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meadows season review

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Jenny Meadows
Seasons peak in Berlin

1 October 2009

Date of Birth: 17 April 1981

Club: Wigan


400m: 52.50

800m: 1:57.93

After her best season to date, in which she has gone from an international performer to a world-class athlete, UKA takes a look at her season and how she peaked for the most important race of the season, the World Championships in Berlin.

Starting way back in February, where she clocked 1:59.52 at the Aviva Indoor Grand Prix in Birmingham and finished in a creditable fourth place at the European Indoor Championships in Turin, her outdoor season has been a long one and she showed her intentions to the rest of the world that she was a force to reckon with as early as May.

Her first race of the season at the Mohammed VI International Meeting in Rabat, Morocco was a perfect start where she won in 2:01.78 defeating Pamela Jelimo from Kenya for the first time. She didn’t rest on her laurels and was back in action three days later at a Trafford Grand Prix at Stretford where she clocked 54.52 for 400m which was a pre-cursor to her next race, the FBK Games in Hengelo, Netherlands where she finished third in 2:00.15. One week later at the Josef Odlozil Meeting in Prague, Czech Republic, she was back to winning ways again with a 2:00.76 clocking and two days later she was back on home soil, albeit in Cardiff for the UKA Super 8 where she finished second over 400m with 54.01. Another week later, she was back in the Czech Republic, this time in Ostrava for the Golden Spike Meeting where she clocked another consistent 2:00.48 for third place and four days later she was in Liera, Portugal for the Spar European Team Championships where she only ran in the 4x400m relay but received a massive boost by running 51.84 on the third leg which showed her speed was developing well.

Her next race wasn’t until early July, where she again honed her speed with a 53.56 clocking at the Trafford Grand Prix which set her up for the Aviva World Trials where she finished in second place behind Jemma Simpson in a slow run race with 2:01.62. She was back at a Trafford Grand Prix again for another 400m with 53.91 and three days later lined up at the Aviva London Grand Prix at Crystal Palace crossing the line again in second place with 2:01.35.

There were people who thought that the indoor season had prevented her from breaking the two minute barrier and although running well, they considered her times were not fast enough to trouble the best in the world. At her next meeting, the Herculis Meeting in Monte Carlo she finally proved that she was a force to reckon with and also proved the doubters wrong and although finishing in third place, her time of 1:58.63 was a life-time best and she was now someone to consider in any race. She continued with her ploy of using 400m races to improve her speed and four days later at a UK Women’s League in her home town of Wigan she clocked a solid 53.89.

Her next race was to be at the World Championships and in her heat she qualified easily in 2:02.47 in second place. Her semi-final was a much faster race but she qualified in second place again in 1:59.45. Two days later in the biggest race of her life, the World Final, she ran the perfect race, keeping near the back of the field on the first lap and running at the pace which she thought would bring her success, she slowly moved through the field and with 100 metres to go it looked like fourth or fifth place would be achieved. However, finishing like a sprinter, she relentlessly moved through the field to claim a meritorious bronze medal on the line in a life-time best of 1:57.93 and was only 3/100ths away from a silver medal, finishing agonisingly close to Janeth Jepkosgei from Kenya.

Jenny was now truly a world-class athlete. Her 400 metre races had paid dividends and she was back in action three days later running the third leg of the 4x400m relay with a split of 52.13. Her next race after the euphoria of Berlin was at the Aviva British Grand Prix in Gateshead where she finished in second place in 2:02.15 after suffering from illness after her epic race. She was back in action again in Newcastle running in the Great North City Games two weeks later over 1 mile on the roads where she finished in second place behind Hannah England in 4:56. Her final race of the season was almost a replica of the way she had started it, with a victory in 2:01.65 in the Colourful Daegu Meeting in Korea. With the European Championships in Barcelona and the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi in 2010, Jenny can look forward to them with a renewed confidence and optimism.