Tag Archive: Andie Osagie


Gallantly though she fought, that turned out a joust British sensation Holly Bleasdale couldn’t win again an imperious Yelena Isinbayeva fashioned out of her golden past as the Russian rocketed high into her own rarefied sphere over 5m and beyond reach.

Yelena Isinbayeva rises over a new world indoor record of 5.01m to dominate the women’s pole vault, with Holly Bleasdale a battling runner-up at 4.72m

Remarkably enough, the double Olympic champion took very much two and a half years to register a new entry into the world record books, a mighty second-time 5.01m, whereas she would set new milestones with a frequency reminiscent of great Michael Phelps in swimming only a few years ago, but that one may have been the one she has celebrated more wildly than any other in her career.

Maybe it wasn’t so much for the particular world record itself, or the win come to that, but more of confirming to herself that she has still got the touch and the magic to make things happen. As Steve Cram says, there is a finite peak spell of four-five years in any athlete’s career while afterwards one can still perform at high level but with the performance graph on a gradual decline.

So has ‘Isi’ returned to her very best and can she rebuild her fallen empire around her? That remains to be seen. Let’s not forget that her previous world record, the current outdoor mark of 5.06m, was set only days after non-heighting at the World Championships in Berlin 2009 so the next challenge for her will be to lay her demons to rest and mount a major podium for the first time since Beijing.

Bleasdale did pose questions on her, though, as she was the first to rise clear of 4.72m at the first time of asking and gain an edge, having put away the opening 4.52m earlier, where Isinbayeva needed a second effort to follow through, with Cuban Yarisley Silva grinding out a third-time clearance to remain alive in the contest.

The next height was to prove the turning-point, nevertheless, as the Russian sailed impressively over a SB of 4.82m first time out to turn things round and eventually claim the win as neither of her rivals could muster a response in their remaining attempts.

From there on, it came a matter of how high she could reach on the day and had to dig deep to turn equal to a world-leading 4.92m at the death before raising the bar further to that magical 5.01m, which she overcame in total elation.

Bleasdale was pleased to come runner-up out of such a high-calibre field and range again in the 4.70m territory, still tuning her gear in the background, while earning the scalps of Silva and former world champion Anna Rogowska (POL) – again – will provide a further mental boost before gunning for a medal and glory in Istanbul.

Joe Thomas turns on a searing last 200m to come fourth out of nowhere in a high class 800m won by sensational U20 Mohammed Aman

A stacked men’s 800m was shaping up to form until red-hot favourite Adam Kszczot suddenly ran out of legs around 120m out, having asserted himself at the top of the race, to go floundering along and chasing youngster Mohammed Amman (ETH), the ‘David’ who committed mighty David Rudisha to mortality last summer, pounced on the opening to surge round and away to a convincing victory in a fast 1:45.84, a superb follow-up to his Birmingham marginal winning.

Fellow Pole Marcin Lewandowski edged out Yuriy Borzakowski in the battle for the minor podium places in 1:46.02 to 1:46.19 as they swept past a hepless Kszczot and there emerged out of virtually nowhere a storming Joe Thomas to grab fourth and nearly catch the Russian former Olympic champion in a narrow PB of 1:46.33 in a surreal finish in the dying stages.

In fact, the young Welshman was in no man’s land and isolated deep at the back of a long strung-out field of seven even with 160m to go when he suddenly snapped out of there beyond Musaeb Balla (QAT) to blast round the track and Boaz Laland (KEN), despite having to move as wide as lane three, and come home like an express train.

“What might have been..” may have crossed his mind across the finish line and the blatant truth was that he could have even won that high-calibre affair had he gone earlier or been better positioned towards the bell. But maybe he wasn’t fully aware of his own form and was surprised himself by the force of his finish in the end.

At any rate, he does know where he is lying now, suggesting a time in the low 1:45 region is well on the cards, and he could turn a real menace when he steps on the track up against the top names in Istanbul. Britain haven’t won a medal since Tom McKean‘s golden display way back in 1993 but that drought could be about to end.

Andie Osagie was slightly disappointed to come second to Timothy Kitum in 1:47.14 to 1:46.81 in the B race but the 17-year-old Kenyan is no slouch by any means holding the fifth fastest time in the world with 1:45.96 (indoor best). The Briton, eighth in the global lists on 1:46.53, is a fierce finisher himself and could be well suited to the anticipated more tactical rounds in Turkey to do plenty of damage.

Kirani James nonchalantly stamps his authority on the men’s 400m in 45.52 secs

Veteran Yamile Aldama was another Brit to illustrate her podium credentials as she landed at a big SB and UKL of 14.44m in the second round to earn a sound third spot narrowly behind top Cuban Yargelis Savigne, second at 14.47m, while Ukrainian Olha Saladuha came away with a comprehensive win way out front at a new national indoor record of 14.79m, erasing outdoor world record holder Inesa Kravets‘s previous mark of 14.67m.

Aldama is no stranger to claiming medals at top level indoors having won two silvers and a bronze at World Championships in the past, spanning 1999 to 2006, and she looks to be hitting form at the right time by moving seventh in the global season’s charts.

By stark contrast, JJ Jegede‘s last-gasp bid for selection in the long jump met with misfortune as he tore his hamstring on his very opening attempt and had to pull out of the rest of the competition, nicked by local man Michel Torneus marginally shy of 8m at 7.99m (SB) as a mere centimetre separated the top three.

The Briton was on a high following his surprise win at the AVIVA Grand Prix and was looking to carve out a further 11cm on his equal PB of 8.04m to make the cut but it wasn’t meant to be. Hopefully, his injury won’t get in the way of his preparations for the Olympics in summer as he has shown potential to put in a good show there.

Helen Clitheroe got the quality sharpener she was looking for and a proper tonic after a below par display over 3000m in the Brum in a UK-leading 4:09.70 for sixth in a close order women’s 1500m where Moroccan Btissam Lakhouad squeezed out a narrow victory over U20 Ethiopian Tizita Bogale in 4:07.86 (iPB) to 4:07.88, with Morgan Uceny (USA) third slightly behind in 4:08.06 (SB).

New Jamaican big gun Patricia Hall convincingly conquered the women’s 400m heat in 51.66 secs (indoor best) ahead of top Russian campaigner Antonina Krivoshapka, 51.81 secs, to raise her profile further while Shana Cox made rather heavy going round the tight bends of the four-lane track to post 53.48 secs ahead of U23 Emily Diamond (54.08) in a nearly all-British secondary run.

In the men’s equivalent, Grenadian teenage sensation Kirani James weathered the early storm of old-hand Chris Brown in the first 200m to pour on the pace round the second lap to a commanding victory in 45.52 secs, the latter holding on to runner-up in 46.62, to underline his red-hot favourite rank to add the global indoor title to his credit.

Anna Chicherova clears 2m for a multiple time this season

World champion Anna Chicherova (RUS) kept on a rampage in the women’s high jump to maintain a clean sheet of 2m clearances or over through the season, making it five out of five outings this winter, which she ought to round off in style in Istanbul all things equal for a most daunting string.

If the men’s keenly anticipated 60m hurdles turned a let-down, Xiang Liu crashing out on a shock false-start and Dayron Robles still struggling to assert himself over a second-string line-up in 7.66 secs, the 3000m was brimming with top quality and pace as U20 Kenyan marvel Ismail Kirui saw off the challenge of Dejen Gebremeskiel (ETH) in 7:33.55 against 7:34.14 (PB) in an enthralling battle.

Augustine Choge was not far off behind in a swift 7:34.74 for third, Caleb Ndiku was fourth in 7:35.42, Thomas Longosiwa fifth in 7:37.07, all Kenyans, and Tariku Bekele mustered just sixth in 7:37.96 as an eight-strong group of runners ducked under 7:40 for a striking depth in the event.

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New British sensation Holly Bleasdale is engaging a second joust with Yelena Isinbayeva for the right to the women’s pole vault summit in the skies of Stockholm tonight after the Russian ground out a narrow victory on countback in their opening encounter in Bydgoszcz.

The Briton has shown sound consistency to string together two straight wins on home soil over identical heights of 4.70m since while her great rival has risen higher over a winning SB of 4.81m in Lievin, France, and remains unbeaten so far this term.

With the World Indoor Championships just three  weeks away, the tie shapes a weighty dress rehearsal and Bleasdale will be eyeing to restore parity and a substantial mental boost before their crucial indoor showdown. So can she make it tonight or Isinbayeva will extend her lead to two up in their encounters?

Former world champion Anna Rogowska (POL) will be lurking behind poised to pounce on any potential opening that could appear, adding quality to the affair, while Cuban Yarisley Silva and also Pole Monica Pyrek are other names to note among the field.

Apart from the women’s pole vault, the third act of the Liu Xiang vs Dayron Robles saga in the men’s sprint hurdles also takes centre stage in the Swedish arena of the XL Galan although the Chinese former Olympic champion should extend his unbeaten run this season on current form all things equal.

The limelight will be equally on awesome Anna Chicherova (RUS) who is nonchalantly pulling together non-stop clearances over 2m in the high jump on the circuit, with Olympic champion Tia Hellebaut (BE) also falling in.

Joe Thomas is pitted against a top field that involves flying Pole Adam Kszczot, a hot favourite in fearsome form of late, Mohammed Aman (ETH), the youngster who brought David Rudisha‘s unbeaten streak to a halt last summer, European champion Marcin Lewandowski (POL) and Kenyan Boaz Lalang, looking for some good scalps and hopefully get drawn into the 1:45 region fresh from a 1:46.35 PB last weekend.

Andie Osagie goes in the B race where he ought to dominate with aplomb while Helen Clitheroe is out for a quality sharpener against the likes of Morgan Uceny, Anna Pierce (USA) and Btissam Lakhouad (MAR) in the 1500m in view of Istanbul. Hannah England was also due to compete over the distance but has been a late withdrawal.

Shana Cox will be hoping to draw inside 52 secs in a nearly all-British women’s B 400m, with fast-improving Emily Diamond and Shelayna Oskan-Clarke late additions, and Yamile Aldama will be targeting a further SB is in a good quality women’s triple jump.

Last, but not least in any way, JJ Jegede is out in a stand or fall attempt to grab a last ditch qualifier for Istanbul and top out an excellent indoor campaing so far, having landed at a big equal total best of 8.04m to win in Birmingham last Saturday. His mission isn’t easy by any means, though, as he needs at least 8.15m to pull his task off.

The Great North City Games up in Gateshead, Tyneside, on Saturday followed by the Great North Run from Newcastle to South Shields (13.1 miles) today provide the main athletics attraction on British soil, while the international meeting Notturna di Milano in Milan (Italy), featuring some Britons in action, and the two-day multi-venture of Decastar in Talence headlined by Tatiana Chernova , trailing Olympic champion Natalya Dobrinska in the heptathon overnight, are the most important events around the continent this weekend. So let’s start picking up the action around:

Great North City Games, Newcastle Gateshead, Saturday 17 September

A large crowd turned out in the streets of a damp Gateshead to hail Daegu hero Mo Farah on his first outing since claiming gold over 5000m in Daegu and the world champion returned the welcome home by means of a romp to an easy victory over 2 miles in 8:37.72, pulling away from American Brian Olinger in the late stages to win by over four seconds. A household name after his heroics in Korea, the Briton is enjoying large acknowledgement and deep affections among people around the country and even received a standing ovasion when recently presented to the crowd during the interval of a game of his beloved Arsenal at the Emirates.

Mo Farah wins the 2 mile race in Gateshead

That was the one of only three wins of a depleted British team against seven of an always superior American outfit that boasted the likes of Carmelita Jeter, Jason Richardson, Dwight Phillips, Bernard Lagat and Walter Dix among their ranks as Hannah England employed her trademark kick to come away from a spirited Helen Clitheroe for a convincing victory over the women’s mile in 4:39.49 to 4:40.65 respectively, a fitting follow-up on her recent exploits on the international stage.

The global 1500m silver medalist has got a further race scheduled in a road rematch against Americans Jenny Simpson and Morgan Uceny in the 5th Avenue Mile in New York on Sunday before she calls time on her season.

Jenny Meadows, on a rare outing overdistance, came a decent fourth in 4:44.99 to split the American girls behind the top two but Emma Pallant could finish only last way adrift in 4:53.45, still looking to find her way.

Harry Aikines-Ayreety and Christian Malcolm made a second one-two for Britain in the men’s dash in 10.27 and 10.45 secs respectively (1.5m/sec) ahead of makeshift sprinters Jeff Porter (Tiffany‘s husband) and Omo Osaghae, over to the flat from the high hurdles. From there on, however, it was all USA across the board.

Fresh from an electrifying 19.53 over 200m behind Yohan Blake in Brussels the previous night, Walter Dix had bundles of pace in his legs to tear away to a sizzling 14.65 secs (1.4m/sec, 10.11 through 100m) for a striking victory over the rare ‘straight’ 150m, as Marlon Devonish set a British best ever in 14.87 secs (10.19 at 100m) well behind in second. Arguably, this looks to form the Briton’s best distance on the quality of his runs over the last couple of years but such a shame he cannot translate his times into the 200m, having lost that final third that could render him a real force on international level.

Rising young American Maurice Mitchell came third in 15.08 (10.22 at 100m) and James Ellington filled the last spot in a personal best of 15.18 (10.30 at 100m).

In the women’s version, new world 100m champion Carmelita Jeter made light work to dominate in 16.50 secs (1.5m/sec, 11.31 at 100m), a world best over a ‘straight’ 150m, as Anyika Onuora (16.90, 11.42 at 100m) and Abi Oyepitan (16.98, 11.48 at 100m) trailed a long way behind, with high hurdles Olympic champion Dawn Harper deputizing over the flat in 17.19 secs (11.62 at 100m).

Jason Richardson, the new world champion, demolished a field that involved last summer’s global topper David Oliver with aplomb in a fast 13.16 secs (0.7m/sec) to wrap up a sensational season in style, the latter setting 13.36 secs for runner-up – apparently carrying a complaint though. Britain’s Andy Turner hit a hurdle hard early into the race to stumble out of contention and eventually let up off the final flight in 14.08 secs for last as William Sharman swept past in 13.82 secs.

Elsewhere, Bernard Lagat romped to an easy victory over the men’s mile in 4:06.01, Andie Osagie third in an unfamiliar outing in 4:09.53, Dawn Harper and Danielle Carruthers were a couple of gears up on the British girls in fast 12.73 and 12.77 secs over the women’s sticks (0.3m/sec) while young Holly Bleasdale struggled once again at the end of a very long season to come second over 4.12m in the pole vault, American Becky Holliday getting the win at 4.27m.

Results

http://www.greatcitygames.org/Events/Great-North-City-Games/TV.aspx

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Great North Run, Newcastle, Tyneside, Sunday 18 September

Jo Pavey has finished top Briton in fourth in 70:48 in the women’s race to set up nicely for marathon duty in a few weeks time as Helen Clitheroe followed closely home a place behind for an excellent debut of 70:57 over the distance, in particular coming on the back of a runner-up spot behind Hannah England in the mile yesterday.

Lucy Wangui Kabuu laid the ground for a Kenyan double as she totally dominated the field on the Newcastle to South Shields course to clinch victory in 67:06, shaping a well over two minures gap on following marker Jessica Augusto (POR) who posted 69:27. Another Portoguese, Marisa Barrios, was third in 70:29.

Martin Matathi (KEN) moved through the gears over the last third of the race to surge inside 59 mins for a new course record of 58:56 and thoroughly win the men’s affair from compatriot Jonathan Maiyo, who had broken away around the 5th mile but couldn’t hold on to his lead to eventually finish a distant second  in 59:27.

The Kenyans occupied all four top positions as pre-race favourite Emanuel Mutai wound up third in 59:52 and Micah Kogo was fourth in 60:03.

Keith Gerrard, 25, made a very promising debut of his own in 63:39 to move straight fourth in the UK charts this season and might as well start contemplating an earlier move up to the marathon on the evidence of this showing. The US-based runner has also made substantial headway over 10000m by means of a PB of 28:27.03 this term so a solid platform is already in place to mount a move up.

Among other Britons, Scot Freya Murray swang back into action after a long lay-off due to injury to make a strong debut of 72:44 for 10th in the women’s race while veteran Ian Hudspith ran his fastest time since 2007 in 64:14 in 15th place, former steeplechaser Matt O’Dowd (V35) drew his best time since 1999 in 64:32 for 17th, returning John Beattie ran a debut 64:50 following next and Darren Deed posted a personal best of 64:58 a further spot adrift in the men’s race.

Andy Vernon may have been slightly disappointed to come only 20th in 65:45 (SB).

Full Results

http://www.greatrun.org/Results/Default.aspx

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Decastar, Talence, France

Day I

Olympic champion Natalya Dobrynska (UKR) is mounting a slight surprise at the moment as she is leading new global champion Tatiana Chernova (RUS) by a healthy 56pts overnight, 3867 to 3811pts respectively after four disciplines.

The Russian, as expected, got to the front after the hurdles running slightly outside her PB in a 13.37 secs (-0.7m/sec, 1069pts) against a familiar modest start from her main rival in 13.76 secs (-0.5m/sec, 1013pts) for the duo to come tied at 1.82m out of the high jump (1003pts).

But Dobrynska bided her time to strike back through a SB of 16.28m (947pts) in the shot that, combined with a poor effort of 12.90m by Chernova (721pts), propelled her to a sound lead of 170pts after the third stop of the heptathlon. However, another modest trip round 200m in 24.80 secs (0.0, 904pts) had her advantage curtailed down to just 56pts at the end of the first day as Chernova was substantially faster in 23.61 secs (-0.7m/sec, 1018) in her heat.

Rather surprisingly, Jessica Zelinka (CAN) is not that far off in third on 3752pts with Karolina Tyminska (POL) fourth on 3706pts.

In the decathlon, favourite Leonel Suarez (CUB) is stuttering way down in eighth on just 3925 after a horrid first day (11.43, 7.18, 13.24, 1.97, 49.39) and will need to call up on his deepest reserves if he is to turn around a nasty situation of a 290pts deficit on overnight leader Andres Raja (EST) on 4215pts.

Day I Results & Standings

http://www.iaaf.org/wce11/results/eventCode=4742/sex=W/discCode=HEP/combCode=hash/roundCode=4/summary.html#det

Day II

Natalya Dobrynska‘s challenge and potential upset quickly fizzled out into the second day to open the way to Tatiana Chervona for a comfortable victory in the end on an eventual total of 6679pts, the Ukrainian still pulling together a SB of 6539pts.

The Russian actually didn’t even need to reach her best form as a 6.57m (1.8m/sec, 1030pts) leap proved enough to turn round a 56pts deficit into a 28pts advantage from the off since Dobrynska faltered at just 6.31m (1.8m/sec, 946pts) in the long jump.

And it was as good as game over when the world champion landed her spear at 50.62m (872pts) to settle matters in the javelin with her rival unable to go further than 47.40m (810pts), rendering the tail-end 800m a virtual lap of honour as Chernova sailed through in 2:09.92 to wrap up her third straight multi-eventer win – the Ukrainian crossing the line in 2:13.42.

Karolina Tyminska came third on 6301pts through a strong ending of a 2:06.51 over 800m and Canadian Jessica Zelinka was fourth on 6296pts.

Over to the decathlon, Leonel Suarez could make no ground nor improve on a dismal opening day to end up a mere seventh on a vastly disappointing 7889pts as Hans van Alphen (BEL) came through from behind to snatch victory by a mere 16pts out of the hands of Mikk Pahapill (EST) at the death, running narrowly outside his PB in 4:21.10 for 804 and a total of 8200pts against the latter’s much slower 4:38.43 (690pts) to a final tally of 8184pts.

Results

http://www.iaaf.org/wce11/results/eventCode=4742/index.html

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Notturna di Milano, Milan, Italy, September 18

Luke Fagan and Leon Baptiste‘s hopes of fast times over the dash in Milan were blown away by a strong headwind of -3.4m/sec down the home straight, as well as pouring rain, to strive home in 10.57 and 10.65 secs for second and fifth respectively, although the former may be content enough to have placed runner-up behind new Jamaican star Nickel Ashmeade (9.96) who crossed the line in 10.42 secs.

Apparently, that was Fagan’s last piece of action to a breakthrough season while Baptiste will be likely running one more race over his specialty, the 200m, in Watford midweek.

Chris Clarke fared much better than in Brussels two days ago to come runner-up in 46.29 over 400m not far off winner Oscar Pistorius (RSA), who sneaked inside 46 secs to a time of 45.97.

In the men’s 1500m, Kenyan Silas Kiplagat was rampant to storm to a devastating victory by around four and a half seconds in 3:33.28 over a field that involved former world champion Yussuf Saad Kamel, the son of great Billy Konchellah (KEN), who is still working his way back and ended up fourth in a 3:39.05.

James Brewer came home in the middle of the field in eighth in a SB of 3:41.10 but will be satisfied to have claimed the scalp of Spaniard Arturo Casado who finished a place behind in 3:41.86.

Mohammed Amman stuns mighty David Rudisha down the home straight on a damp track

The highlight of the meeting belonged without a doubt to late season’s revelation Mohammed Amman (ETH) who forced mighty world record holder David Rudisha into his first defeat over 800m in two years, edging narrowly ahead in the dying stages to a fast 1:43.50 against the Kenyan’s 1:43.57. A massive win and confidence boost for the 17-year-old Ethiopian who emerges as a force to reckon with in view of the London Olympics next summer.

Olha Saladuha (UKR) carved out arguably the other top display of the meeting as she reached out to a slightly windy 14.94m (2.4m/sec) in the triple jump to comfortably hold off second-placed Olga Rypakova (KAZ), who achieved a best of 14.69 (2.8m/sec) on the day, while Anna Chicherova (RUS) cleared 1.96m to edge out home favourite Antonietta di Martino (1.93) in the women’s high jump.

Results

http://www.dbresults.net/sitof/risultati/at/2011/Milano1809201101/at/indexframe.htm

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Meeting International Tangier, Morocco, Sunday 18 September

Dwain Chambers edged out local record holder Ouhadi Aziz to a useful international win in the men’s 100m in 10.28 to 10.32 secs (-0.4m/sec), Lerone Clarke (JAM) last in a dismal 10.84 secs (injured?), and came back later to take third on a first, and probably last, showing over the longest sprint in 20.86 secs (-0.1m/sec) some way behind winner Ainsley Waugh‘s meet record of 20.71 secs, Aziz marginally second in 20.85 secs.

Jemma Simpson was a convincing winner in the women’s 800m in 2:02.21 but had to wait for a while to learn of her time as the clock stopped at 1:52 during the last stages of the race – that would have been an awesome world record!

The overall outlook of displays on the track and the infield ranged on a moderate trail apart from Canadian Dylan Armstrong‘s 21.76m to win the men’s shot from Portoguese Fortes Marco (20.61) and former world champion Christian Cantwell (20.58), suggesting that conditions may have not been very performance conductive.

Results

http://www.meetingdetanger.ma/2011-live.cfm

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IAAF Race Walking Challenge Final, La Coruna, Spain, Saturday 17 September

Long-unbeaten Valerie Borchin and Olga Kaniskina (RUS), the world champions over the men and women’s 20km in Daegu, took their form to the streets of La Coruna in Spain and dominated the respective 10km races at the Race Walking Challenge Final with relative ease.

Borchin always maintained a firm hold on the men’s affair and was barely threatened at any point to claim a convincing win, along with a $30,000 prize, in a huge SB of 38:42 ahead of China’s Zhang Wang (38:49, SB), who finished just outside the medals in Daegu, and Wafei Chu (39:06, SB).

For her part, Kaniskina upped the ante in the late stages to pull well clear of Daegu’s silver medalist Hong Liu (CHN) to an eventual 42:37 (SB), placing a good 17 secs distance between herself and her rival.

Results

Men 1.Valerie Borchin (RUS) 38:42 (SB), 2.Zhang Wang (CHN) 38:49 (SB), 3.Wafei Chu (CHN) 39:06 (SB), 4.Joao Vieira (POR) 39:09 (SB), 5.Eder Sanchez (MEX) 39:13 (SB), …, 10.Jared Tallent (AUS) 39:48

Women 1.Olga Kaniskina (RUS) 42:37 (SB), 2.Hong Liu (CHN) 42:54 (SB), 3.Melanie Seeger (GER) 43:06 (SB), 4.Ana Capacinha (POR) 43:12 (PB), 5.Susana Feitor (POR) 43:37 (SB)

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BAL Qualifier, Abingdon, Saturday 17 September

Merwyn Luckwell has returned to the top of the British javelin after two years as he released an Olympic B qualifier of 80.60m in Abingdon, showing that he is totally over the long-term injury problems that blighted him since 2009. That mark was the farthest by a Brit since his own PB of 81.05m two years ago to move past James Campbell, a SB of 80.18 back in May, to the top of the UK rankings in the process.

There was further good news from the javelin quarters at the bow-out of the season as U20 Richard Shuttleworth improved to a PB of 71.61m behind Luckwell, scratching his former figure of 70.73m in qualification at the European U20 Championships in Tallinn (Estonia). Both throwers are coached by Esa Utriainen.

Mick Woods-coached Charlie Purdue continued her tentative return to action in a 10:04.1 low-key race over 3000m having missed the bulk of the summer following surgery in May.

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English Schools Combined Events Championships, Exeter, September 17-18

18-year-old Liam Ramsey worked up a new U20 best total ever of 7308 pts during a two-day adventure in the decathlon across the weekend in Exeter, to move up from his previous figure of 7233pts in Doncaster back in June. His card read 11.46w (4.6m/sec) in the 100m, 6.94m (2.6m/sec) in the long jump, 13.74m in the shot (6kgr), 1.96m in the high jump (ePB), 49.26 secs over 400m, 14.46 over the junior sticks (PB, 1.2m/sec), 37.66m in the discus, 4.03m in the pole vault, 43.75m in the javelin and rounded out in 4:33.44 in the 1500m.

Weekend action

Let’s make a swift round to pick up some very interesting performances from British athletes competing on the European circuit and elsewhere around.

ISTAF Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Jemma Simpson has staged a sound rally and a welcome return to form on the end of a shaky injury-dogged season to notch an Olympic A qualifying standard of 1:59.59 (SB) as she occupied a solid fifth place in a high quality 800m tussle in Berlin, claimed by back-in-top-form former world champion Janeth Kipkosgei Busienei (KEN) in 1:58.26 in style.

The Briton felt admittedly surprisingly good and finished strong from the inside down the home straight, having taken a guarded approach through the early to mid stages, so will be eyeing to knock a further chunk off her season’s marker when she turns up in Zabreb into the week and hopefully even inside 1:59.

A most unpredictable Semenya Caster (RSA) was beaten again into second in 1:58.74 and world finalist Maggie Vessey (USA) followed in 1:59.33 to build on her best season ever.

Jemma Simpson finishes strongly from the inside to her first sub 2 mins clocking of the season

Yohan Blake (JAM) further enhanced his top tier pedigree as he stormed to an equal PB of 9.82 secs in virtually still conditions (0.1m/sec), the original set just three days ago in Zurich, to thoroughly dominate the men’s dash as evergreen Kim Collins (SKN) came runner-up narrowly outside 10 secs in a SB of 10.01 secs, with Daegu’s disappointment Richard Thompson (TRI) back to solid form in 10.08 secs for third.

World record holder Betty Heidler gained revenge and some consolation as she comprehensively saw off surprise new global champion Tatyana Lysenko (RUS), her first title since winning the Europeans in 2006, in the women’s hammer with 77.30 to 74.67m but that uncharacteristic drop of form at the crunch in Daegu for the German cost her dearly and takes a great deal off the gloss of holding the six best marks in the world now this season.

Augustine Kiprono Choge (KEN) pulled away to an impressive victory in a very competitive men’s 1500m in a SB of 3:31.14, third fastest worldwide, Robert Harting stretched further his undefeated streak on a 67.22m winning effort in the discus and teenage sensation Kirani James (GRN) comfortably added to his own tally over 400m, even in a considerably slower 45.33 secs.

Results

http://www.istaf.de/results2011/de/

Rieti 2011, Rieti, Italy, September 10

Daegu semifinalist Andie Osagie bolstered up his newly obtained footing on the senior international scene as he demolished the field of the men’s 800m B race to claim victory by over a second in 1:45.65, his third fastest time ever, with Cuban Mauro Castillo the closest marker behind in 1:46.70. European U23 bronze medalist Muchtar Mohammed was also in the race but faded towards the rear of the race in 1:49.25 apparently on the downward end of the season’s graph.

It was a shame, however, that Osagie couldn’t get a starting slot in the main race towards the end of the program that could have likely set him up nicely to dip inside 1:45 for a first ever time but hopefully he will next summer all things equal. An A race that actually turned, equal to its pre-event billing, the highlight of the meeting as mighty David Rudisha (KEN) tore round the track to a searing 1:41.33, a massive world-leading mark and fifth fastest time ever, and spared nearly two seconds on breakthrough runner-up Adam Kczszot. The young Pole set a huge PB of 1:43.30 for a European header but agonizingly missing out on a national record by a mere 0.08 secs.

David Rudisha storms to a sublime 1:41.33 timing over 800m in Rieti

Something that third-placed Mohammed Aman, pipped on the line, didn’t fail to attain for his part as he established a new Ethiopian milestone of 1:43.37  followed by former world champion Alfred Kirwa Yego (KEN) in a SB of 1:44.07. That said, Rudisha could have gone even closer to his own world record had pacemaker Sammi Tangui (KEN) gone through the first 400m in a more reasonable pace than 48.30 secs!

Christine Ohuruogu‘s mission to gain redemption after a disastrous campaign in Daegu wasn’t quite met with success as she languished well behind in fourth in 51.80 secs over the women’s 400m and now sees her chances slipping away a little before the season is over. She is racing again in Zagreb on Tuesday and she will be hoping that things will click for her this once. Jamaica’s Shericka Williams was the victor in 50.81 secs leading runner-up Tatiana Firova (RUS) home, the latter grabbing a SB of 50.97 secs.

The British male sprinters failed to take advantage of the renowned fast Italian turf as Harry Aikines-Ayreety came fourth in the dash in 10.25 secs (0.1m/sec) despite getting the fastest reaction among the finalists (0.131) and Marlon Devonish trailed back in seventh in 10.39 secs, having set a brisker 10.30 secs in the heats (-0.3m/sec). Daegu runner-up Walter Dix (USA) edged out Jamaican Lerone Clarke and compatriot Justin Gatlin to prevail in a fast 10.02 secs, the latter two clocking 10.06 and 10.08 secs respectively. Craig Pickering, by the way, did not show up but he is down for the meeting in Zagreb next.

Leon Baptiste faired relatively better to take fourth in the furlong in 20.71 secs (0.2m/sec) from the outside lane, his second best this term, after a gruelling 12-hour travel to the venue as Lashawn Merritt dominated in an awesome 20.13 secs hinting at something special at the end of the track season.

Laura Weightman could not emulate her midweek run at Stretford to finish fifth in the women’s B 1500m race in 4:15.51, clinched by Kenyan Helen Obiri in a PB of 4:04.10, where William Sharman came last but one in the 110m hurdles in 13.79 (-0.1m/sec) well behind surprise home winner Emanuele Abate who set a PB of 13.54 secs.

In other events, Asbek Kiprop demonstrated his racing prowess in full as he demolished a quality opposition in the men’s 1500m in a world-leading time of 3:30.46 sparing huge daylight on Kiwi runner-up Nick Willis (3:35.56), Amine Laalu (MAR) slipping in fourth in 3:36.41, and great Bernard Lagat (USA) edged the men’s 3000m in a fast 7:32.13 from Kenyan Vincent Chepkok (7:32.38).

Results

http://www.rietimeeting.com/results/2011/index.html

Arena Games, Hilversum, the Netherlands, September 11

Luke Fagan carries his form nicely late into the season as he edged a new PB of 10.34 secs into a slight headwind (-0.5m/sec) to comfortably take the 100m at the Arena Games in Holland, scratching his nearly month old best of 10.36 secs at Sportscity which came on an excellent tailwind of 1.7m/sec at that. The former European U20 bronze medalist was a surprise third-placer at the UK Trials despite running from the outside lane but missed out on selection for Daegu since he obtained the A qualifying standard (20.60) a week too late. But credit to him that he hasn’t relinguished his efforts and he could take his times further down on this evidence.

With an eye to the Olympic season, Helen Pryer continued her slick transition into the 400m to slash another chunk off her PB into a new marker of 53.45 secs, her third in a row, while UK 100m record holder Montell Douglas got the women’s dash in 11.69 secs (-0.2m/sec).

Results

http://www.atletiekunie.nl/liveresults/arenagames/WPdoc.txt

UK National 10km Race Walking Championships, Victoria Park, London

Commonwealth champion Jo Jackson won the women’s title in a time of 44:59, a SB, and sounded pleased with her outing afterwards having had her world championships efforts affected by a knee complaint. Tom Bosworth, still in the U23 group, notched up the honours on the men’s side as he finished first Brit and fourth overall in a PB of 42:44, cutting nearly a minute off his previous best, as Canadian Evan Dunfee edged the win by five secs in 42:17 at Victoria Park.

Dominic King was sixth in a SB of 43:57 and a name to keep in mind for the future is 17-year-old Jamie Higgins who shattered his PB to a new figure of 46:41, down from 47:30 in Portugal last May, for an overall eighth in the race.

Jackson, Bosworth and Higgins are all athletes coached by former British international Andy Drake.

Results

http://www.thepowerof10.info/results/results.aspx?meetingid=47792&event=10KW&venue=London&date=11-Sep-11

National Junior League National Final, Derby, September 11

Adam Gemili, who took up sprinting seriously only a year ago, emerged as top performer in Derby but rather surprisingly over the odd 200m where he stormed to the top of the UK U20 rankings in a massive PB of 20.98 secs (-0.2m/sec), his previous mark at 21.65 secs from last April. The 17-year-old was silver medalist at the European U20 Championships this summer and complemented a successful weekend with an earlier win of a windy 10.53 secs (3.3m/sec) over the short dash.

Results

http://www.thepowerof10.info/results/results.aspx?meetingid=50491

Stadionfest Konigs Wusterhausen, Wusterhausen, Germany

Former World U20 silver medalist Ashleigh Nelson was runner-up in the women’s 100m in 11.73 secs (0.0m/sec) to narrowly claim the scalp of former European champion Christine Arron (FRA) by two hundredths of a second while UK runner-up JJ Jegede came seventh at only 7.34m (-0.2m/sec) apparently on his wind-down of the season at this low-key meeting in Germany on Friday.

Results

http://leichtathletik.de/results/4451_090911KW_ergebnisse.HTM

As the curtain has gone down and the dust is still settling in the arena of the Alexander stadium following the UK Trials in Birmingham it is time to make to have a close look at and assess how the potential British team to contest the World Championships in Daegu is shaping up, with a week to spare on the qualification deadline.

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100m Dwain Chambers and Harry Aikines-Ayreety have sealed their places on the squad as they occupied the first two places at the Trials while Marlon Devonish has made a strong case to get the nod over the remaining third spot, missing out on an automatic place by a fraction and performing well when it mattered. Further, he looks as though he could go faster still.

Mark Lewis-Francis, disqualified in Saturday’s final, finds himself once again with his back to the wall, a situation he seems to love, and although he has worked miraculous escapes over the last year he will need something really special to pull it off again. He will definitely need to better Devonish in a likely run-off at Crystal Palace and that will probably require to run his fastest since 2002 (10.04 secs) to this effect.

Marlon Devonish may have done enough to claim the third spot in the 100m

Craig Pickering didn’t contest the final, I hope there is nothing wrong with him, but I think he’s done enough to get selected for the short relay – I don’t think he can get into the fray for that third spot though. On the other hand, James Dasaolu is done for the season with injury and Simeon Williamson is a long way from full fitness yet.

200m Christian Malcolm and James Ellington have likewise secured their own places as top two but third place is anyone’s guess following the results of the final at the Brum yesterday, where surprise third-place Luke Fagan hasn’t got a single B standard yet.

There are six more Brits holding A standards this season to pick from though Aikines-Ayreety may withdraw his interest after an injury in the heats and European U23 silver medalist James Alaka didn’t run over the weekend, a rather unexpected turn given his run of 20.60 secs into a -1.4m/sec in that final in Ostrava would recommend him as a strong contender.

Therefore, that probably leaves Leon Baptiste, Devonish, Danny Talbot and Richard Kilty in the frame still. I might go for Devonish again, who’s recently set 20.60 into a -0.9m/sec wind, in case he would like to bid to double up unless Talbot rediscovers that cutting edge he showed early season.

Last, I would keep an eye on a lively again Ricky Fifton, who might stage a dramatic late rally and surprise people.

400m There is still a blurry situation hanging over the event but there have also been encouraging performances over the last couple of days that offer hope that things could work out nicely in the end. Martyn Rooney has gained an effective grip on the qualification battle as he won the Trials in a big SB of 45.45 secs, a third B, in windy conditions so I’m feeling confident he is going to land the A standard at Crystal Palace to wrap his place up on the strength of that display.

Chris Clarke staged an astonishing return to form to get second in 45.61 secs carving out two Bs out of as many races, setting also a 45.65 secs in the heats, on only a month’s training and should come in line for a place if Rooney gets the A, although he might be coming in with a shout for that benchmark himself and take his fate in his own hands at this rate. What a talent!

Things may look bleak for Michael Bingham but he can take heart from his rally to win the B final in a well-improved 45.91 secs and hold still some hopes that he could bring off a dramatic turnround of the situation – a week is enough for much to happen and I wouldn’t write him off! An alternative, he has definitely got to be named in the relay and be named into the individual later if he runs inside 45.25 secs past the deadline.

I regard Richard Strachan has shown enough to be selected in the relay, where Dai Greene could figure as well, and from there on the remaining one or two places will be up for grabs between Nigel Levine, Richard Buck, Luke Lennon-Ford, Andrew Steele and Rob Tobin – he pulled up in the final, though, and seems to have withdrawn from the all-British B race at Crystal Palace.

800m Mike Rimmer needed a solid display to show he is firmly on his way back to form and got that, so I think he has ensured of his place holding an A of 1:45.12, while Andie Osagie ought to get at least that second B to book his place and to me he looks capable of a lot more than thattherefore I should expect both to be on the plane to Korea.

For the rest there is going to be a mountain to climb as none has got a single B yet though that fall in the heats could turn a blessing in disguise for Muchtar Mohammed, who is fresh and will be racing in Sweden tomorrow against a field that could draw him inside the targeted 1:46.30. Whereas the others will need until around Thursday to recover from three races back-to-back, with Joe Thomas and Gareth Warburton the other ones that look within calling distance of such a time on current form.

1500m James Shane, who totally destroyed the field in the final yesterday, needs one more B to qualify but has got to run the A standard on this sort of awesome form and seal his place in my view, even if it comes in a (Emsley Car) mile. Andy Baddeley is the only one that fulfils any criteria at the moment holding a B and being a top eight finalist in Beijing so should scrape in one way or another, where Nick McCormick has got an awful lot to do in the following days to stand a fair chance.

James Brewer has got plenty of ground to make in such a short space, Niall Brooks is still looking for some decent form and Colin McCourt looks totally off colour.

5000m Mo Farah has come out earlier today to clarify that he will be running both long distances in Daegu, contrary to the original misinterpreting report on BBC, as he only meant that he needs to take one event at a time. In particular, seeing off Bernard Lagat in a sprint finish equated to passing his ultimate test, with flying colours at that, and must have made up his mind on the double-up.

Chris Thompson has missed plenty of racing over the last couple of month and has got to go out and grab the A qualifier straight away although at the moment he is entered in the 3000m race at Crystal Palace. But it seems that there is a late 5000m lined up on the schedule so he could eventually switch there.

U23 Tom Farrell has got a B qualifier of 13:26.59 but hasn’t raced since the NCAA Champs and surprisingly requested not to be considered for the European U23 Champs where he would be favourite for gold, so a serious doubt, and Andy Vernon is probably the only other who could grind out a time inside 13:27.

10000m World No1 and unbeaten outdoors over any distance Mo Farah will be the only British entry as Chris Thompson wishes to focus on the 5000m instead this season.

Marathon There will be no individual but only team competitors for Britain in this event, namely Lee Merrien, Andrew Lemoncello, Thomas Abyu, Ben Whitby and Dave Webb.

Lawrence Clarke and Gianni Frankis top two finish in the 110m hurdles could blow the qualification battle open to many eventualities

110mh Andy Turner has long ensured of his own place on the team in effect but William Sharman‘s game could be on the line if either Lawrence Clarke or Gianni Frankis gets the A standard within the next few days. They both beat him convincingly as they fought neck and neck to the line in 13.58 and 13.59 secs, gaining a third and second B standard apiece, and that -0.8m/sec wind in the final suggests that they can make the higher grade.

400mh Jack Green found himself in no-man’s-land when forced to withdraw from the Trials through illness on Friday but late the following day was back in the driving seat for the third remaining place as European silver medalist Rhys Williams failed to place among the top two, getting off to a very poor start that let him terribly down.  On top of that, having got a lane for a third Diamond League appearance to cement his place so everything looks well back on track for the new European U23 champion.

A little clumsy at the end maybe bug Nathan Woodward holds on to his first senior UK title and an automatic place for Daegu

Dai Greene was always the owner of a place and Nathan Woodward secured his by winning the UK Trials so save some dramatic late twist owed to Williams, or lively-looking again Richard Davenport or Rick Yates, these three should be representing Britain in Daegu at the turn of the month.

3000mSC Luke Gunn and Rob Mullett line up at Crystal Palace and hopefully one of them could edge under the B standard of 8:32.00, but would that be enough? U23 James Wilkinson and, maybe, Mark Draper could also hold hope of getting there too.

20 & 50km Race Walking Britain will not be represented in both walking events.

Decathlon Daniel Awde needs 111 pts to reach the B standard of 8000pts and Sunday saw him run a huge PB of 46.04 secs over 400m, the fastest ever by a British decathlete, so will be hopefully having a last-ditch crack at it.

Long Jump Chris Tomlinson and Greg Rutherford are certain to be named on the team next week following a superb season so far but new British champion Julian Reid needs desperately two Bs to qualify, lying an agonizing 2cm short (8.08m). He is jumping at Crystal Palace and hopefully can line up another competition to clinch that third place in dramatic fashion – or could JJ Jegede bounce on his PB of 8.04m on Saturday and complete the turn-up?

Triple Jump Phillips Idowu has clinched his place from the moment he took off the board to that winning jump of 17.73m in Berlin two years ago but Nathan Douglas is missing the entire season through injury.

Two-time Olympic finalist Larry Achike landed a mere 2cm short of the B standard at his very first attempt yesterday but pulled up after a foul in the second – hopefully there is nothing serious with him as I’ve picked up that he was stretchered off. Julian Reid isn’t lying far off the B standard either at 16.77m.

High Jump Tom Parsons won on countback to confirm his berth for Daegu while European bronze medalist Martyn Bernard and Rob Grabarz both rose over a B standard of 2.28m. The latter two need both a second B to be considered but if one of them betters the A on top of that all three could line up in Korea.

Pole Vault Steve Lewis hasn’t really got going this season but has done enough to secure his place. Neither Max Eaves nor Luke Cutts look like they could provide an upset as concerns qualification.

Shot Put On the face of it, none looks capable of landing the 20m mark twice, not even Carl Myerscough who has shifted his focus on the discus this season.

Discus Everything very much turned upside down as Abdul Buhari and Myerscough clinched the two automatic places and it is going to come down to an effective throw-off between new European U23 champion Lawrence Okoye and Brett Morse at Crystal Palace for that coveted third spot.

My view? I would have loved to see both there but if I had to pick one that would be rather Lawrence at the moment. He is technically erratic, but mentally very competitive, and while he could plunge below 60m he could also pull out something in the 66-67m anytime and snatch a medal at the same time. He is very unpredictable but that could go both ways and since there is a ‘banker’ like a very consistent Buhari to make a solid bid for the final I would gamble on him.

Brett is a more rounded and complete article but has yet to prove himself when it matters and needs work in that department. But he will come good eventually. I don’t think he could range lower than 61-62m in Daegu but at the same time I don’t think he could go over 64m – but I hope I’m wrong in that.

Hammer Alex Smith drew closer to the B standard courtesy of his new PB of 73.26m but sounded desperately short of competitions to achieve his aim – hopefully, something will come his way.

Javelin James Campbell doesn’t seem like getting back his early season form that saw him hurl a 80.18m and bound to miss out. On the other hand, could Lee Doran provide a last-gasp double strike and save the day for the event? He improved to 78.63m at the Trials to come within calling distance of the B standard and he should hope.

Listen Live from BBC Radio 5 LIVE: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/bbc_radio_five_live

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Live Results:

http://www.uka.org.uk/aviva-series/aviva-uk-trials-uk-championships/discipline-list/

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I wonder whether Mo Farah sweated his vest in that strolling 14:00.72 round the ‘park’ at the Brum, felt more like a Bolt-esque parade on the track but in competitive conditions. The man is really being adored in the wake of his amazing string of wins on the circuit and he deserves it all!

Andy Vernon got second in 14:01.72 but there was another missed chance of chasing a B standard and the ship looks like sailing away… Also, just 12 men started the race… Why such a low number of entries?

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Christian Malcolm conquers yet another British title over 200m edging past in the second half of the race to a 20.86 secs into a -1.6m/sec headwind. Anyway, don’t read anything into that, the man is back to his very best and capable of drawing down to at least the low 20 secs.

Christian Malcolm just misses out on gold in Barcelona, can he improve on that form this season?

James Ellington holds on to a priceless second place in 20.91 secs to also reserve his place on the plane to Daegu while Luke Fagan gets a rather surprising third from the outside in 21 secs dead.

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Jenny Meadows has won her first ever – yes, that’s definitely some news! – UK title by turning on a searing sub 59 secs second lap to draw away from a quality field in an eventual 2:02.48 over 800m at the Brum, with Emma Jackson surging past a scrambling Marilyn Okoro into second in 2:02.48 to 2:03.55 and boost her chances of selection.

Yet, both places behind Meadows are up for grabs and it looks destined to go the very end with Jemma Simpson also coming into the fray at Crystal Palace on Sunday. Should be some tussle!

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Martyn Rooney takes pole position in the battle for qualification as he comes through strong in the second half of the race to convincingly win in a big SB of 45.45 secs ahead of a resurgent Chris Clarke who picks up where he left off in the semis to grab the runner-up spot in a SB of 45.61 secs, also a second B. Given the conditions, I’m confident that both can run inside the required 45.25 secs that shapes the A benchmark for selection.

Martyn Rooney comes through in the late stages to claim the 400m title

Dai Greene surges through for third in a big PB of 45.82 secs to pip Richard Strachan to the line, the latter setting 45.85 secs, as Luke Lennon-Ford came fifth in 46.02 and Richard Buck sixth in 46.10 – Rob Tobin did not finish, hope there’s nothing wrong with him there.

Nice to see Michael Bingham and Nigel Levine picking themselves up after yesterday’s disappointments of missing out on the big final to fight it ought down the home straight and finished tied in 45.91 secs, the European silver medalist getting the photofinish verdict. He’s got still a week on his hands and a lot can happen still.

In third place, decathlete Daniel Awde shattered his PB into 46.04 secs, which must be the fastest ever set by a Brit multi-eventer in history, even better than Dean Macey‘s 46.21 secs in Edmonton in 2001.

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Goldie Sayers wins that javelin final hands down at 60.57m to formally seal her place but Laura Whittingham didn’t eventually show up. Hopefully, she can get that much needed second B standard and join Goldie on the trip there.

There was another knife-edge duel that went all the way to the wire in the men’s 110m hurdles but surprisingly favourite William Sharman wasn’t involved in it and now could face an anxious time until he can finally secure his place on the British team.

Lawrence Clarke equaled his two-hour old PB of 13.58 (-0.8m/sec), a second B for Daegu, to nick victory by a mere hundredth ahead of a very strong Gianni Frankis, who also gets a second B standard in 13.59 secs. The qualification race is well on in this one!

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Anyika Onuora comes closer to add a slot in the 200m to her already earned 100m place as she wins the women’s 200m in 23.26 secs into a -0.8m/sec headwind, with Abi Oyepitan a distant second in 23.57 and Margaret Adeoye in 23.59. Following such a heat, that was a let-down from Oyepitan…

Two time Olympic finalist Larry Achike got off to a promising opener of a SB at 16.83m (0.6m/sec), a mere 2cm shy of the B standard, but after a foul at the second attempt he called it quits – hope he didn’t get any injury or something… New UK long jump champion Justin Reid was second on 16.53m (0.2m/sec).

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Perri Shakes-Drayton reigns supreme at the Brum as she wraps up a historic 400m flat/hurdles double in 55.52 through a strong finish in the late stages, comfortably holding off Eilidh Child who comes runner-up in 56.48 and Meghan Beesley third in 57.52 secs. I feel that Perri has definitely to be named as the performer of these UK Trials!

Holly Bleasdale keeps sweeping all before her as she comfortably won the UK senior title over 4.56m before failing three times at a would-be new UK record of 4.71m. Kate Dennison, as expected, was a firm second at 4.40m.

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James Shane has destroyed the field, involving former Dream Mile Winner Andy Baddeley, in the men’s 1500m to run away with victory in a huge PB of 3:36.22, a B standard for Daegu and close to the A. Hopefully, he can find a fast race abroad as he looks definitely in around 3:33-34 shape and nail his place rather than leave it until the last moment in the Emsley Car Mile at Crystal Palace.

A deflated Baddeley comes a distant second in 3:39.44 and Nick McCormick is third in 3:41.66. James Brewer couldn’t cope with two straight races to come last in 3:50.68 but hopefully he will gain his strength and full form fast down the rest of the season.

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Tom Parsons has won a very competitive and tightest good quality high jump on countdown from European bronze medalist Martyn Bernard and Rob Grabarz at 2.28m, a B standard for all. Parsons has got an A of 2.31m from indoors but the other two need to grab a second one in the remaining week up to the Diamond League meeting at Crystal Palace.

Samson Oni suffered a poor outing as he could not manage higher than 2.16m and there was a first appearance for Olympic silver medalist Germaine Mason, just over 2.12m, who looks to have a long way to go until he recovers his full form – but it’s great to see him back in the arena. Another familiar figure from the long past down there was former European U23 champion Ben Challenger who cleared a SB of 2.12m.

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Zac Seddon, who was fifth over 2000m SC at the World Youth Champs in Lille, has delivered a superb performance in the men’s 3000m final over the barriers as he came sixth in a massive PB of 8:54.96 to underline his great promise for the future. His previous mark stood at ‘just’ 9:23.60 before this race! If I’m not mistaken, that has to be the fastest ever by an U18 in Britain!

Luke Gunn was a convincing winner in a SB and UK-leading 8:40.19, U23 James Wilkinson – the European U20 silver medalist in 2009 – was second in a substantial PB of 8:42.86, Mark Draper returned over the barriers with a PB of 8:42.89, Jon Taylor was  fourth in also a PB of 8:48.57 and Tom Doe fifth in a PB of 8:51.92… Now they’ve got to find themselves some faster races and a brace of B standards within a week, not an easy task at all…

Lennie Waite was the women’s winner earlier on in 10:03.18..

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There are three men over 2.28m in the men’s high jump led by Tom Parsons, with Martyn Bernard (SB) and Rob Grabarz (equal PB) following through, so it is winding up into a thriller!

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Shara Proctor has earned her first UK title with a 6.65m (0.3m/sec) leap in the fifth round as Lorraine Ugen grabbed a PB of 6.54m (0.7m/sec) for second, Jessica Ennis was third with a SB of 6.44m and Amy Harris puts up a decent display at a SB of 6.42m (0.3m/sec) – some glimmers of hope on the horizon for a full revival of the event!

Phillips Idowu said earlier on that he has had a tough week of training so opted to sit out the Trials and get the weekend off.

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Some glimmers of hope for a rise in the standard of the women’s long jump as behind hot favourite Shara Proctor, who’s leading comfortably with 6.65m, 19-year-old Lorraine Ugen has apparently set a new lifetime best of 6.54m that will make up to a degree for a disappointing display at the European U23 Champs.

Jessica Ennis has equalled her PB of 6.44m despite employing a new shorter experimental run-up, so her five-stage weekend simulation of a heptathlon is coming off with flying colours, and Amy Harris is putting up a decent outing at 6.40m at the moment.

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World and European champion Phillips Idowu won’t be competing in the men’s triple jump final later on – don’t think it’s anything worrying, he didn’t need to anyway. I don’t know, though, whether that has got to do with his ongoing rift with Charles van Commennee

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Abi Oyepitan looks to get it together when it matters as she goes through to the women’s 200m final the most impressive in 23.38 secs into a -1.0m/sec headwind from the last heat. Margaret Adeoye and Joice Maduaka qualify from the second heat in 23.77 and 23.88 secs into a -2.6m/sec wind, and Anyika Onuora the first in 23.84 from Hayley Jones in 23.92 secs in the first (-2.3m/sec).

The big shock of the preliminary round of the men’s 200m is the elimination of Marlon Devonish especially after gaining a sound foothold in qualification over 100m coming third in 10.14 secs yesterday. He finishes second to Richard Kilty in 21.12 secs (-1.2m/sec) in the opening heat and can’t make it through as a fastest loser. Hopefully, there’s no case of an injury or something.

Christian Malcolm coasts through in style in 21.01 into a -1.4m/sec in the following heat ahead of Danny Talbot, who still makes it as a fastest loser in 21..08 secs, James Ellington catches the eye in 20.85 secs (0.2m/sec) to win the third from Luke Fagan (20.94), also making a fastest loser, Harry Aikines-Ayreety gets the fourth in 21.27 secs (-0.7m/sec) and Commonwealth champion Leon Baptiste the fifth in 21.01 secs (-0.1m/sec) ahead of Ricky Fifton, last fastest loser in 21.10 secs.

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The upset has been completed in the men’s discus as Abdul Buhari walks out a proud new UK champion with that 63.32m to book his place on the team to Daegu, as does ‘old dog’ Carl Myerscough holds on to the second effective qualifying place with that 61.63m.

That causes serious headache for the selectors who will have to pick between Welsh record holder Brett Morse, who came a narrow third at 61.57m, and new European U23 champion and No4 in the world rankings Lawrence Okoye who couldn’t get higher than fifth with just 58.67m – it seems it could all go to the wire!

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Lawrence Clarke eases through as fastest qualifier into the final in a PB of 13.58 secs (-0.7m/sec) in the third and final heat that also serves as a second B qualifier for Daegu – he’s very close to taking that trip now.

William Sharman gets the second in 13.88 secs into a -0.6m/sec headwind and Gianni Frankis the opening in 13.78 secs into a -1.1m/sec wind, with Julian Adeniran and Andy Pozzi following tied in 13.98 secs – a PB for the youngster who goes through as a fastest loser.

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Brett Morse moves second with 61.57m but Abdul Buhari responds with a big lead of 63.32m and gets a solid foothold at the top of the discus final – could he upset the two big names?

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Carl Myerscough may have gone with the fourth furthest mark of 65.04m into that much anticipated discus final but he is a man who knows well his way round the ropes and carves out an early lead of 61.63m in his first effort. The big boys, Brett Morse and European U23 champion Lawrence Okoye, are quite low at the moment below 60m and Abdul Buhari is up in second with 60.57m.

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Tom Bosworth has got the third and final day of the UK Trials to a rolling start as he sets a new British record of 19:27.87 over 5km of race walking, obliterating his PB of 20:17.6 set earlier this month, at the Brum in Birmingham. It will be interesting to see how he translates that into the 20km where he holds a PB of 1:27:18 set in Dublin last month.

Commonwealth champion Jo Jackson follows on shortly to clinch the women’s title in a SB of 21:42.32 over the same distance.

European Indoor fourth placer Andie Osagie may have made a late start to the outdoor season but seems to have lost none of his momentum or potency and wasting no time to show his intentions of challenging for Britain’s top spot over 800m.

In his second only outing of the season. he pulled away from Richard Jones (USA) and Prince Mumba (ZAM) down the home straight to a big new PB of 1:45.63 to convincingly clinch the main race at the BMC Grand Prix at Trafford yesterday, shattering his previous best of 1:46.41 set last summer in Milan in the process.

As importantly, he has gained a considerable foothold in the reckoning for places for the World Championships in Daegu as that mark also doubled as a B standard, needing one more in the following two weeks to fully meet the criteria. At this rate, he could as well charge into the A qualifying territory (1:45.40) and seal his berth for good nonetheless.

Further, he comes to set up an intriguing top level duel with European silver medallist Mike Rimmer, who’s been mysteriously struggling after a searing start in May, and could turn up as favourite to claim the spoils next weekend in Birmingham on this evidence.

Ben Scarlett grabbed a big PB of 1:47.88 for fourth behind to draw under 1:48 for the first time ever.

His training partner, James Brewer, who missed a place in the final at the Worlds in Berlin by a mere 0.08 secs, showed further signs of swiftly recovering his form as he set a big SB of 3:42.28 for sixth in the 1500m and he will be hoping to have moved up another gear by the time he lines up at the UK Trials next weekend.

Irishman Ciaran O’Lionaird, a late surprise of the American collegiate circuit, edged the race in 3:40.71 narrowly ahead of Dane Andreas Bueno in 3:40.79, where Frank Baddick sneaked ahead of Brewer to get fifth in a PB of 3:42.24.

There were further disappointing performances for Niall Brooks and Daniel Clorley who finished well towards the back of the pack.

Stacey Smith was a close runner-up behind Canada’s Jessica Smith, taking victory in 2:03.09, stepping down the 800m in 2:03.29 as she attempts to stage a strong rally into the season following a disappointing end to her medal hopes at the European U23 Championships in Ostrava, with an eye on making the squad for Daegu.

‘chaser James Wilkinson extended a good and very consistent lengthy streak of form this summer to take the men’s flat 3000m in 7:56.84, second time ever under 8 mins and on the trot at that. But he will definitely need to find some good fast race over the barriers to turn his form to full measure.

Miler-turned-steeplechaser Jon Taylor was third in 7:58.83 behind Irishman Sean Connolly, second in 7:57.21, and Luke Gunn narrowly missed out on the 8 mins barrier in 8:00.19 in fifth.

Results

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