Category: Indoor Athletics

Her indoor term may have stretched longer than most but in a Wagner-esque manner Katarina Johnson-Thompson‘s campaign followed a pattern of continual powerful crescendos working up to a sensational finale as she narrowly missed out on great Karolina Kluft‘s global indoor U20 landmark in the pentathlon.

Neither the venue nor the timing of her venture recommended such a high-class showing leading up to a three-side multi-event international between Britain, France and Spain in Cardiff despite a lengthy string of PBs en route. Yet, the Merseysider turned up with ideas of her own to issue a vigorous statement before turning round into a massive outdoor season.

At the end of the day, it is no mean feat to shake a mark of 4535pts set in Wien that laid a sound platform for the Swede to conquer the senior European crown in Munich back in 2002, indicating that the young Briton could be on the verge of a quantum leap on the international ladder.

Johnson-Thompson hit the ground running as she swept over the hurdles in 8.48 secs, tying her nearly month-old PB, for 1021pts to a flying start before she swung onto the infield to set the arena alight as she soared over a big PB of 1.88m in the high jump, worth a mighty 1080pts to the good.

Adding to the amazement, that made the highest an U20 girl from these shores has cleared since an identical figure by Vikki Hubbard in 2006 and just 3cm shy of the total British U20 record of 1.91m co-held by Lea Goodman (nee Haggett, 1991) and Susan Moncrief (nee Jones, 1997), moving up into equal fifth in the all-time charts.

For that matter, the individual event now savours a rare sight of four female high jumpers over 1.88m or higher in a single season, a privilege lost for many a year, with the entire outdoor spell still lying ahead at that.

The thrill of her latest feat ran away with KJT to put a third PB on the trot at 11.68m in the shot range (640pts) and she might have felt slightly disappointed to land at ‘only’ 6.24m (924pts) on the bounce in the long jump pit, having set a UK U20 indoor record of 6.39m this term.

And there was yet more to come as she wrapped up a fairy tale venture with a total new PB of 2:17.24 over the anchor 800m (861pts), her fourth out of five disciplines, to score an eventual 4526pts for a massive British junior indoor record by no less than 313pts, also the owner of the previous marker at 4213 from Sheffield last year.

She must have taken a moment or two to shake off a momentary daze finding out how desperately close she had come to Kluft’s milestone, skimming past by a mere 9pts, but there would be no words to render her elation at gaining the age group runner-up spot in the history of the event worldwide, making her own mark on the global stage.

It is definitely going to be most intriguing to see how she is going to translate that form into the heptathlon now and it won’t be long before an initial gauge is obtained as she is lining up at the 25 Multistar at Desenzano, Italy, on 5 & 6 May, a multi-eventer also contested by Kelly Sotherton on her return to these quarters.

Meaning that the event will also hold an incorporated essential first British head-to-head between two of the three main contenders for the remaining two Olympic berths alongside certain-to-be-selected Jessica Ennis, the third being Commonwealth champion Louise Hazell.

Incidentally, Johnson-Thompson has also moved third highest scorer ever in the overall rankings of the pentathlon in Britain behind only Ennis’s recent 4965pts in Istanbul and Sotherton’s  4852pts in Valencia 2008.

A name to watch out for the future is also Morgan Lake, having not turned her 15 yet, who turned in an astonishing for her tender age 3953pts in the U20 competition to miss out on winner Aurelie Chaboudez (FRA) by a mere 4 points.

Her superb score sheet displayed a 9.10 secs in the hurdles, 1.79m (PB) in the high jump, 11.32m in the shot, 5.61m in the long jump and a PB of 2:26.55 in the 800m – the prospects of the event look brightest indeed!

Katy Marchant was third on 3934pts, an agonizing sole point outside her PB, as she set PBs of 8.67 secs over the sticks and 2:25.07 over 800m for a solid performance in her own right.


PS The highest ever total assembled by an U20 belongs to East German Sibylle Thiele with 4694pts (8.59, 1.86, 14.32, 6.51, 2:20.4) from 1984 but was performed on an oversize track and thus cannot count for record purposes.


After the ladies, there comes now the turn of the gentlemen and time to pick the top male performer on the arena of Istanbul at the end of last week. There is a wide range of choices available starting with the big guns as Aston Eaton ran over both the opposition and the world record with a mighty 6645pts in the heptathlon, great Bernard Lagat timed his race to perfection to hold off the younger challenges of Augustine Choge and Mo Farah in a highly tactical 3000m, Renaud Lavillenie finally fended off a resurgent Brad Walker in the skies of pole vault and Justin Gatlin evoked images of his grandeur of old to dominate the men’s 60m in 6.46 secs.

Nevertheless, surprises seemed to be the order of the day as Aries Merritt got it right when it mattered on a wishy-washy build-up through the rounds to stun Xiang Liu over the hurdles, Dimitris Hondrokoukis must have been hardly fancied in any quarters to steal a narrow win over very much the who-is-who of men’s high jump, Ryan Whiting struck a stunning late winner over David Storl right when the shot put contest looked like heading the German’s way and ‘overlooked’ Costarican Nery Brenes forced Kirani James into the shadows on a searing run of 45.13 secs in the 400m.

Christian Taylor‘s defeat at the hands of countryman Will Claye, who pulled together a superb series, in the triple jump would not so much strike as a surprise on the form books as over the manner of it, having opened out to a seeming gold medal banker of 17.63m before the latter came back with a massive 17.70m in the second round.

So whom would you pick as top man in Istanbul?

With the World Indoor Championships now behind us and slotted into the timeline of history, it’s about time to assess performances and pick out the individuals that have made the greatest impression around on the arena of Istanbul from Friday through to Sunday. Let’s start with the ladies first where there is a wide diversity of choices on offer to pick from.

Natalya Dobrynska blended an upset on favourites Jessica Ennis and Tatyana Chernova along with a world record in the pentathlon, Sanyar Richards-Ross thoroughly dominated the 400m, Sally Pearson turned a class apart over the hurdles in 7.73 secs and Brittney Reese worked magic to fly out to a massive 7.23m in the long jump.

But there were also the underdogs that triumphed like returning mother Chaunte Howard-Lowe to stun the nearly invincible Anna Chicherova in the high jump, Yamile Aldama to land a first major title well into her 39 years at an impressive 14.82m and the British quarter of Shana Cox, Nicola Sanders, Christine Ohuruogu and Perri Shakes-Drayton that ran out of their skin to pip the US outfit on the line against all odds in the women’s 4x400m.

So whom would you go for? Make your pick please!

Jade Nicholls has turned up her late winter-break competitive spell a couple of gears as she spun out a promising last-gasp 58.97m in a first-ever indoor appearance at the relatively known for this purpose throwing meeting in Vaxjo, Sweden, on Saturday.

Britain’s arguable top female discus thrower opened up with 55.23m, a considerable improvement on her outdoor debut of 52.52m at Loughborough, but had to wait until late in the competition to click into higher gear after three fouls and a fifth-round 53.53m – but all is well that ends well according to great Shakespeare.

Apart from an apparent UK best indoors, the good news is that her winning mark also appears to be the farthest ever thrown worldwide in an indoor environment, which would be a very welcome boost and set-out to her Olympic journey.

Prior to the meeting, the best known performance was German Sabine Rumpf‘s 57.95m at the same venue last year by all available accounts to back up this claim nicely.

Nicholls went over the 60m line for the first time ever with a PB of 60.76m at Hendon last summer but was not selected for Daegu subsequently, yet she will be looking to add to this into the Olympic A qualifying territory and secure a spot on the British team for London this time round.

Currently on a training spell in Sweden, Daegu finalist Brett Morse was also out competing to an opener of 59.14m (SB) for fifth while Chris Scott was a place behind at an indoor best of 58.13m in the men’s edition well behind convincing winner Benn Harradine (AUS), who had five efforts over 61m peaking at 64.12m.

David Coleman took the B competition at an indoor best of 51.88m and Ryan Spencer-Jones put 17.13m for fifth in the men’s shot.

It started like a dream, it ended in heartbreak… Jessica Ennis blasted out of her blocks to a lightning start to her pentathlon venture over the hurdles but a similar, yet sharper, fluctuating performing pattern to Daegu saw her surrender a second title in a row at the back end of the day.

The early to mid stages of the pentathlon hardly suggested that Ennis could possibly miss out on gold

Astonishingly enough, it wasn’t Tatyana Chernova, widely touted as the major threat in the run-up, to thwart her plans as the Russian languished nearly anonymous on the fringes of the affair but Olympic champion Natalya Dobrynska who struck a decisive blow out of the woodwork right when her own challenge looked like weathered away.

As Ennis admitted post-competition, there can always be slip-ups on the way as such is the nature of multi-events but what might suggest an alarming streak was that they cropped up on the same corners of the arena, namely the jumps. Which, in turn, is mystifying seeing that her build-up in both disciplines was very promising; an indoor PB of 6.47m in the long jump and a straight return to 1.90s in the high jump.

The European champion is a fierce competitor second to none, never lacking mettle or desire, and an ultimate professional that leaves nothing to chance in her preparations so how those ‘lapses’ in her performance could be possibly accounted for? This is going to be a very challenging area for her and coach Tony Minichiello to probe effectively over the following months and smoothe out any potential underlying issue leading up to London.

There was plenty of speculation hanging around over how genuine was Chernova’s 8.02 secs in the 60m hurdles recently at the Russian Championships. Such a mark could substantially shift the dynamics of the contest and the towering Russian was called on to confirm her revised status. Well, in the end she hardly did herself any favours in the face of it, just as her season-find compatriot Ekaterina Bolshova nowhere near justified her startling early season huge world-leading PB of 4896pts.

Ennis screamed out of her marks to leave everyone else for dead by hurdle two and blazed down the track to claim the race by a street in a sizzling 7.91 secs, her second fastest ever worth 1150pts, and gain a firm hold on the lead from the off as Chernova struggled in vain to offer any sort of competition in a distant second in 8.29 secs for 1064pts, within her familiar standards.

Dobrynska arrived further behind in third in 8.38 secs to pick up 1044pts whereas Bolshova wound up a disappointing last but one in 8.62 secs for just 991pts.

The first damage to Ennis’s chances may have been brought on in the high jump as she departed well earlier than anticipated with only 1.87m (1067pts) to her name, at the third effort at that, but that didn’t seem to matter much at the time as Bolshova tied at the same height, with Chernova staying a notch lower along with Dobrynska at 1.84 (1029pts).

And it looked all but game over when the Briton rebounded well from a relatively slow start of 13.89 to register a SB of 14.39m second time out and wind up to a big total PB of 14.79m (847pts) in the final round of the shot, soaking up the anticipated counter-attack of Dobrynska who had to do with 16.51m (962pts, SB) in a stronghold of hers.

That was the place where the Ukrainian would have hoped to mount a charge to the front, a 17 plus performer, but Ennis held on to her lead even by a shade to effectively tighten her grip on gold.

Austra Skujyte (LTU) moved into the top three (second) for the first time with 16.26m (946pts) whereas Chernova looked done despite a SB of 13.90 (787pts) and Bolshova threw the towel into the circle after a poor 12.07m (666pts) at the bottom of the order.

Nevertheless, Ennis was caught on the hop and left stranded as Dobrynska hit a SB of 6.57m (1030pts) at the death in the long jump to turn the affair thoroughly round into a firm favourite with a lead of 93pts and just a discipline to spare, making the best of the Briton’s slump to just 6.19m (908pts) compounded with a foul in the final round, while Skujyte remained second as the two swapped places either side of her.

The final stages of the pentathlon with Dobrynska setting a new world record

The ghosts of Daegu manifested themselves to haunt Ennis again as she went into the 800m chasing the nearly impossible of beating the Ukrainian with at least a 6.5 secs margin, which turned a bridge too far in the end. The final act was simply played out with Dobrynska shadowing her every move round the track to keep within safe distance of a late surge in a PB of 2:11.15 and finally clinch the much coveted global crown.

On top of that, the fast pace ensured she toppled the long-standing world record of Irina Belova (RUS) with a total of 5013pts in the wake to become the first ever marker to breach the barrier of 5000pts in history, doubling the effect and her delight – it’s not a little thing making history after all.

Ennis was still rewarded for her heroic efforts with a new UK record of 4965pts for silver as she crossed the line first in a PB of 2:08.09 and will take plenty of material to the drawing-board in order to lay out the best possible campaign to London. If anything, she knows that she is still the best, what she has got to do is make sure she doesn’t fall into the same pitfalls again.

Skujyte held comfortably the third spot for a well-deserved bronze on also a national record of 4802 pts but Chernova will be far from pleased to wind up fifth on 4725 and so will be a mere sixth Bolshova on 4639pts.

Eaton marches on in the heptathlon

By stark contrast to a knife-edged pentathlon, the men’s equivalent has turned into an Aston Eaton vs the scoring system affair that can hardly bear the term contest as his rivals cannot anywhere near keep up with his dizzy pace through the disciplines.

The American may have been somewhat slow out of his marks to a 6.79 secs (958pts) in the 60m, still sufficient to hand him an early 29-point edge, but settled quickly into his stride to take off to a sensational PB of 8.16m (1102pts) in the long jump and well on world record pace, gathering 2060pts and a 151pts lead on Oleksiy Kasyanov (UKR).

A second PB on the bounce with 14.56m (763pts) in the shot injected further impetus into his challenge to 2823pts after three disciplines, Kasyanov slicing off the deficit to 110pts, and Eaton topped off the first day over a SB of 2.03m (831pts) for a total of 3654pts so far, a sound 165pts on the Ukrainian and a full 365pts on currently third-placed Artem Lukyanenko (RUS).


Dwain Chambers kept his nerve and coped well to start the defence of his title on the front foot as he commanded the last first-round heat of the 60m in 6.65 secs amidst nearly farcical circumstances that as good as compromised the credibility of the championships on the first day. What with the malfunction of speakers in the starting blocks and the system failing to identify flyers time and again, there was havoc wreaked and heavy casualties made across the opening flights of heats in both men’s dash and the women’s hurdles.

None more so than slight pre-event favourite Lerone Clarke (JAM) who was left chasing shadows and even hobbled injured across the line in just 7.05 secs in the third heat for a short-lived cameo in the championships as Italian Simone Collio was allowed to get away with a blatant false-start, winning in 6.68 secs.

All the same, former world champion Justin Gatlin showed composure to put away the penultimate section in 6.64 secs with ease and suggest an early favourite, fastest out of the preliminaries, as countryman Trell Kimmons had notched the previous run in a slower 6.70 secs.

In the same light, sensational American Kristi Castlin, top-ranked in the world, was left watching in dismay as the other runners were going away waiting for a recall that never came after a flyer apparently coming from the adjacent left lane by final top-placer Alina Talay (BLR, 8.11) in the second heat, with Jamaican Vonette Dixon also pulling over after the second hurdle in the same thought.

British captain Tiffany Porter, having born the brunt of a renewed malicious ‘plastic Brit’ attack by Daily Mail, negotiated her task and tension superbly to come away a thorough winner of heat three in 8 secs dead and assert herself as a genuine medal contender, nevertheless it was global outdoor champion Sally Pearson (AUS) that sent rumbles of thunder around the arena as she stormed over the sticks to a blistering 7.85 secs to emerge as red hot favourite for gold, a new Oceanian record from the outset.

Both Brits made their way into the semifinals of the men’s 800m although via different routes in a preliminary round that saw Sudan’s Ismail Ismail, fourth in Doha, bomb out early but otherwise followed normal service.

Joe Thomas opted to take matters from the front this once to put away the fourth heat in 1:49.73 but a foot injury creeping in saw him slightly struggle in the dying stages and could compromise his chances. On the other hand, Andie Osagie was narrowly edged out of the automatic places by a mere two hundredths into third in the same time earlier in the second section and endured a nervous wait before he ensured of his own passage as best of six fastest losers, yet rather comfortably in the end.


An stunning performance by the quartet of Shana Cox, Nicola Sanders, Christine Ohuruogu and a sensational Perri-Shakes Drayton snatches gold narrowly ahead of the US team, anchored by individual champion Sanya Richards-Ross, in a thrilling relay encounter

Sally Pearson (AUS) dazzles over the hurdles to an overwhelming victory in 7.73 secs, equal fourth all-time, while British captain Tiffany Porter recovers from a poor start to snatch silver in 7.94 secs

Nery Brenes was hardly even brought up as a contender in the run-in, though the signs were there, but took the men’s 400m by storm in a searing 45.13 secs

Sanya Richards-Ross dominates the women’s 400m from start to finish by nearly a second in 50.79 secs with Britain’s Shana Cox 5th in an indoor best of 52.13 secs

Chaunte Howard-Lowe returns with a vengeance to stun red-hot favourite Anna Chicherova over a winning 1.98m in the high jump

Aston Eaton takes the world record by storm to 6645pts in winning the Heptathlon by a mile

American Ryan Whiting stages a stunning late onslaught to come away with gold in the shot, launching the two furthest puts in the world in his last two attempts – 22.00 & 21.98m!

Will Claye and Christian Taylor battle out an enthralling triple jump affair at dizzy distances of 17.70 and 17.63m respectively

Veronica Campbell-Brown leaves it late but comes through, even narrowly, to retain her global title in the women’s 60m

Tony Whiteman evoked glimpses of his glory days, a 3:32.34 miler in his heyday in the late 90s, as he led home by example a field of years his junior in a fabulous 3:44.12 over the men’s 1500m at the McCain’s City Challange second and final leg, a world V40 best as a matter of fact.

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Retired after failing to make Britain’s Olympic team for Athens 2004, the former Commonwealth bronze medallist has returned to racing over the last couple of years improving all along the way, in so much as he could start pondering whether to have a crack even at the UK Olympic Trials in summer.

In fact, his winning time at the Lee Valley was his fastest indoors in a long 12 years and could hint at a potential sub 3:40 clocking outdoors to enhance that prospect.

Second behind him came Ross Murray in 3:46.16, his fastest in two years in any environment, as he is hauling up a comeback trail having missed the entire track season last summer.

The two shifted stints at the head for the bulk of the race before Whiteman took off 400m out to pull away to a commanding win.

Samson Oni ironed out a few last details in his jumping over a winning 2.21m in the high jump before flying out to Istanbul for the World Indoor Championships as U23 Tremayne Gilling comfortably extended his winning streak lately in 6.74 secs, third time this winter, in the men’s dash.

In the men’s pole vault, U23 Nick Crutchley cleared a SB of 5.31m to upset favourite Luke Cutts, tied at 5.21m in second with Gregor McLean, to go sixth in the UK lists while fourth-placed Jax Thoirs revised once more the Scottish U20 record to 5.11m, bettering his recent previous figure by a cm.

The find of the meet was probably 22-year-old Michael Puplampu who broke ground to 16.04m in the men’s triple jump, a total PB by a full 40cm, and Nadia Williams got the better of Yasmine Regis on the women’s side, setting 13.44 and 13.09m respectively.

Annabelle Lewis sneaked inside new territory as she set a PB of 7.39 secs to blow off the opposition of Louise Bloor and Marilyn Nwawulor, 7.54 and 7.57 secs, in the women’s 60m where Ashley Helshby narrowly held off Commonwealth heptathlon champion Louise Hazell over the sticks in a PB of 8.33 to a SB of 8.35 secs, with Serita Solomon third in close order in a PB of her own in 8.37 secs.

Elsewhere around the arena, Emma Perkins outjumped young Isobel Pooley once again in the high jump even on countback at 1.80m, precocious U20 Clovis Asong got the men’s 400m in 48.30 secs and Scott Rider put a SB of 18.43m to beat Ryan Spencer-Jones in the shot, with the latter taking his PB up to 18.10m.


So many times it takes that single performance to make all the difference and turn your fortunes round as the confidence and feel-good factor settle back in and sometimes everything seems to click on the way.

Steve Lewis had to wait for nearly two years to vault into the 5.70s, either indoors or outdoors, until he found his Nevers-neverland over an Olympic A qualifier of 5.72m in France mid February but has now followed up with a second straight mark in that region and moved a notch higher on the international ladder.

On Friday, at the Springer Meeting in Dessau in Germany, he negotiated brilliantly a high quality, mainly German-made up, field to occupy an excellent runner-up spot behind in top-form Bjorn Otto, in a fascinating duel that yielded a new total PB of 5.77m in the process.

The German, twice over a global second-spotted 5.92m this winter, eventually stamped his authority over a classy 5.84m but the Briton will take plenty of heart of his showing, also attempting at the same height, and is going to fancy his own chances of silverware in Istanbul this weekend.

Apart from his new marker, a string of fine scalps of the likes of Malte Mohr (5.87 this season, indoor best) and Raphael Holzdeppe (5.82, PB), tied at 5.60m immediately below for third and fifth, will provide a further mental boost and substantially raise his own stakes as a contender.

From a British perspective, that 5.77m takes Lewis a step closer in pursuing Nick Buckfield‘s outright UK record of 5.81m from 2002, also on German soil, and the forthcoming World Indoor Championships could shape a fitting stage to pull such a feat.

As importantly, things seem to have sparked into life for good in the men’s department as young Andrew Sutcliffe has taken great strides to 5.55m this winter while the duo of Luke Cutts and Max Eaves show signs of a return to form.

There was a high jump competition laid on for the women instead in Dessau and Svetlana Shkolina (RUS) dominated with ease at a standard 1.94m to place a good 10cm on the opposition.



David Forrester broke ground into the legendary sub 4 minutes territory as he came through strongly from the outside in the late stages of the mile to grab third in a PB of 3:59.13 in a tight finish on the oversize track at the Alex Wilson Invitational at South Bend, near Notre Dame in Indiana.

The 22-year-old hadn’t raced over the distance for two years but blew away his previous best of 4:07.77 on his first call and underline the substantial headway he has made since, a display that augurs well for a potential charge on the Olympic A standard in the 5000m this summer.

Kirubel Erassa, the junior men’s winner at the BUPA Great Edinburgh XC, shadowed the race in a total PB of 3:58.84 from also U20 Robby Creese, runner-up a tenth of a second behind (PB), for an American one-two while Brit Ross Clarke earned a substantial PB of 4:01.15 in seventh place.

U23 Tom Curr must have been rather disappointed to trail back in eleventh place in 4:04.32 having narrowly missed out on the four-minute barrier himself recently in 4:00.11 in Seattle.

Scot Josephine Moultrie was dragged to a big PB of 4:38.87 for second behind unheralded American winner Aisha Praught (4:37.77, PB) where ‘chaser Lennie Waite came fourth in a SB of 4:39.81 in the women’s version.

Sarah Waldron mounted her own breakthrough as she crept inside 16 minutes over 5000m for the first time ever in 15:59.93 on the first day slightly behind Juli Accurso (15:58.69, PB).

The highlight of the meet turned a blanket finish in a quality men’s 400m that saw Tavaris Tate pip compatriots Mike Berry and Thomas Murdaugh at the end to a fast 46.10 as the top three came home within 0.07 of one another, the latter two setting 46.16 and 46.17 secs respectively.

The January edition of Anyika Onuora‘s video blog series has come out and offers glimpses into her blocks/start workouts, either free-run or sledge-harnessed, along with other relative drills. Asha Philip, Britain’s top-ranked 60m sprinter this winter, makes a cameo paying host duties.

‘Young lions’ Katarina Johnson-Thompson and Adam Gemili sparkled at the gathering of the English junior age groups in Birmingham as they lined up impressive strings of displays across the weekend, with the former laying the foundations of a big breakthrough even into the realms of the Olympics for London this season.

KTJ started off her busy schedule to a vigorous winning 6.30m in the long jump on the first day, just 9cm short of her recent UK indoor U20 record, before coming back on Sunday to rise above a total PB of 1.85m in her first high jump outing this term, a discipline carrying great weight in multi-events.

But there was still a lot more left to come from her as she settled into her blocks at the far end of the infield straight next to breeze to a swift 8.53 secs (SB) over the sticks and qualify easily fastest out of the heats.

A hat-trick of golds was eventually foiled by highly-rated hurdle speciallist Yasmin Miller, just 16, who rose to the challenge to snatch victory in a fabulous PB of 8.45 secs but the Merseysider had yet every reason to leave the arena happy, wrapping up her weekend showing in a second PB of 8.48 secs.

European U20 silver medallist Gemili didn’t turn up any short in quality either as he stormed to a massive PB of 6.68 over the dash and up to seventh in the British all-time junior rankings over the distance, coming away with a comprehensive win in the process.

And he completed an awesome sprint double the following day over the rarer 200m in a brisk indoor best of 21.20 secs to demonstrate plenty of potential and promise in view of the World U20 Championships this summer, although he may have to face off with the challenge of Delano Williams on the longer distance even on the domestic front.

An intriguing character to mark out for the future is Jordan Bransberg, turning just 17 last month, who swept to a sterling 1:50.31 in comfortably claiming the U20 men’s 800m and fall into fourth place in the indoor UK all-time lists, with a good two more seasons available to knock David Sharpe‘s dusted long-standing milestone of 1:48.53 off its pedestral.

Ben Waterman was second-placed in an interesting 1:51.10, an outright PB.

The headliner of the championships was, however, World & European U20 sprint princess Jodie Williams who nevertheless still looked again somewhat shy of her best despite dominating the women’s U20 dash in a standard 7.47 secs, a fortnight before she engages senior action again on the turf of Istanbul.

Apparently, she has been still more on an speed endurance rather than sheer speed pattern trainingwise, her sights fixed on a massive summer ahead, which has taken some of the bite out of her sprinting at the moment.

Stefi Wilson, 17, was second in a PB of 7.61 secs while Dina Asher-Smith shone by means of a smooth sprint double of 7.56 secs (PB) and 24.61 (iPB) in the U17 women’s 60 and 200m respectively.

Another Liverpoolian to strike promising ahead of the summer was 17-year-old Alex Boyce as he powered round the track to a total PB of 47.82 secs in notching the U20 men’s 400m, having pledged a fast time in an easy 48.17 secs from the heats.

He may have not made the final of the World Youths last summer but he is definitely laying a solid springboard to bid for a top eight placing at the immediately next tier on this evidence.

Some U17 names to show potential were high jumper Chris Kandu over a PB of 2.08m, training under John Herbert, and Jermaine Hamilton in a scintillating 21.73 secs (PB) over 200m, having bagged the 60m title in also a PB of 6.94.

In the women’s shot, Sophie McKinna was all dominant at 14.82m and World Youth bronze medallist Lucy Bryan tucked away the U20 women’s pole vault at 3.80m.