31st May 2015

Weekend Round-up

31 May 2015

Hypo Meeting, Gotzis, Austria, 30-31 May

It was a case of mission accomplished, and impressively so, for Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis-Hill (Coach: Toni Minichiello) on her return to combined events competition in the annual Hypo Meeting in Gotzis in the picturesque Vorarlberg region of Austria on Saturday and Sunday. Competing in her first heptathlon since winning Olympic gold on home ground in August 2012, the 29-year-old City of Sheffield athlete produced a solid series of performances to finish fourth in the prestigious IAAF Combined Events Series meeting with 6,520 points – comfortably inside her target of the 6,200 qualifying tally for next year’s Olympic Games in Rio di Janeiro, and also the 6,075 points required for a place in this year’s IAAF World Championships in Beijing in August.

Sadly, it was not the best of weekends for Morgan Lake (Eldon Lake), the reigning world junior heptathlon and high jump champion. The 18-year-old failed to finish the last of the weekend’s seven events, pulling up in the 800m with 200m remaining. Having started the race, she was credited with a finishing score of 5,082 points for 23rd place.
For Ennis-Hill, however, it was a more than satisfactory return to a meeting that has been bitter-sweet for her over the years, having suffered the broken ankle that forced her to miss the Beijing Olympics midway through the 2008 heptathlon in Gotzis and won there in 2010, 2011 and 2012. She opened with 13.24 (-0.2) for the 100m hurdles, a performance in her traditionally strongest event that highlighted her understandable lack of sharpness after almost two years out of action due to injury and the birth of her son Reggie. However, while still far from her best, the former world and European champion proceeded to show her competitive pedigree as she nailed a 1.86m clearance in the high jump, matching her height from London 2012, then threw 13.95m in the shot and clocked 23.86 (+1.4) in the 200m.

That left Ennis-Hill in third place at the end of the opening day, on 3,928 points – behind Commonwealth champion Brianne Thiesen-Eaton of Canada (4,031) and triple European sprint champion Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands (3,928), who clocked a scorching 22.39 (+1.4) in the 200m. At that stage, Lake was lying 15th with 3,634 points after registering the following marks: 14.51 (-1.2) for 100m hurdles, 1.86 for high jump, 13.37m for shot and 24.63 (+0.6) for 200m. The teenager proceeded to leap 5.99m (-.05) in the long jump and throw 36.65m in the javelin before her abortive 800m run.

Ennis-Hill achieved 6.16m (+1.1) in the long jump and 42.60m in the javelin before finishing day two in style by edging out Thiesen-Eaton in the final 800m heat, clocking 2:09.2. Thiesen-Eaton emerged the overall winner with 6,808 points, a Canadian record and 2015 world lead. Germany’s Carolin Schafer was second with 6,547 and world indoor pentathlon champion Nadine Broersen of the Netherlands third with 6,531.Schippers had been on course for a score in the 6,800 region but withdrew before the 800m.

Thiesen-Eaton’s husband, world record holder and Olympic champion Ashton Eaton, withdrew from the decathlon before the opening event, the 100m, because of a back problem. Britain’s John Lane (Toni Minichiello) finished  18th in the decathlon with 7,798 points – 124 points down on the PB score that earned him fourth place at last year’s Commonwealth Games. A training partner of Ennis-Hill in Sheffield, Lane’s marks for the ten events were: 10.79 (-0.1) for 100m, 7.07m (+0.3) for long jump, 13.71m for shot, 1.97m for high jump, 48.92 for 400m, 14.57 (+0.5) for 110m hurdles, 40.17 for discus, 4.90m for pole vault, 50.19m for javelin and 4:42.18 for 1500m. Germany’s Kai Kazmirek won with a 2015 world lead score of 8,462 points. 


Bedford International Games, 31 May

European 200m champion Adam Gemili (Steve Fudge) became the first sub 10sec and sub 20sec British sprinter with or without wind assistance when he produced the biggest performance of the day at the annual BIG meeting on a cold, wet and windy afternoon at Bedford. The 21-year-old needed the help of a 3.7 metres per second following wind as he smashed through the ten seconds barrier for the 100m with a stunning 9.97 clocking, thus rendering his run wind-assisted and invalid for record purposes. Still, it was a momentous effort by the East London University student.

Only five Britons have ducked under the ten second barrier without wind assistance: Linford Christie (9.87), James Dasaolu (9.91) Chijindu Ujah (9.96), Dwain Chambers (9.97) and Jason Gardener (9.98) – plus Mark Lewis-Francis (9.97) with a time from the qualifying rounds of the 2001 World Championships that was registered as wind assisted because of a faulty wind gauge. Only John Regis (19.87) and Gemili (19.98) have broken 20 seconds for 200m with or without wind assistance, so Gemili is the first British member of the global sub10/sub20 club with or without an illegal following wind.

The Commonwealth 100m silver medallist had already produced the legal performance of the meeting, having clocked the fastest time in the first series of 100m races in 10.12 (+1.3). That was an improvement of 0.07 on the season’s opener Gemili recorded last weekend at the FBK Games at Hengelo in the Netherlands. He will get the chance to improve on that, and threaten the legal ten seconds barrier, when he lines up in the Sainsbury’s Birmingham Grand Prix next Sunday, 7 June. Ujah and Richard Kilty, Britain’s reigning world and European indoor 60m champion, are also in the field.

Sale Harrier Andrew Robertson finished runner-up to Gemili in a windy 10.19 in the fastest of the second series of 100m race. Runner-up to him in the quickest of the first series was the emerging Ojie Odoburun (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo). The 18-year-old clocked 10.25, a season’s best and 2015 European junior lead.

Also mixing it in the open 100m races was 2012 Paralympic T44 100m champion Jonnie Peacock (Steve Fudge). In his first outings of the season, the Charnwood sprinter finished second in one of the second series of 100m races in 10.80 (+2.4) and seventh in one of the first series in 10.99 (+1.8).

In the women’s 100m, former world youth champion Asha Philip (Steve Fudge) maintained her impressive early season form, running a blistering but wind assisted 11.17 (+3.2). European and Commonwealth 200m silver medallist Jodie Williams (Christine Bowmaker) opened her outdoor season with a victory in the second of two women’s 400m races, clocking 53.51. The first race was quicker, 17-year-old Manx athlete Catherine Reid (Di Shimell) making a major improvement on her PB, from 54.86 to 53.34. The men’s 400m was won by Nigel Levine (Linford Christie) in 46.61.

Going along very nicely on the comeback trail is 400m hurdler Jack Green (Lauren Seagrave). The 2011 European Under 23 champion was a clear winner in 50.39, ahead of Richard Yates (Stephen Ball), who was runner-up in 52.37.  There was an encouraging seasonal improvement, and a victory, from 2012 Olympic high jump bronze medallist Robbie Grabarz (Fayyaz Ahmed) on only his second appearance on the comeback trail. A second time clearance at 2.24m represented a notable improvement on the 2.16m he jumped at the Drake Relays in the US in April – and secured him a win ahead of training partner Chris Kandu (Fayyaz Ahmed), who finished second with 2.20m. Grabarz had three attempts and three failures at 2.28m, the A standard for August’s World Championships in Beijing.

Commonwealth silver medallist Isobel Pooley (Fayyaz Ahmed) won the women’s high jump with 1.91m, equalling her meeting record. Elsewhere in the field, there were wins in the triple jump for 2006 European silver medallist Nathan Douglas (Aston Moore), with 16.55m (+2.2); in the hammer for Commonwealth bronze medallist Mark Dry (Tore Gustafsson), with 71.83m; and in the shot for Rachel Wallader (coach: unknown), with a PB and 2015 UK lead of 17.17m.

Jonnie Peacock was not the only Paralympic star on show. Aled Davies (Ryan Spencer-Jones) threw 50.63m in the discus. Sophie Hahn (Joseph McDonnell) won the Para Elite 100m in 12.82 (+2.3) and won 200m in 27.20 (+0.8) from Olivia Breen (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo), who was second in 28.27.


UAE Healthy Kidney 10km road race, New York City, USA, 30 May

European cross country champion Gemma Steel (John Nuttall) finished third in a high class field in 33:47 – behind Kenyans Joyce Chepkirui (32:33) and Gladys Cherono (33.47). Ben True of the US won the men’s race in 28:12.

IPC Grand Prix, Nottwil, Switzerland, 29-31 May
Double Paralympic champion Hannah Cockroft (Jennifer Banks) was in full Hurricane Hannah mode, sweeping to victory in four T34 events. The 22-year-old pride of Halifax won the 100m in 17.99 (+1.8), the 200m in 31.32 (0.0), the 400m in 1:01.45 and the 800m in 2:10.43.
Laura Sugar (Femi Akinsanya) was another multi-winner from the strong British contingent, taking the T44 100m in 13.67 (-1.1) and the 200m in 28.34 (+1.1). There was also a victory for Robert Smith (Job King). The Coventry Godiva Harrier won the T52 5,000m, in 15:01.30.
However, six-time Paralympic gold medallist David Weir (Jenny Archer) found his long-time rival Marcel Hug too strong on home ground for the Swiss athlete. Weir finished third in the T54 800m in 1:35.00 and fourth in the T54 1500m in 2:59.23, Hug winning in 1:34.67 and 2:58.62 respectively.


BMC Grand Prix, Manchester, 30 May

World junior championship finalist Bobby Clay (Peter Mullervy) was one of the stars of the night at the second BMC Grand Prix of the summer at Sportcity. On an evening when 23 athletes registered 24 qualifying times for various major championships and 187 PBs were logged in 31 races, 18-year-old Clay clocked the fastest 1500m time outdoors by a UK woman in 2015 with a victory in a lifetime best of 4: 12.20.

The men’s 1500m was won by 21-year-old Cameron Boyek (David Lowes) in 3:40.72, a PB, while in the women’s 800m Katie Snowden (Alasdair Donaldson) edged out New Zealand international Angie Petty in a lifetime best 2:01.77. Warrington’s Carys McAulay (Philip Hicken), 18, won the B race in a PB 2:5.50, a qualifying time for the European Junior and World Youth Championships.


Putbos Meeting, Oordegem, Belgium, 30 May

Olympic semi-finalist Ross Murray (Craig Winrow) added momentum to his comeback, clocking his fastest 1500m time for three years. The Gateshead Harrier finished runner-up in 3:39.06.