Mark Lewis-Francis has gained a substantial confidence boost ahead of the UK Trials as he pipped Jamaican Remaldo Rose to a narrow victory in a slightly windy 10.23 (2.4m/sec), the latter just 0.02 secs in arrears, at the Birmingham Games at the Brum, the same venue that will be hosting the annual British athletics showcase event this coming weekend.

The European silver medalist is battling his way back from a recurrence of a groin injury in late May, missing several weeks of action, and will have taken plenty of heart by his showing that he can make the starting-line fully fit and prepared to contend for a place in the sun of Far East in late August.

On the other hand, former UK champion Simeon Williamson is feeling the noose tighten and running way short of time as he won the other heat in also a windy (2.4m/sec) but considerably slower 10.42 secs and he will be called upon to conjure up another miraculous escape and resurge into form with only a couple of weeks to spare until the selection deadline. That said, none should write him off under any circumstances.

Incidentally, he is not entered for the men’s 100m tussle in Birmingham so there hangs around the question whether he’s hoping to make a last-ditch bid at Crystal Palace the following weekend.

Former Olympic 200m finalist Abi Oyepitan enjoyed a rather comfortable sprint double in a SB of 11.52 secs over 100m and a 23.57 secs (0.4m/sec) in the 200m but the rest of the track events suffered in the windy conditions, though U23 Emma Pullen levelled her nearly-month-old PB of 53.69 secs over 400m.

Commonwealth finalist David Hughes took the 400m hurdles easily in 50.75 secs as he is heading into one of the most competitive contests of the UK Trials while Tom Parsons beat Rob Grabarz on countback at 2.20m in the high jump and Richard Strachan showed again strong over the furlong in 21.21 secs for a good sharpener.

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