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Aviva European Trials

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Hannah England

 

26 June 2010

To view live results from the Aviva European Trials and UK Championships follow this link

Highlights from Saturday’s session at the Aviva European Trials and UK Championships included victory in the men’s 100m final for Dwain Chambers (Daniel Plummer), a UK Junior record in the Pole Vault for Holly Bleasdale (Julien Raffalli-Ebezant) and a superbly judged 1500m final by Hannah England (Bud Baldaro).

Report:

Dwain Chambers managed to hold off the challenge of Croydon’s James Dasaolu (Michael Khmel) in securing the 100m title in 10.14, the second year running he was challenged by an up and coming young sprint talent. It looked to be a relief for the Belgrave Harrier who can now focus on preparations for the Spar European Championships in Barcelona following two hard weekends of competition.

“I’m just happy to win. James has had a fantastic season and I knew he was going to be a great competitor. He deserves to be going to the European championships,” he said.

“The sub-10 I ran last week came out of the blue! Today was only about winning and qualifying.

“It’s every athlete’s fantasy to run for their country and I’m honoured to be able to win here again. This time it’s going to be more enjoyable than the last Europeans. I hope I’ve got enough to win. Running is what I really enjoy and I am enjoying it now more than ever. I will just go out and do my best and hope that will be enough.”

Dasaolu, second with 10.23, was delighted with his form taking national silver ahead of a quality sprint final field:

“I’m really happy. It’s only my second competition of the season. I picked up a minor injury at my first race so to come here and race like that is really nice.

“Racing with the best of British talent – Dwain, Marlon, Mark and Christian – I’m mixing it up with some of the best. There’s great talent in Britain right now.”

Jo Pavey demonstrated a superb return to form following childbirth last year when she solo-ran her way to a European Championship 10,000m B standard qualifying time of 31:51.90 – just 6 seconds outside the A standard, but a surefire indication that the Exeter athlete is getting fitter by the race.

Pavey ran like a metronome with regular kilometre times of 3 mins 12, demonstrating complete control in the last of the day’s events in the early evening sunshine.

And she paid tribute to the Alexander Stadium crowd who cheered her on:

“I have to thank the crowd for shouting me round at the end of a very long day! I was getting really tired towards the end of the day as I was trying to go for that big time.

“It’s nice to be back at the trials again, I hope to be able to run at Barcelona and hope to be selected – it’s just great to be back.”

The women’s pole vault was a fascinating competition on the home straight with Kate Dennsion (Steve Rippon) taking an expected victory, but it was the performance of UK Junior Record Holder Holly Bleasdale (Julien Raffalli-Ebezant), who impressively increased the record from 4.27m to 4.35m in taking second place, that took the afternoon’s plaudits. Indeed, her first attempt at 4.45m was astoundingly close and will have given her a superb filip in preparations for the World Junior Championships.

Dennison, who failed at an attempt to improve her British record to 4.61m, was pleased to be part of the best quality women’s pole vault final in UK Championship history, but felt she had more work to do prior to the European Championships:

“I really wanted that record today but at least it was better than last week, it just didn’t quite happen,” she said.

“I went home and worked on a few things and I’m back stronger today. It’s great to be jumping with the girls here but I need to up my game before the Europeans!”

In the first of the afternoon’s track finals, the women’s 1500m fulfilled its expectations as a superb spectacle. Starting at a snail’s pace with the pack running three or four abreast, it stayed this way until the bell where the last-lap burn-up saw Hannah England take to the front and stay there for victory in 4:33.23, out-staying Coventry’s Celia Taylor and World silver medallist Lisa Dobriskey (George Gandy).

England, who has missed out on a slot for the major championships in the previous two years was elated to have broken into the automatic qualifying world:

“It’s a lovely day, it’s a lovely crowd, they always seem to love their athletics. Although I am from Oxford, I live in Birmingham and it feels like my second home. The first few laps were slow but that suits me. I was surprised that the other girls let it go like that as it plays into my strength but I’m not complaining,” she said.

“The last couple of years, I have literally been sat in the corridor crying my eyes out and I was so scared that it was going to happen again. It hasn’t and I’m so happy, maybe I’ll cry down the corridor anyway! I’ve managed to put another good year together and the consistency is paying off. I did try altitude training for the first time this year and that seems to be paying off. Staying with my coach, staying happy and staying fit has been the difference.” 

Perri Shakes Drayton (Chris Zah) turned on the class to take an expected victory over the 400m hurdles ahead of former world junior bronze medallist Meghan Beesley (Nick Dakin). Shakes Drayton, who impressed last weekend at the European team championships in Bergen with a 50.51 4x400m relay leg, won the final in 56.93 ahead of Beesley’s 57.20.

After, she let on that she was keen to keep her focus on hurdles despite her obvious 400m flat speed:

“It’s good to know I can go out to Barcelona with confidence and know I can do my thing, but not get ahead of myself because I’ve run a good time,” she said.

“When I run the 400m flat it’s more like fun because it’s not my event, but when I do the hurdles it’s like my time and I’m concentrating so hard. I felt a bit rusty technically, but I came through strong and that’s what I wanted to do.”

Lee McConnell (Rodger Harkins) was a popular winner of the women’s 400m final in 51.56 – agonisingly close to the European A standard of 51.50. Nicola Sanders (Tony Lester) was second in a season’s best of 52.70.

McConnell reflected on her close call:

“It was a good win but to be 0.06 off the qualifying time is quite disappointing. I am racing in Madrid next week so hopefully I will get a good race there. It’s hard to be chasing times. And it’s disappointing to not get the time here.”

Laura Turner (Linford Christie) took the women’s 100m title in 11.41, just one hundredth of a second ahead of Joice Maduaka (Loren Seagrave) in a close run final. In third, Elaine O Neill set a PB of 11.52. Afterwards, Turner was pleased to turn her season’s form into a winning result in front of the enthusiastic crowd:

“It was close at the line. Joice and I have had some great battles and it was closer than I wanted it to be,” she admitted.

“The race didn’t go quite how I planned it but that was to be expected. I was happy with the result.”

Other athletes taking UK Championship titles on Saturday included Steph Pywell (Fuzz Ahmed) winning the women’s high jump; Alex Smith (Shane Peacock) winning the men’s hammer with 70.68m; Carl Myerscough taking his eighth national shot put title with 19.77m; Zoe Derham (Lorraine Shaw) winning the women’s hammer in 66.11m – her fourth national title - and heptathlete Louise Hazel (Fayyez Ahmed) took the women’s 100m hurdles title in a personal best of 13.32.

Chris Tomlinson (Frank Attoh) took victory in the men’s long jump with 8.17m but was assisted by a strong backwind of +2.7m/s, whilst Discus thrower Brett Morse secured the national title ahead of Carl Myerscough with a final round throw of 61.45m.

Qualifying for Sunday

In the men’s 400m hurdles heats, the depth of this event shone through with a number of athletes vying for European selection in 2010. David Greene and Rhys Williams (Malcolm Arnold) both qualified with ease for Sunday’s final with 50.93 and 50.37 respectively, as did Nathan Woodward (Nick Dakin) with an impressive 50.20.

Michael Rimmer (Norman Poole) with 1:48.19, Sam Ellis in 1:50.98 and Enfield’s Darren St Clair with 1:48.15 all made certain of qualifying for Sunday’s 800m final by taking first place in their respective semi final races. They will toe the line at 18:22 on Sunday evening as Rimmer attempts to take his fifth consecutive title.

The women’s 800m semi finals saw Marilyn Okoro (Ayo Falola) progress from her semi final ahead of Jemma Simpson  (Mark Rowland) in a solid 2:03.59, with Jenny Meadows (Trevor Painter) taking first place despite nursing a sore calf in the second semi final in 2:02.46. Tomorrow’s final is scheduled for 19:50 and will close the three day championship event.

Martyn Rooney (Nick Dakin) and Rob Tobin (Todd Bennett) were lead qualifiers from the men’s 400m heats in 45.90 and 45.89 and will line up in tomorrow’s final at 17:39.

In the men’s 1500m, Tom Lancashire (Norman Poole), Andy Baddeley (Andy Hobdell) and Nick McCormick (Lindsay Dunn) won their respective heats as there were no major upsets in progression towards Sunday’s final at 19:40