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UK Athletics

Weekend Round Up

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Andy Baddeley
Strong performance for Baddeley following injury-hit season


28 September 2009

Highlights included the final track race of the season for some of our World Championship athletes and some outstanding performances on the roads at home and abroad. While the season is finishing for some, many are embarking on their winter campaigns with next summer a major goal, European Championships and Commonwealth Games the big targets.


Continental Airlines Fifth Avenue Mile, New York, USA

27 September

THE prestigious Fifth Avenue Mile attracted world-class fields yet again and produced two exciting finishes in the women’s and men’s races. In the women’s race, Erin Donohue (USA) lead the field until 400 metres remaining when Sara Hall (USA) eased to the front of the pack from sixth place and in the final sprint to the finish line Shannon Rowbury (USA) and Lisa Dobriskey, the bronze and silver medallists respecitively at the 1500m in the World Championships had to dig deep to claim the top two places with Rowbury claiming the verdict by less than one second with 4:23.3. The top four positions were so close that Dobriskey, Hall and the fourth place athlete, Christin Wurth-Thomas (USA), all ran 4:23. However, Dobriskey was awarded second place over Hall by less than one-hundredth of a second.

The men’s race followed a similar pattern to the women’s race and as the field reach the three-quarter mile mark there were six Olympians and a 20-year-old Kenyan vying for a suitable position to strike for the finish line. Leading the pack was Bernard Lagat (USA) and Boaz Lalang (Kenya) who had shadowed Lagat from the start and tucked in behind them was Matt Tegenkamp and Chris Solinsky, two of USA’s most improved distance athletes this year. Collis Birmingham (Australia) then took the lead for a short period before Lagat and Lalang upped the pace again and they looked like the likely one-two finishers until Leonel Manzano (USA) joined the duo and it appeared the winner had to come from this trio until Britain’s Andy Baddeley, whose season had been beset by injury changed his pace significantly with less than 30 yards left and passed all three and crossed the line in 3:51.8 to finish ahead of Lalang 3:52.07, Manzano 3:52.24 and Lagat 3:52.74. The result was a surprise to the American’s, but not to Baddeley, who had run his race exactly to plan and said: “I know a lot of people start to go with 200 metres left in a road mile but for me that’s too early, 100 metres to go is too early. I was waiting until the last 50 metres.”

Colourful Daegu Meeting, Daegu, Korea

25 September

IN this the last meeting of a very long season, five British athletes took part and the star performer was World Championship 800m bronze medallist, Jenny Meadows (Wigan) who finished her season the way she had started it, with a victory, in 2:01.65 from Sonja Roman (Slovenia) 2:02.88 and Tomara Tverdostup (Ukraine) 2:03.51. Helen Clitheroe (Preston V35) reverted back to her previous speciality event and finished in third place in the 1500m with 4:09.15 behind Nancy Langat (Kenya) 4:06.80 and Lidia Chojecka (Poland) 4:08.35. Sarah Claxton (Woodford Green with Essex Ladies) finished in fifth place in the 100m hurdles 13.18 (-0.5) in a race dominated by Brigette Foster-Hylton (Jamaica) 12.60 with Dawn Harper (USA) second in 12.75, Nikeisha Wilson (Jamaica) third in 12.96 and Damu Cherry (USA) 13.02. In the men’s events Jeffrey Lawal-Balogun (Kent) finished in second place in the 200m 20.98 (-1.8) behind Wallace Spearmon (USA) 20.29 and ahead of Kim Collins (St Kitts & Nevis) 21.39 with Marlon Devonish (Coventry) finishing in fourth place with 21.30.


Northern Road Relays, Leeds Met Carnegie

26 September

IN the men’s 6 x 3.8 mile relay, Leeds City claimed victory in a time of 1:45.31 ahead of runners-up Salford 1:47.12 and bronze medallists Altrincham only three seconds adrift in 1:47.15. The fastest leg of the day was by Marius Ionescu (Altrincham) 16:52 with Andi Jones (Salford) second fastest 17:00 and Tomas Abyu (Salford) running a week after the Berlin Marathon, claimed the third best of the day with 17:04. In the women’s 4 x 3 mile event Chester-le-Street were runaway victors coming home in 1:07.17 with Hallamshire taking the silver medals 1:09.34 and Liverpool the bronze medals 1:10.16. Fastest leg of the day by a huge 38 seconds margin was Susan Partridge (Leeds City) 15:53 from World half marathon representative, Alyson Dixon (Chester-le-Street) 16:31 and her team-mate, Melissa Turner (Chester-le-Street) 16:34.

Southern Road Relays, Rushmoor Arena, Aldershot

26/27 September

IT was apt that the event was held at Aldershot as the host club won both the women’s event which was held on Saturday and the men’s event held on the Sunday. In the women’s 4 x 3851m relay Aldershot, Farnham & District won by almost two minutes (51:23) from Bedford & County (53:13) with Arena 80 taking the bronze medals (53:57). The fastest leg of the day was by Charlotte Purdue (Aldershot, Farnham & District) 12:24 from her team-mate Louise Small 12:34 and Jo Wilkinson (Bedford & County) 12:41. The men’s 6 x 6km relay was won by Aldershot, Farnham & District in 1:49.28 from Belgrave (1:50.30) with Newham & Essex Beagles (1:50.54) taking third place. The fastest leg of the day came from Moumin Geele (Newham & Essex Beagles) with a 17:23 clocking from Andy Vernon (Aldershot, Farnham & District) 17:36 and Phil Wicks (Belgrave) 17:45. Amazingly Scott Overall (Blackheath & Bromley) recorded 18:14 three hours after winning the Windsor half marathon in 66:11.

Admiral Swansea Bay 10k

27 September

THE annual Swansea 10k road race saw a good turn-out and in the men’s race Jean Ndyasenga (Birchfield) was a clear winner (30:18) from Richard Gardiner (Cardiff) 30:51 and local athlete Craig Hopkins (Swansea) 30:59. The women’s race saw Joyce Kirui (Birchfield) take first place 34:25 from Andrea Whitcombe (Swansea) 34:42 with Ava Hutchinson (Cardiff) just behind with 34:45.

Watford Open Graded Meeting

23 September

IT’S never too late to move up the Power of Ten rankings and Justina Heslop (Clapham Chasers) proved that with an end of season life-time best over 5000m in 15:50.86 which took her up to sixth place.