So, as the new footy season has kicked off with Newcastle vs Arsenal starting shortly, let’s start picking up the action on the track and on the infield from around the UK and elsewhere over the weekend.

BAL Premiership, Manchester

As it would seem appropriate and on merit, we’re heading off first to Manchester though for neither United or City, the sides that swept all trophies between them on the domestic scene last season, but Brett Morse, a keen ‘Red Devil’ himself as it happens, who gained an excellent send-off confidence boost of a BAL record of 65.30m in the discus before he boards the plane to Daegu. That was his second furthest mark ever and in close succession to his new Welsh record of 66.06m a little over two weeks ago in Sweden to set up nicely ahead of the greatest challenge he’s ever been faced with so far.

Chris Scott, lying fifth in the UK on a precise 63m B standard, reached a best of 59.49m on the day while new Brittish javelin champion Lee Doran came atop his event with 75.58m.

“What if…?” I guess these words should be turning over in Luke Fagan‘s head having powered to a big PB of 20.60 secs over 200m (1.5m/sec), matching the A qualifying standard for Daegu but a week too late. Where he would have got a strong case to capture the remaining open third spot on the British team as he finished a surprise third, from lane eight at that, behind Christian Malcolm and James Ellington! It was an overall very prolific day at the office for the former European U20 bronze medalist as he also sneaked another PB of 10.36 secs (1.7m/sec), setting a marginally windy 10.26 secs (2.1m/sec) in a non-scoring race, to show that he is firmly back on track.

European U23 bronze medalist Andy Robertson was the victor of the scoring dash in 10.33 secs as Ricky Fifton, Nick Smith and Fagan come tied behind in a blanket finish in 10.36 secs, a SB for the Scot, while U20 Jordan Kirby-Polidore grabbed a second big PB in a row in 21.09 secs as runner-up over the furlong.

European silver medalist Rhys Williams kept showing almost pinpoint consistency but way off where he should have liked to range in 49.71 secs over 400m hurdles, his third ride in as many races in August in the 49.7s, to comfortably get the better of Ben Sumner (51.07), where European U23 bronze medalist Luke Lennon-Ford had to give way to Rabah Yusef in the 400m flat in 46.47 to 46.07  respectively.

Stuart Stokes drew the eye with a season debut solo 8:41.60 over the barriers to go straight fourth in the UK lists in an event where things are stirring again over the last couple weeks, dragging Glenn Watts to a substantial PB of 8:47.01. After a slow start into the season, there are seven runners under 8:50 and overall eighteen under 9 mins which is an encouraging improvement on previous seasons.

BAL National One, Gateshead

New European U23 champion Nigel Levine, also Daegu-bound with the long relay, ran a very solid 46.25 secs in windy conditions to win the 400m by miles where Richard Kilty ran 21.46 secs into a stiff headwind of -3.1m/sec over 200m…

Lappeenranta Games, Finland

Rick Yates won the men’s 400m hurdles in 50.04 secs from Cuba’s Yasmani Copello, second in 50.35 secs, which was just 0.03 secs outside his SB but Andy Baddeley was a late withdrawal from an apparent initiating race in a move up to 5000m.

WM-Testwettkampf, Mannheim, Germany

Nicola Sanders showed encouraging progress over two weeks out from Daegu as she convincingly won the women’s 400m in 51.92 secs in windy conditions to see off useful Germans Claudia Hoffman and Janin Lindenberg, 2nd and 3rd in 52.15 and 52.76 secs respectively. Judging by the wind-readings in either the flat or hurdles sprints, ranging between 0.8 to 3.7m/sec to translate into substantial to strong headwinds up the back straight, her run looks to merit something in the mid 51 secs and maybe even more – an estimation efficiently backed up by the fact that Lindenberg has run 51.97 secs this summer.

U20 Dutch heptathlon sensation Daphne Schippers stormed to a startling PB of 11.19 secs (1.2m/sec) over 100m to surge within a hundredth of a second of European U20 champion Jodie Williams. Superb stuff!

Meanwhile, Steve Lewis couldn’t get the outcome he was looking for and had to settle for only 5.43m in the pole vault in Germany on Friday, but off a shorter run-up due to the circumstances prevailing in the competition.

Atketiekmeeting voon Mor, Leuven, Belgium

Charlie Grice showed that he is shrugging off a blip of form lately as he set a new PB of 1:49.97, his first sight under 1:50 over the distance by implication to win his heat. Former UK indoor champion Ed Aston was fifth in another section in a SB of 1:48 sharp on the other hand.

Richard Buck ran 46.44 secs over 400m as a late tweak to his gear before flying off to Korea with the British team while U23 Jamie Bowie edged inside 47 secs again in 46.94 secs.

The performance of the meeting was arguably Jonathan Borlee‘s (BEL) impressive clocking of 32.10 secs over the rare 300m.

International scene

Richard Thompson, the Olympic silver medalist of Beijing, has shadowed legandary Ato Boldon‘s national record in a rather largely unexpected, even by his own admission, new mark of 9.85 secs to win the title at the Trinidadian championships, slicing a mere hundredth of a second off. Not that he is a new kid on the block in this region, a previous PB of 9.89 secs, but his form had hardly suggested anything of the like in the run-up. Semow Hackett won the women’s home dash in a slightly windy 11 secs dead (2.2m/sec).

Decathlon new star Ashton Eaton showed he is gearing up to a sensational showing in Daegu as he set a big PB of 10.26 secs over 100m (1.5m/sec), as well as a massive best ever of 47.36m in the discus competing over only four selected disciplines across the decathlon at the Jim Thorpe Cup, improving on his 10.33 (twice) and 43.71m previous figures.He also cleared an outdoor PB of 2.10m in the high jump and reached 13.96m in the shot.

Reigning world champion Trey Hardee tackled four disciplines likewise as he is preparing to defend his title against mainly the avalanche of Eaton and but didn’t make any waves, suffering a particularly poor long jump of just 6.95m, while Olympic champion Bryan Clay ran only the 100m in 10.83 secs (1.1m/sec).

The bad news for the US team to compete in Daegu is that sprinter Mike Rodgers is caught positive over a stimulant and faces a likely three-month ban if his second sample turns out the same way.

Last, the king of global javelin Andre Thorkildson (NOR) has returned to the halls of the mighty and the very great with a world-leading mark of 90.61m at the Norwegian championships at Byrgjelo, the furthest throw in the globe since 2009 and his eighth mark ever over 90m – hail him!

More results in the Quick Results & International News pages.

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