13th February 2010

Aviva World Trials


13 February 2010

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At the Aviva World Trials and Indoor Championships, there was action a plenty as the EIS at Sheffield rocked with some strong performances.

Dwain Chambers (Belgrave Harriers) ran the fastest time in the world this year in winning the men’s 60m title in 6.50. It meant the Belgrave man took a hat-trick of UK Indoor titles and was just shy of Jason Gardener’s championship record of 6.49.

In second, running the best 60m race of his life, Harry Aikines-Aryeetey (Sutton) made a superb improvement on his own personal best running 6.55 ahead of third placed Craig Pickering (Marshall Milton Keynes) with 6.66.

“I don’t know what to say. I’m just glad to be competing again. I really had to run because I had these young boys on my tail. I must be getting better with age, you know. It was good because the pressure was on, not just to win but to run well,” said Chambers

Aikines Aryeetey, delighted with his huge PB said: “I felt awesome. This is what you want. I just latched onto Dwain. I’ve been training really hard. We sprinters have got to move up. I’m so happy, my last few indoor seasons have been good but they’ve not been quite there.

“This time I just put the race together. I ran an amazing semi-final. I didn’t know how I was going to get from 6.70 to 6.55. I just knew that things have been going really well. Finally it’s nice to be back in the mix again.”

In the women’s competition, Bernice Wilson (Birchfield Harriers) may have been the form athlete going into Saturday’s three rounds but the evergreen speed of veteran Joice Maduaka (Woodford Green with Essex Ladies)came back yet again to take the UK indoor title.

Although Wilson made a powerful start and had daylight between her and the rest of the field by 30m, Maduaka used her long stride to speed through and take the title in 7.29 – inside the world indoor qualification standard. Maduaka later picked up the day’s Aviva best performance award in recognising her superb sixth title.

She said:  “That’s good! One less thing to worry about. I can’t complain with that. I am happy because I am coming back from Moscow flu and hit rock bottom last week but I’m on the way up now. I’ll go home, get some sleep and come back for the 200m tomorrow”

In the men’s long jump the UK indoor record holder went head to head with the UK outdoor record holder in an intriguing and rare battle between the top two Brits. And it was outdoor record holder Greg Rutherford (Marshall Milton Keynes) who got the best of Chris Tomlinson (Newham & Essex) with 7.94m beating Tomlinson’s best effort of 7.75m.

“I’m pleased with the win but I just got a little bit tired in the last rounds. I wanted to get over eight metres but it just didn’t happen today,” said Rutherford.

“The indoors was to kind of see where we were, I’m pretty behind on training but I’ve had a solid block recently which is good. I might compete next week; I’ll sit down with my coach and see. Things are going in the right direction; the partnership with Dan (Pfaff) is fantastic. It’s great to have him at the side of the track.”

Callum Priestly took the honours in a highly competitive 60m hurdles competition winning the final in 7.69 ahead of a fast finishing Gianni Frankis (Basildon) in a PB of 7.76 and Lawrence Clarke (Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow) in 7.78.

“I’m really pleased with that. I wanted to come and take the title and I was close to that qualifying standard. I hit a couple of hurdles as well so I know there’s more to come. I feel like the qualifying standard is in there and I think I can go to Birmingham next week and get it now,” Priestly said.

“I was only a hundredth off my PB today as well so I’m really happy I won the race.”

In the field, Vikki Hubbard (Birchfield Harriers) took a popular victory in the women’s high jump final leaping 1.87m and just narrowly failing to make the 1.92m qualification standard for the World Indoors. Coached by Graham Ravenscroft, the former GB Junior international will now move on to Split midweek and face a high quality high jump field including World Champion Blanka Vlasic in an effort to achieve the height prior to the team selection.

“I really wanted that 92 [1.92m], but this indoor season has gone so well so far so I can’t really complain. I’m just coming back from two years of injuries and I’ve already done a PB so I’m happy with the win.

“I’ve got one more chance next week to qualify for the world indoors – I’m competing in Croatia against Blanka Vlasic this week so what better opportunity than to do it there with her to inspire me.”

Kate Dennison (Sale) took an expected win in the pole vault but was unlucky to miss out on a new British record of 4.58m, narrowly missing the height on two of the three attempts, clipping the bar on her way down. Her 4.40m was however enough to dominate with Birchfield’s Henrietta Paxton in second with 4.21m.

“I’m a bit gutted but you can’t win them all. Despite that, things are going well. I jumped alright today, I know I need to be jumping 60 in the final in Doha so making  it might be tough with eight other girls to go through,” she said after.

“Training has helped me; winter training was great with no major hiccups. I had a few final niggles but that’s how things go, so all is good.”                               

Back on the track, the women’s 3000m final was won by Ireland’s Hazel Murphy in 9:02.06, but the UK title was won by second placed Gemma Turtle (Gloucester) with 9:02.81 ahead of Emily Pidgeon (Stroud) in 9:04.11.

The men’s  final proved an exciting affair with Tom Lancashire (Bolton) pulling the field apart and taking a 20m lead with 700m to go, but cross country specialist Andy Vernon (Aldershot Farnham & District) pulled back the advantage before bursting past for a 8:00.70 victory over the final 100m.

Vernon said: “I’m pretty pleased with the time. The qualifying mark is not something I am concentrating on. If I get it, then that’s a bonus. I’ll be running in Birmingham next week now – I expect that race will go out a little quicker than this one! We’ll see what happens.”

In the women’s triple jump, Nadia Williams (Shaftesbury Barnet) took the UK title with a leap of 13.41m. She was second best in the field however with Jamaica’s guest athlete Trecia Smith winning the competition with 13.69m.

Finally, in the women’s shot put, Alison Rodger (Sale) took the honours ahead of clubmate Rebecca Peake with a 16.02m put for the UK title.

Making it through to Sunday’s events following opening round action on Saturday:

Richard Buck (York) looked impressive in his heat and semi on the men’s 400m, leading the qualification for Sunday’s final in 47.59. In the women’s event Hayley Jones (Wigan), Kim Wall (Basildon) and Victoria Barr (Rugby) were the lead contenders in winning their heats.

Jones set a new PB of 53.73 marking a strong start to 2010 for the 2007 European 200m champion. Wall, in typical indoor form led the way with 53.66, and Barr dominated her heat easing through to a 54.20 clocking.

Andrew Osagie (Harlow) looked to be the class act in leading qualifying for Sunday’s 800m final. He coasted to victory in 1:50.67, with Mark Berridge (Basingstoke) second fastest qualifier from the same heat in 1:50.71. In the women’s heats World bronze medallist Jenny Meadows (Wigan) was the class act in taking her heat in 2:07.64, although first heat winner Vicky Griffiths (Liverpool) should provide a good standard of competition in Sunday’s final, looking relaxed in her 2:08.95 win.

Tim Bayley and Ben Green were lead qualifiers for Sunday’s 1500m final clocking 3:52.08 and 3:52.70 respectively.