8th February 2009

Brits In Weekend Action


09 February 2009

Victories by Richard Buck (City of York), Gemma Bennett (Shaftesbury Barnet) and Susan Scott (City of Glasgow Victoria Park), several British athletes securing European Indoor qualification guidelines and a first outing of 2009 for Olympic 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu (Newham & Essex) were some of the British highlights of a busy weekend of indoor athletics across Europe.

Buck’s victory in the 400m at the Sparkaasen Cup in Stuttgart, Germany on Saturday was also inside 0.09 inside the UK Athletics qualification guideline for European Indoor Championships with 46.61.

It was also fruitful evening in the German city for Nick McCormick (Morpeth Harriers) who finished fourth and as leading European in the men’s 3000m in 7:52.74, just over two seconds inside the European Indoor qualifying standards.

 Also in Stuttgart, Andy Turner (Sale Harriers) placed sixth in the 60m hurdles in 7.61 and also clocked 7.59 in the heats, both inside the European Indoor qualification guideline of 7.70. Another British athlete to better the European Indoor guideline time was sprinter Simeon Williamson (Highgate Harriers), 4th in the 60m in 6.62.

Scott  followed up her victory at last week’s Aviva International in Glasgow with a comfortable triumph in the women’s 1500m in 4:13.37, GB & NI team mate Marilyn Okoro (Shaftesbury Barnet) finished 5th in 4:22.33, as she stepped up from her specialist distance of 800m.

On Sunday at the KBC Indoor Meeting in Ghent, Belgium,  Damien Moss (Rugby & Northampton) placed 3rd in the 800m in 1:48.68.

The other British athletes in action in Belgium were Steve Lewis (Newham & Essex), 2nd in the men’s pole vault in 5.51m, Hannah England (Oxford City), 3rd in the women’s mile in 4:30.29, Joice Maduaka (Woodford Green & Essex Ladies) was 2nd in the women’s 200m in 23.82 and Sarah Claxton (Woodford Green & Essex Ladies) was 7th in the women’s 60m hurdles in 8.36.

At the Woodies DIY Irish Indoor Championships in Belfast, Ohuruogu took part in her first competitive races of the season. Less than two weeks after returning from the UK Athletics Warm Weather Training Camp in Potchefstroom, South Africa she placed 3rd in the 200m in 24.33 and 6th in the 60m in 7.73. Training partner Anyika Onuora (Liverpool Harriers) was 5th in the 60m in 7.64.

There was a fine victory in the 60m hurdles by Bennett in a PB of 8.08, claiming the scalp of former World Indoor Champion Derval O’Rourke.

Also overseas Joanne Jackson (Redcar RWC) took nearly half a minute from her previous British Best Performance for 5km track walk when winning the 2009 Australian Cup in Brisbane with a time of 21 minutes 01.24 seconds.

This took nearly half a minute of her previous best she set when winning the 2008 Olympic Trials last July (21.03.75). Jo has been based at the AIS in Canberra since the start of the year and has clearly benefited from training alongside other world class athletes. The early pace was set by World Junior 4th placer Jess Rothwell, but Jackson fought back over the final six laps to record a massive new pb ahead of Rothwell (21.12.63) and Olympian Cheryl Webb (21.38.57).

Meanwhile, the British Universities and College Sport (BUCS) Cross Country Championships, which were due to take place in Aberdeen on Saturday, were cancelled at short-notice due to adverse weather.