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Smith receives World juniors performance boost

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Peter Smith - impressive form ahead of Bydgoszcz




29 June 2008




Athletes had to contend with weather reminiscent of that witnessed in the Alps during this summer’s European Championships for Football today, here in Birmingham on the concluding day of Jumps and Throws Fest 2008.


The athletes however had other ideas than to let the weather steal the show. Zoë Derham’s (Birchfield Harriers) dramatic last throw saw her take the top spot with a season’s best of 66.90m in the final competition of the day, the Elite Women’s Hammer. A strangely eerie setting had developed in the Alexander Stadium for Derham’s final throw and this seemed to add to the drama, where Derham didn’t disappoint the lingering crowd, expecting something special to be pulled out of the hat. Derham, who is clearly on the up from her call up to the European Cup squad last weekend, will be looking to improve on this throw when the Olympic Trials roll into town on the 11th – 13th July.


Spectators were treated to yet more stories unfolding, this time with Peter Smith (Kingston Upon Hull AC) produced a scintillating final throw of the Elite Mens Hammer competition, with 73.19m. Smith is sure to be in confident mood following this personal best ahead of the trip to Poland, and is sure to be one of the big movers in the revised UK Power of 10 Rankings, confirming his place as the leader in the Under 20 table. The event also saw European Cup representative Mike Floyd (Sale Harriers Manchester) post a personal and season’s best with a throw of 69.27m and Scottish athlete Mark Dry also post a PB of 61.27m, in 9th position.


The throws seemed to dominate the performances of the weekend, with the Women’s Elite Shot providing an appreciative crowd with a competition that kept them guessing as to who would come out on top. Joanne Duncan (Woodford Green and Essex Ladies) prevailed with a season’s best of 16.37m. Scottish athlete Alison Rodger’s (Sale Harriers Manchester) personal best places her first in Scotland in the event, with a throw of 15.88m. There was also a PB for Eden Francis (Birchfield Harriers), who came in second with a registered throw of 16.12m


A three way battle for 1st place developed in the Elite Mens Triple Jump, but Nathan Douglas (Oxford City) will be more than happy to have beaten Tosin Oke (Woodford Green and Essex Ladies) and Julian Golley (Windsor, Slough and Eton Harriers) into second and third place respectively with a winning 16.32m. Douglas will be monitoring the effects of competition on his comeback from injury as he looks to make his final assault on the Olympic qualifying mark of 17.10m in two weeks time.


Nadia Williams (Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers) showed her Elite Women’s Triple Jump compatriots how its done, winning the competition with a jump of 13.22 (+0.3). Williams will be one to watch in the UK Championships in two weeks time, where an Olympic qualifying mark will also be at stake.


Katy Watts (City of Portsmouth) led the way in the Elite Womens Javelin with a best throw of 48.62m. Under 17 Izzy Jeffs (North Devon) posted a seasons and personal best to clinch third place with a throw of 44.36m, with Rosie Semenytsh (Windsor, Slough and Eton Harriers) coming in second.


The Elite Mens Javelin saw Mervyn Luckwell (Marshall Milton Keynes AC) rise above the rest of the field with a throw of 70.69m, the swirling wind making it difficult work with the Javelin this afternoon.


The destination of the first prize in the Elite Mens Pole Vault was delicately poised, with Luke Cutts (Dearneside High AC) prevailing on the day over his Sale Harriers Manchester counterpart, Paul Walker, with a final height achieved of 5.15m.


Competitors in the Elite Women’s Pole Vault enjoyed a change in the wind and the weather, as the sun bathed the landing bed, Kirsty Maguire’s (Edinburgh AC) vault of 4.02m was enough to beat Fiona Harrison (Trafford AC) into second place in the Elite Women’s Pole Vault. This was both a personal and a season’s best for the Edinburgh AC representative.


So, the UK Challenge bandwagon moves on to the next round of competitions on the weekend of July 5th – 6th, with athletes looking to continue making waves and creating storms on the track and in the field.