30th July 2011
Aviva UK Trials 2
30 July 2011
Day two of the Aviva UK Trials and Championships enjoyed a warm sunny stadium plus plenty of hot action with Perri Shakes Drayton, Dwain Chambers and Jessica Ennis all nailing National titles on a superb afternoon for the sport.
Perri Shakes Drayton (Coach: Chris Zah) looks to have set herself up for a memorable weekend at the Aviva UK Trials and Championships, when achieving part one of a two-part ambition to take a national titles double in the flat 400m and the 400m hurdles over one weekend.
The bubbly character, beat both the UK rankings leader Shana Cox as well as the fast improving Christine Ohuruogu to the 400m gold in a superb race, finishing just a few hundredths outside her PB with 51.52 ahead of Cox’s 51.84.
“I’m absolutely delighted to win. Over the moon.” She said. “It really was a tough race and I just about managed to fight through at the end. It shows my training is getting the results and that’s great.
“It was great that the whole of the Aviva Great Britain and Northern Ireland 4x400m relay team was on the track and what’s better than that? It’s a huge testament to the strength of the discipline at the moment. All-in-all it was a very good race and I’m delighted.”
Earlier in the day she secured herself a place in Sunday’s 400m hurdles final with a relaxed 58.55 to win her heat – where she will face Eilidh Child (Malcolm Arnold) who looked strong leading the qualifiers with a 56.23 qualification in her heat.
In the men’s 100m final, Dwain Chambers showed his ongoing experience with a dominant run to take the national title once again with 10.09. In a dramatic showdown, local favourite Mark Lewis Francis was disqualified for a false start before the race was fully underway. Then second and third place had to be split courtesy of a photo finish – the decision eventually going the way of Harry Aikines Aryeetey ahead of Marlon Devonish, both clocking 10.14.
Chambers said: “I tell you what, it’s not getting any easier. My age is kicking in now. But for what it’s worth I had a fantastic time, it’s great to perform in front of a British crowd and against athletes such as Harry and Craig and Marlon. I relish the competition because that’s what brings out the best in all of us. It keeps me on my toes. Being amongst youngsters keeps you optimistic and energetic and at my age I need every ounce of energy I can get!”
World and European heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis enjoyed a solid second place in the women’s 100m hurdles final behind UK record holder Tiffany Ofili Porter, finishing off a busy day’s work at the Alexander stadium.
Ennis – taking in five events across the weekend – started her day in the shot where she managed to equal her PB of 14.25m for seventh position overall; Eden Francis (Glenys Morton) taking the UK title also with a lifetime best of 16.73m. Next up and with a 13.01 victory in her heat of the 100m hurdles, she set up the final against Porter.
In between hurdles efforts she took in the women’s high jump final and her best leap of 1.89m was vintage Ennis. This was despite taking three attempts to clear 1.83m in taking the UK title ahead of Emma Perkins – who set a PB of 1.83m to claim silver.
Ennis, who will return tomorrow to take in the javelin and long jump was tired but happy with her day’s work at the stadium:
“It’s been a busy day and I’m quite tired but it’s been good, I’ve had some good performances and it’s good to run against Tiffany so I’m pleased with today,” she said.
“Now I need to go home, rest, get some food and get prepared for tomorrow.
“I’m feeling good about Daegu, my training has been going well and I’m feeling fresh and on top of my game, I just need to sharpen up a bit more before I get there.”
Meanwhile, Ofili-Porter seemed delighted with her first Trials title:
“I’m very proud to come here and win today. I’m hoping this is the opportunity to announce myself to the British fans and that this is the start of a very strong legacy,” she said.
“I love it here in Birmingham, great facility and great crowd; I really do like it here a lot!”
The men’s 400m hurdles final asked more questions than it answered with Nathan Woodward (Nick Dakin) taking victory in a competitive final ahead of his training partner and a resurgent Richard Davenport in second. Woodward, started fast and was never headed in an impressive run that saw him cross the line in 49.66. With Woodward already holding an A standard for Daegu, and Dai Greene in world class shape it will be down to the selectors as to who receives the third and final spot with Jack Green and Rhys Williams and a number of others waiting in the wings.
However – there was no confusion for Woodward, who was delighted with his days work:
“It feels really good to be National Champion, it’s my first senior title and I’m going to enjoy it. Now I need to start looking forward to the races ahead,” he said.
“I’ve got the A standard and I’ve finished in the top two so I think the selection criteria says if you’ve done that then you’re on the plane to Daegu. I need to go back into training to make sure I’m in PB shape by the time I get there.”
A more straightforward result was that of the women’s 1500m final where Hannah England (Bud Baldaro) retained the title she first took last year, following a sprint finish against Lisa Dobriskey (Ricky Soos), after youngster Stacey Smith (Mick Woods) had set the early pace. England used her 800m speed to push across the line in first clocking 4:07.05.
Afterwards, England was thoroughly delighted and paid tribute to her opponent:
“It is fantastic having an athlete like Lisa in the race. She really inspires you to run faster and I’m just hoping I can follow in her footsteps on a bigger stage,” she said.
“I’m really happy with where I am at. If you had told me this winter that I would run 4:01 in the summer I would have been over the moon and I really believe I can build on that form up to the world championships.”
The women’s 100m saw a welcome return to form for Olympic finalist Jeanette Kwakye (Michael Afilaka), taking the UK title ahead of a fast finishing Anyika Onuora (Lloyd Cowan). Kwakye blasted away from the blocks and was never headed leaving Laura Turner (Linford Christie) and Onuora battling for the minor places, as she crossed the line in 11.23.
After she said: “I’m satisfied with a performance like that at the trials but I’m not necessarily content.
“My objective now is to go Daegu, bring that time down and hopefully get back to where I was in 2008.
“Things are looking good for Daegu, I’ll be on the plane for the 100m and it’s now up to me and my coach to make sure we train hard for that.”
Earlier on in the afternoon, the 800m semi finals sprung no real surprises for either men’s or women’s fields. Michael Rimmer (Norman Poole) and Andrew Osagie (Craig Winrow) both progressed with relative ease to Sunday’s men’s final; whilst Jenny Meadows (Trevor Painter) and Emma Jackson (Alan Morris)were the winners of their respective semi finals and progress through to Sunday’s final alongside Marilyn Okoro (Ayo Falola) and youngster Jessica Judd (Jeremy Freeman).
The men’s 1500m heats were also a straightforward process with James Shane (Martin Brown) continuing to demonstrate superb form in 2011, and leading qualification through to Sunday’s final with 3:44.08 when winning his heat.
In a highly competitive set of men’s 400m heats where only the winner of each heat was guaranteed to progress, Martyn Rooney led the way with 45.64, and will also be joined by youngster Chris Clarke (Nick Dakin) and 400m hurdles specialist Dai Greene (Malcolm Arnold). It was a strict qualification process and both Michael Bingham (Kevin Tyler) and Conrad Williams (Linford Christie) will miss Sunday’s final after missing out on the top spots in their respective heats.
Newly confirmed Brit Julian Reid was a popular winner of the men’s long jump title ahead of youngster JJ Jegede as both enjoyed jumps in excess of the 8m mark. With the afternoon spectators eager to see one of them surpass the qualification standard for the World championships, there was plenty of support, but in the end Reid had to make do with 8.06m ahead of Jegede’s lifetime best 8.04m for second.
Finally, in the men’s javelin, Lee Doran took the national title with a personal best of 78.63, whilst Jade Nicholls won the women’s discus final with 56.19m. In the last event of the day, the women’s 10,000m, there was an overseas winner in the shape of Worknesh Kidane in 31:08.92. Sonia Samuels took the National title in 33:50.72.