1st March 2009


1 March 2009


Team Sheffield continued their incredible McCain Indoor City Challenge (ICC) reign with a fifth consecutive win at this weekend’s final, held at UWIC, Cardiff.

The team, kitted out in their now famous purple strip, were helped along by a combined-events  comeback from 2006 Commonwealth bronze medallist Jessica Ennis (City of Sheffield)  and a confident win in the shot put from Irish national champion Kieran Kelly (Newham & Essex Beagles).

Ennis, who changed her take-off foot from right to left in the long jump after injuring her ankle early in the 2008 outdoor season, showed a promising return to form despite the technical alternation, winning the combined events long jump with 5.98m. She also has success in the 60m hurdles crossing the line first by a length with 8.25, seven hundredths outside her personal best, and in the shot with 12.99m.

She said: “It’s been going well, I’m back in full training and I’m able to do everything which is really good. I’m just coming to the end of my training programme. I have swapped take off leg in the long jump, because in the high jump and long jump I used the right leg and obviously my stress fracture was in my right foot so I just took a bit of pressure off it.”

Athlete of the match, Kelly equalled the ICC record with his 18.54m throw and believes there is more to come after a successful indoor season, including a impressive 19.02m at the Loughborough Indoor Meeting: “I have a slight problem with my knuckle so the first three rounds I was taking it easy just seeing how my knuckles would hold up. It wasn’t too bad so i decided to push it in the last three. Starting out in 2009, my goal was 19.70m, I didn’t expect to get 19m indoors so I‘d like to see if I can push for 20m”

Victories from rising pole vault junior Luke Cutts (Dearnside), twice McCain ICC 800m champion Catherine Riley (Trafford AC) and the men’s medley relay ,which was boosted with a 2009 debut outing from injury riddled 2006 European 800m bronze medallist Sam Ellis (City of Sheffield) guided Team Sheffield to victory.

But it wasn’t a member of Team Sheffield who wowed the Welsh crowd. Athlete of the match Vicky Griffiths (Liverpool Harriers), looked extremely strong, yet relaxed on the track in the women’s 400m taking a win over Manchester team-mate and forthcoming GB&NI European Indoors team member Jenny Meadows (Wigan AC).

Griffiths, who broke her indoor personal best for the first time since 2003 when she crossed the line in 53.92, said: “I set my personal best six years ago and had nothing since,  it’s a personal best and I feel really good. I think my attitudes changed and I’m just enjoying it and I’m not nervous anymore. It’s good, I’m pleased.”