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Jo Pavey clocks World Champs 10,000m qualifier - UPDATED

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Jo Pavey - Osaka-bound

Jo Pavey (Exeter Harriers) booked her 10,000m place in the Norwich Union Great Britain and Northern Ireland team at this summer’s IAAF World Championships and Phil Nicholls (Tipton Harriers) won his first national title at the second BMC Nike Grand Prix incorporating the UK Challenge in incessant rain at Watford on Saturday night, 30 June.


Both were understandably ecstatic to have achieved significant lifetime bests on a night that was further illuminated by three more athletes threatening World Championships standards, five beating European Under 23 Championships qualifying standards and six beating European Junior Championships qualifying standards. All after Stevie Stockton (Vale Royal AC) beat the European Junior Championships qualifying time for the Women’s 3000m by clocking 9:28.84 at the Cork City Sports in Ireland. It was a PB by almost 12 seconds for her in a women-only race though she has run quicker in a mixed race.


But the endurance heroine of the day was Pavey, who had feared her hopes of reaching the World Championships 10,000m in Osaka would be wrecked by the awful weather. While the rain was relentless, the Woodside Stadium maintained its reputation for shielding athletes from the wind – and Pavey went boldly for the qualifying time of 31:40.00.


“The weather was really manky but the pacemakers and the crowd were brilliant,” she said after finishing 14 seconds inside the standard. “Now I’ve got to get ready for the other extreme and sort out how to run 10km in too-hot weather in Osaka.”


Nicholls has experienced the extremes of the climates in the opposite way. He made his Norwich Union GB&NI debut in the heat of Mombasa, Kenya, at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships. Now he has won his first national title by romping home in the men’s 10,000m in 28 minutes 40 seconds.


He was content to stay with the pace until the last two laps, when Antony Ford (Blackpool and Fylde AC) made a break. Nicholls covered it and then made the decisive move. His time was one of 87 personal bests by 323 finishers in the night’s 30 races.


The trio to get close to the tough World Championship standards were Andrew Lemoncello (Fife AC) in the 3000m steeplechase with 8:29.96; Andy Baddeley (Harrow AC) with 1:46.32 in the 800m that takes him to second in the Power of 10 rankings behind European Cup representative Michael Rimmer (Liverpool Pembroke and Sefton); and Charlene Snelgrove Thomas (Wakefield), who went to fourth in the women’s 1500m Power of 10 rankings with 4:09.64, suggesting there will be a great battle at the Norwich Union World Trials in Manchester.


Ross Toole (Kilbarchan AAC) beat the European Under 23 Championships 1500m qualifying mark for the first time in clocking 3:41.12 while Katrina Wootton (Bedford and County AC) stopped the clock at 4:11.2 to beat the women’s standard. Three 800m runners repeated their feat of beating the Debrecen demands: Richard Hill (Notts AC) with a season’s best of 1:47.43 to follow his gold medal winning front-run at the England Athletics Under 23 Championships; Darren St. Clair (Enfield and Haringey) with 1:48.47, shaving two-fifths off his previous best; and Lizi Brathwaite (Herts Phoenix) with her quickest yet, 2:03.29.


Ricky Stevenson (New Marske Harriers) staked a claim for a European Juniors place by lowering his 1500m PB to 3:47.25, just two-hundredths ahead of Ireland’s David McCarthy. Four more athletes already called into the Norwich Union Great Britain and Northern Ireland team for Hengelo celebrated by again racing under the qualifying times: James Brewer (Cheltenham and County Harriers) in the 800m in 1:47.30; and three in the women’s 1500m: Emma Pallant (Aldershot, Farnham and District) 4:16.91, Jess Coulson (Stockport Harriers) 4:18.75 and Hannah Brooks (Crawley AC) 4:19.56.


For full results from Watford click here


Several other UK athletes were competing at the Cork City Games. For the results of this meeting, please click here


James McIlroy (Windsor, Slough, Eton and Hounslow) began his quest for the World Championships 800m qualifying time of 1:45.40 by winning in 1:48.18 at the Sollentuna Grand Prix in Sweden on Wednesday night with Gareth Baulch third in 1:48.45.


Laura Finucane (Pendle AC) celebrated her selection in the Norwich Union Great Britain and Northern Ireland team for the European Under 23 Championships in Debrecen, Hungary, on 12-15 July by winning the Women’s 800m at the Sollentuna Grand Prix in Sweden in 2:02.47, out-sprinting Faith Macharia (Kenya), who was second in 2:02.54, while Diane Cummings (Canda) was third in 2:03.33.