29th June 2014

Dwain 'the Train' Makes It Eight At The Sainsbury's British Champs

29 June 2014

Dwain Chambers (Rana Reider, Belgrave) made it a remarkable five in a row – his eighth title in all – as he stormed through to win the 100m, rounding off an electrifying third day of competition at the Sainsbury’s British Championships at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium.

The 36-year-old made his experience count as he got the better of a field bursting with talent, including the fastest man on paper, 20-year-old Chijindu Ujah (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo, Enfield & Haringey) who ran his first sub-10 second race earlier this month, to become the third fastest Briton ever.

Chambers clocked a season’s best 10.12 to dip under the qualifying time required to join the GB & NI team for the European Championships in August. Harry Aikines-Aryeetey (Reider, Sutton & District) finished second and also heads to Zurich, whilst Ujah (Tawiah-Dodoo, Enfield & Haringey) clinched bronze.

“It is just such a relief; there is a lot of young potential out there. I was running for my life – any one of those guys could have got me, everyone raises their intensity so I knew I had to raise my performance too and fortunately I did it. My start is always my strength,” said Chambers.

“I train with CJ [Ujah] so I know how good he is in the second half of the race so I just tried to stay ahead of him. I put myself on the line knowing that if I didn’t do it now, then that was it.

“Earlier in the season, things weren’t going well and if it didn’t go well today, I knew it was done. I would have had to seriously review my situation.”

Asha Philip (Christine Bowmaker, Newham & Essex Beagles) powered to victory in a drama-filled women’s 100m, clocking a wind assisted 11.11 with a photo finish deciding the places for second and third after Bianca Williams (Lloyd Cowan, Enfield & Haringey) was earlier disqualified for a false start.

“Considering it was the fastest I’ve ever done, then it was the race of life, Philip said. “I came here for another win – that was my main aim. I knew it was going to be a difficult race. I don’t doubt that any of the girls could perform well.”

Silver was awarded to Ashleigh Nelson (Michael Afilaka, City of Stoke) as Jodie Williams (Bowmaker, Herts Phoenix) took bronze.

The reigning 110m hurdles champion and Commonwealth silver medallist William Sharman (Jerzy Maciukiewicz, Belgrave) continued his recent run of form, clocking 13.18 (+2.4m/s) in a convincing win ahead of Lawrence Clarke (Malcolm Arnold, Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow), who did well to recover from a stumble over the sixth hurdle. Both hurdlers have secured their places in the GB & NI team for Zurich.

“It does feel good to be the British champion,” said Sharman. “The time was ok, it could have been better. I just need to get some quality training sessions in to be in good shape for the Commonwealths and Europeans now.”

Former European 400m bronze medallist Martyn Rooney (Reider, Croydon) won his fifth British title as he powered to the line to get the better of Conrad Williams (Linford Christie, Kent) in the men’s 400m.

The 27-year-old clocked 45.78 and has guaranteed his place on the plane to Zurich after bettering the standard required in Ostrava earlier this month, but he was still disappointed with his performance.

“That run was poor, I’m running at 80 or 90 percent at the moment and I picked up a niggle in Ostrava last week. Lesser athletes would have pulled out but it was important to me to win the British title,” he said.

European champion Lynsey Sharp (Reider, Edinburgh AC) will head to Zurich to defend her title after storming home to victory in the women’s 800m. Alison Leonard (Bud Baldaro, Blackburn) came through to take silver in front of Jenny Meadows (Trevor Painter, Wigan) as early leader Jess Judd (Rob Denmark, Chelmsford) – the fastest Briton so far this year – could only manage fourth.

“I’m enjoying being back racing, especially after the last twelve months having had surgery twice and I was in hospital on an IV drip in April,” explained the Scot. “I was dying in the last 50m but it wasn’t about times today.”

Britain’s top two 400m hurdlers Eilidh Child (Malcolm Arnold, Pitreavie AC) and Meghan Beesley (Nick Dakin, Birchfield Harriers) booked their places in the GB & NI team with Child taking the British title in 55.58 after a dominant performance.

The Scot never looked in doubt as she drove to the line to secure her first British title, but she didn’t take anything for granted:

“I’m absolutely delighted, I think everyone thought I was the favourite because Perri [Shakes-Drayton] isn’t here but Meghan has been a rival of mine since we were young so it was never going to be easy,” she said.

There was a thrilling finish to the women’s 5000m, with Jo Pavey (Gavin Pavey, Exeter) and Emelia Gorecka (Mick Woods, Aldershot, Farnham & District) battling for the lead with 150m to go. Pavey, 40, had led for much of the race with Gorecka always in touch, and sure enough the youngster hit the front at the bell as the pair struck out for home.

Round the final bend and it was Gorecka who pulled out in front, and despite chasing hard Pavey just couldn’t catch her, 15:40.65 the winning time. Both athletes have sealed their places in the GB & NI team after posting fast times earlier this year.

A jubilant Tom Bosworth (Andi Drake, Tonbridge AC) set a new British record in the men’s 5000m walk, crossing the line in 19:16.82 behind Australia’s Dane Bird-Smith to take the British title in a fast-paced race, whilst in the women’s event Heather Lewis (Martin Bell, Pembrokeshire) set a new personal best leading from the start as she went one better than last year’s silver medal position to finish in 22:09.87.

There was drama in the men’s 1500m as going down the back straight in the final lap Chris Warburton (Norman Poole, Notts) and Alex Tovey (Conrad Milton, Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow) both suffered a tumble in the pack. Power of 10 leader Charlie Grice (Jon Bigg, Brighton Phoenix) came through to seal his first British title in 3:46.97 – he’s also Zurich bound in August.

With all the athletes chasing the European standard in the women’s 400m there was sure to be an exciting final – and sure enough there was a battle to the line with Kelly Massey (Stephen Ball, Sale Harriers) and World 4x400m bronze medallist Shana Cox (George Williams, Woodford Green Essex Ladies) just out in front of the rest of field. The pair ran side by side but it was Massey who got there first in 52.42, with Cox in second and Emily Diamond (Dan Cossins, Bristol & West) in third.

“I knew it was there in me and I didn’t think it would be fast as it was windy on the back straight. I’m happy with the way I performed out there today. I enjoy racing Emily, she’s a good friend and it’s good to get the scalp of Shana,” said Massey.

In the field events, multi-eventer Katarina Johnson-Thompson (Mike Holmes, Liverpool Harriers) set a new lifetime best in the long jump, bettering her previous outdoor mark by 11cm as she reached 6.81m with her second jump.

There was a season’s best for Britain’s number one javelin thrower Goldie Sayers (Mark Roberson, Belgrave), who managed a world class 62.75m in her penultimate attempt to take a remarkable eleventh national title.

And in a thrilling men’s triple jump competition Julian Reid (Aston Moore, Birchfield Harriers) reached a season’s best 16.82m to book his place at the European Championships and retain his British title.

“I’m happy with the victory and I’m happy with the distance. I won this event last year and I’ve missed out on the Commonwealth Games but I’m aiming for a medal in Zurich.”

The men’s high jump also provided plenty of entertainment with the title going to Allan Smith (Fuzz Ahmed, Shaftesbury Barnet), who cleared 2.24m in his first attempt to get the better of early leader Chris Baker (Sharon Heveran, Sale Harriers) – although it’s Baker who secures his GB & NI vest having  cleared the standard already.

In the opening event of the day, the men’s shot put, Scott Rider (John Hillier, Birchfield Harriers) managed a season’s best 18.34m to take gold ahead of Power of 10 leader Zane Duquemin (Hillier, Shaftesbury Barnet). There was gold for Duquemin in the discus however, 60.38m also his season’s best.

In the women’s hammer throw, British record holder and European U23 champion Sophie Hitchon (Tore Gustafsson, Blackburn) confirmed her place on the GB & NI team for the European Championships, topping the podium earlier in the day with 65.56m. The 22-year-old had already achieved the standard back in May and feels she’s still got a lot more to give.

“I’m obviously really happy but disappointed with my performance,” Hitchon said. “It was partly down to the conditions but I can perform a lot better than that. The result doesn’t show where I am at the minute but I’m fully confident that I can move forward.”

The men’s pole vault title went to Commonwealth silver medallist Steve Lewis (Dan Pfaff, Newham & Essex Beagles) – the only competitor to clear 5.55m. The 28-year-old has also met the standard required for the Europeans.

In the overall Club:Connect standings there were victories for Shaftesbury Barnet in the men’s and Birchfield in the women’s competiton, which sees both clubs awarded a £500m grant.

Full results can be found here: http://www.britishathletics.org.uk/british-athletics-series/sainsburys-british-championships/athlete-information/

Want to hear what all the winners have to say? Then head to BritishAthleticsTV now for interviews will all of our stars: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLuOblQ300CO8-ybv00Nwe0gVD6Hn_LpQ7

Next stop for most of the British stars is the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix in two weeks time, for which tickets are still available here: http://www.britishathletics.org.uk/british-athletics-series/sainsburys-glasgow-grand-prix/