing improvement on her performance. Kelly Sotherton (Birchfield) was 9th with 13.68 as she continued her weekend of multi-event preparations.


Zoe Derham (Birchfield) continued her strong 2008 season with victory in the women’s hammer ahead of Wales’ Carys Parry (Rhondda) – her 67.27m beating Parry’s 65.34m.


Andy Vernon (Aldershot Farnham & District AC) claimed his first national title on his debut, in the men’s 5000m this evening with a time of 13:54.26, and is eager for more competitive action, with his eyes fixed on Crystal Palace at the end of the month, saying “an invite to that event would be good”. Scot Overall (Blackheath and Bromley) and Mark Warmby (Newham and Essex Beagles) claimed silver and bronze with times of 13:55.14 and 13:57.88 respectively.


Michael Allen of Trafford AC claimed the national title in the last field event of the day, the men’s javelin. Allen beat compatriots Mervyn Luckwell (Marshall Milton Keynes) and Neil McLellan (Stevenage and North Herts AC) into second and third, with a winning throw of 75.07m.


Amongst those qualifying for Sunday’s finals:


In the men’s 400mH, Steve Green (Newham & Essex) was the fastest of the qualifiers with 51.43 in his heat.


Andrew Steele (Trafford) with 45.73 and Martyn Rooney (Croydon) 46.16 were the top qualifiers for the men’s 400m final on Sunday, which also includes Rob Tobin (Basingstoke).


In the women's 800m, Marilyn Okoro (Shaftesbury Barnet) qualified for tomorrow’s final comfortably with a time of 2:05.13. Vicky Griffiths (Liverpool Harriers), was quickest in all the heats, posting a time of 2:04:55. Also safely through, Celia Brown (Rugby and Northampton) with a time of 2:06:84 and Jemma Simpson (Newquay and Par) also coming through at 2:06.14.


The men’s 1500m saw through Tom Lancashire (Bolton United Harriers) in 3:49.23, Michael East (Newham and Essex Beagles) in 3:47.69 and Nick McCormick (Morpeth Harriers) in 3:47.33. Mo Farah (Newham and Essex Beagles) also secured qualification with a time of 3:47.48. 


The men’s and women’s 200m heats made sure that some familiar names will line up on the final day of competition.


The women’s competition saw Joice Maduaka (Woodford Green and Essex Ladies) with 23.78, Anyika Onuora (Liverpool Harriers) with 23.63, Emily Freeman (Wakefield Harriers) 23.31 and world 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu (Newham and Essex Beagles)with 23.64 win their heats.


In the men’s competition, Christian Malcolm (Cardiff) 21.21, Tim Abeyie (Woodford Green and Essex Ladies) 21.33, Alex Nelson (Sale) with 21.07 and Luke Fagan (Enfield and Haringey Harriers) all qualified. Rikki Fifton (Victoria Park and Tower Hamlets), fresh from his 5th place in today’s 100m final clocked up a time of 21.21 and Leon Baptiste (Enfield and Haringey), with the fastest time of the heats of 20.87 will all line up in Sunday’s semi-finals.