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UK Athletics

gold for ennis and chambers

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Jessica Ennis
Indoor gold for British record breaker Ennis
13 March 2009

Jessica Ennis (Toni Minichiello) and Dwain Chambers (Daniel Plummer) won two spectacular gold medals on the afternoon of the second day of competition at the World Indoor Championships in Doha, Qatar, the first in the trophy cabinet for GB&NI.

Ennis’ record breaking points tally in the pentathlon cemented her status as the darling of British athletics, elevating her name to the top of the British All Time indoor list and adding an indoor title to her World Championship gold won in Berlin last summer. While Chambers backed up his big hopes with a 6.48 dash to win the 60m final and make him the fastest man in the world so far this year.

In the final two events of the tough one-day schedule Ennis set a new personal best of 6.44m in the long jump and ran herself into the record books with a personal best of 2:12.55 in the 800m, although she was looking for 2:08.74 which would have set a new world record.

She said: “I’m really pleased; it was amazing to come here and compete against a top world class field. I did have the record in my sights and it would have been phenomenal. I left it all on the track but unfortunately I didn’t get it. It’s so close.”

Dwain Chambers
Chambers wins 60m with fastest time in the world this year

Chambers came into the competition hotly tipped for success and proved to be a safe bet as he delivered the goods winning all three rounds of competition. Earlier in the afternoon he had returned to the track for the semi-final and ran a storming 6.50 to comfortably win the race and a place in the final.

"That was the hardest six seconds of my life. I did the best I could and I'm greatful for the opportunity. Everyone has been so supportive, UKA staff and athletes. I've done everyone proud. I'm just happy."

Fellow sprinter Harry Aikines –Aryeteey (Michael Khmel) did not fare as well in his respective semi-final heat. After a good start he pulled up with an injury - later confirmed by UKA medical staff as a grade one hamstring injury- lost his footing and stumbled out of his lane. Sad news for the World Championships 4 x 100m relay medallist, who was in the shape of his career coming into the championships.

In the final of the men’s pole vault Steve Lewis (Steve Rippon) finished the competition in joint sixth place with a best height of 5.45m. The Loughborough based athlete was disappointed with his three no jumps at 5.65m after clearing 5.72m indoors already this season but enjoyed the competition: “I’m disappointed with how I finished but it was a great experience and I loved every single second of it.

“I started with a big clearance over 5.45m but when I changed poles I had a bit of a technical problem. My coach and I tried to fix it and we made little adjustments but in the end we only had two attempts left to get it right and we just ran out of time.

“I love the sport and I love getting up for events and everyone was in the same position. I think finishing tied sixth at the world indoors shows I am progressing so I won’t beat myself up about it, I just want to get myself competing for medals soon.”

Carl Myerscough (self coached) found it difficult to convert the form seen in his qualification round into performance in the final. His best throw of 18.66m was worthy of ninth place and is a promising start to 2010 for the US based athlete.

He said: “I’m so disappointed, it just wasn’t there today. It wasn’t for lack of trying and I need to go back and look at the reasons why. There are no excuses I have to improve.”

Competing tomorrow are Jenny Meadows, 4 x 400m men, 4 x 400m women, Helen Clitheroe, Samson Oni and Joice Maduaka. For reports visit- www.uka.org.uk