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UK Athletics

IAAF Combined Events Challenge

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There were several promising performances from British Athletes competing at the IAAF Combined Events Challenge in Arles on 3 and 4 June, but the blustery conditions will see their hard work discounted for qualifying purposes.


Four out of the eight-strong party that travelled to the competition scored personal best wind-assisted points scores, but rather than having been helped by the strong winds, team leader Ian Grant, was convinced that that conditions were a massive hindrance.


“There were wind speeds clocked at +9.6 for some competitors. It plays havoc with your run up and preparations so it was a really strong performance from all the athletes this weekend,” he said.


In the Heptathlon, Louise Hazell (5629), Ros Gonse (5533) and Phyllis Agbo (5502) were 11th, 12th and 13th respectively, with Jade Surman (5358) performing strongly to finish in 18th.


Frustratingly for Surman, it is the second time she has exceeded 5300 this season in the hunt for the World Junior qualifying mark of 5400, only the other time was in strong minus winds.


In addition, Hazell ran a wind assisted 200m PB as well as an impressive 100mH in 13.20, whilst Gonse recorded a new high jump best of 1.72m and Agbo’s PB was aided by a strong long jump.


In the decathlon Roger Skedd also recorded a PB with four individual events bests along the way. A 4.50m pole vault, 55.65m javelin and 400m and long jump bests helped him to an eventual points score of 7104 and 14th position.


Kevin Sempers was 15th with Pole Vault and 1500m PBs with Adrian Hemery 18th with 6943. Louis Evling Jones was forced to withdraw with a knee injury at the start of the second day.


Grant said:


“Conditions aside, four personal bests out of eight and a clutch of event PBs is a good result. In a few events they are starting to compete with athletes who specialise in that event so we’re very pleased with the progress.”