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UK athletes in Bratislava action

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Emily Freeman (England / Wakefield and District Harriers) sped to the top of the Power of 10 200m rankings by speeding to victory in 23.27 seconds at the Cena Slovenska international meeting in Bratislava, Slovakia, on Tuesday evening 5 June.


Freeman, bidding to impress the selectors before the Norwich Union Great Britain and Northern Ireland team is announced for the European Cup match in Finland on 23-24 June, swept above Nicola Sanders, who has led the rankings since she was timed through 200m in 23.31 seconds on her way to her outstanding 400m victory at the European Indoor Championships in Birmingham in March.


Several other members of the small England team also enjoyed successes.


Lucy Sargent (England / Havering Mayesbrook AC), preparing for the Norwich Union England Athletics Under 20 Championships at Bedford, on 23-24 June, enjoyed two victories over 100m as well as finishing third in the 200m in 24.19 seconds, a season’s best. Aiming to win a place in the Norwich Union GB&NI Junior Team for the third successive season, she won her first 100m (wind: -0.2 metres per second) in 11.84, then accelerated to 11.81 in her second race (wind: 0.0, as for the 200m). Lucy Evans (Wales / Sale Harriers Manchester) was second in both 100m sprints, clocking 11.98 and 11.91, a lifetime best by two-hundredths of a second.


Kelly Massey (England / Birchfield Harriers) followed up her Inter-Counties triumph by winning the 400m in 53.11 seconds, knocking another 0.61sec off her personal best, and moving closer to the European Under 23 Championships qualifying standard of 52.75. She had a margin of 0.35sec over runner-up Lucia Klocová (Slovakia).


Vicky Griffiths (England / Liverpool Harriers) was a run-away winner of the 800m. She stormed over the line in 2:04.07, almost five and a half seconds clear of runner-up Petra Ivanová (Czech Republic).


Anwen Rees (Wales / Carmarthen Harriers) won the 400m hurdles in 59.41 seconds as she pursues the European Under 23s qualifying standard of 58.25.


Jeffrey Lawal-Balogun (England / Kent AC) edged closer to the men’s 100m qualifying standard of 10.45 seconds for the European Under 23s by winning in 10.51, five-hundredths ahead of his England team-mate Simon Farenden (England / Trafford AC) with the aid of a minimal following wind measured at 0.1. Not to be out-done, Farenden raced again later – and won in 10.48. It meant that Farenden had finally erased his lifetime best of 10.57, which had reigned since 2004.


The duo also dominated the 200m (wind: +0.1). Lawal-Balogun won in 21.14, a mere two-hundredths ahead of Farenden, whetting the appetite for the Trials at Bedford. Bedford’s own teenage discovery, Nigel Levine was disqualified for a false start.


Nick Gayle (England / Sale Harriers Manchester) enjoyed two wins in 110m hurdles races without quite disturbing his recent best of 14.11. He won the first race (wind: -0.8) in 14.38, 0.36sec ahead of Adrian Novosad (Slovakia) with Matt Butler (Wales / Cardiff AAC) third in 14.76. Next, Gayle speeded up to 14.13 with the aid of a +1.7 wind, with Butler second in 14.47.


Richard Strachan (England / Leeds City AC) won the 400m in 46.74 with Gordon Kennedy (Ireland) second in 46.92.


Teenage BUSA champion Andrew Osagie (England / Harlow AC / St Mary’s University Twickenham) missed the start of the 800m A race but went on to win the B race in 1:50.67, 1.33sec clear of the runner-up, Jaroslav Szabo (Slovakia).


Ben Carne (England / Harrow AC) got to within a hundredth of a second of his fastest 400m hurdles in romping home in 51.23, 1.61sec ahead of second placed Tomáš Čelko (Slovakia).


Despite finishing second in the triple jump, Elliot O’Neill (England / Cardiff AAC) had a great competition. The BUSA champion went into it with a legal PB of 15.54m in 2005, opened with 15.81m, improved to 15.83m in the fourth round and followed-up with 15.70m in the fifth. The official wind was 0.0 on all three occasions.


Only three days after soaring 2.16m, beyond the qualifying standard for this summer’s European Junior Championships, Alan McKie (England / Windsor, Slough, Eton and Hounslow AC) cleared 2.10m for third place in the high jump. Winner Peter Horák (Slovakia) cleared 2.25m.

Sara McGreavy (England / Sale Harriers Manchester) endured late frustration in both of her 100m hurdles races. She went fine to hurdle six but then faded, clocking 13.52 seconds in the first race (wind: +0.4) and 13.60 in the second (wind: 0.0). Edit Vari (Hungary) won both in 13.37 and 13.46 with Heather Jones (Wales / Carmarthen Harriers) fourth each time in 14.04 and 13.80.


Stephanie Aneto (England / Woodford Green with Essex Ladies) was sixth in the triple jump with 11.97m. Irina Beskrovnaja (Slovakia) won with 13.14m.