Tag Archive: Andy Baddeley


Apart from the UK Trials in Sheffield, there was plenty and very interesting British action beyond the shores of the Great Albion and mainly coming from over the Pond in the shape of Tiffany Porter, Andy Baddeley and Chris Thompson, who displayed that they are wintering well and firmly on track towards their goals. So let’s get a closer look at what happened last weekend.

Milrose Games, New York

Tiffany Porter maintained her sound run of form and even moved up a gear on the boards as she flowed to a European topping mark of 7.93 secs over the hurdles, slashing a hefty 0.07 secs off her own previous figure.

The European silver medallist, however, was narrowly denied victory once again by a mere 0.02 secs although touching down first off the final hurdle as rising American Kristi Castling turned fastest to the line, equalling the 10-year-old meeting record of Melissa Morrison in a marginal PB of 7.91 secs in the process.

It is the part of race that the Briton will need to polish up a touch leading up to Istanbul so that she can land that first high-profile victory when it really matters having executed smoothly through the mid stages of the race.

Porter narrowly misses out on the win to Kristi Castlin at the Armory

After a miserable last summer, Andy Baddeley has taken the bit between his teeth to mount a return to his very best and is putting together a fabulous string of consistent strong displays across distances. In fact, that was a performance of pure grit and commitment every step of the way on the turf of the Armory that was duly rewarded in the end.

He never slipped at any point, made the right moves at the right times and covered all spaces as best as he could and even came up with a last reserve of strength at the end to finish strongly, having been considerably stretched in the later stages.

Moreover, his final time of 13:22.44 was slightly outside the Olympic A standard, in an indoor environment at that, to offer all the indications and answers that he needed to make up his mind over a move up in distance – by the look of his run, a time in the 13:10 region has got to be a matter of time if not faster.

Lagat sears to a big US record over 5000m while Baddeley hangs on to an effective breakthrough run

For good measure, Baddeley surged up to fourth all-time in the British indoor lists behind Mo Farah‘s 13:10.60, Nick Rose‘s  13:21.27 and Geoff Smith‘s 13:22.17, the last two set in the very same race also in the ‘Big Apple’ way back in 1982.

The affair was played out to a searing pace up front specially tuned for living legend Bernard Lagat to challenge Gallen Rupp‘s US record over the distance and he turned equal to the task as he powered round the track to a superb 13:07.15, knocking over four seconds off in the process.

He did have to be alert, though, with swiftly rising training partner Lawi Lalang confidently on his heels for the best part and pulled away only in the late stages, the Kenyan drawn to a massive PB of 13:08.28 to announce his arrival in the high tiers of the event.

Stephen Sambu (KEN) was third in a total PB of 13:13.74 and compatriot Leonard Korir followed fourth in 13:19.54 (PB), sneaking ahead of young American Chris Derrick (13:19.58, PB).

Amazingly enough, almost simultaneously, Rupp responded by clocking a stunning a new national milestone of 8:09.72 over 2 miles in Fayetteville, Arizona, as the two traded records in remarkable fashion.

Matt Centrowitz convincignly clinches the men’s mile with Chris O’Hare back in sixth

Chris O’Hare came agonizingly shy of a new PB in the Wanamaker mile on his season debut as he finished sixth in 3:56.63, going still top of the UK lists, but was compensated with a PB of 3:40.62 through the 1500m mark. The U23 miler will take plenty of heart from such an opener to force his way into new territories down the season.

Daegu bronze medallist Matt Centrowitz kept a tight hold on the race, an astute tactician, and employed his fiercesome kick off the final curve to surge away to a convincing victory in a total PB of 3:53.92 from Miles Batty, second in 3:54.54 (PB).

The only Brit to have left the arena disappointed was Tyrone Edgar, struggling to rekindle his career, as he ended up fifth in the men’s dash in 6.73 secs and is still looking for a time in the 6.6 secs region. Trinidadian Keston Bledman came away with the laurels in 6.62 secs ahead of Sam Effah (6.69), with Travis Padgett trailing back in sixth in 6.76 secs.

Sanya Richards-Ross storms to a world-leading 50.89 secs in the 400m

Sanya Richards-Ross demonstrated that she is nearing her very best form in time to stake a sound claim on that elusive Olympic crown as she stormed round the track to a huge world-leader of 50.89 secs in the 400m, reclaiming the summit after a temporary hold under Bulgarian Vania Stambolova in 51.26 secs.

The former world champion burst to the front in trademark fashion ahead of Natasha Hasting after breaking from the lanes to gain a tight grip on the race and poured on the pace over the second lap to carve out nearly a full second gap on her rival, who set a SB of 51.85 secs to move fourth in the global charts.

World champion Jesse Williams dominated the men’s high jump over a SB of 2.32m as none else could keep up with him into those territories while Lashawn Merritt‘s much hyped charge on the world best over 500m never took place, clearly opting to secure the win and nothing more.

David Oliver reversed the tables, even marginally, on seasoned campaigner Terrence Trammell by the skin of his teeth in 7.51 to 7.52 secs in a thrilling cutthroat tussle over the hurdles as third-placed Aries Merritt dipped at an identical further hundredth behind.

Those were actually SBs for all three to occupy second, third and equal fourth spots in the global rankings of the event.

In the women’s middle distances, world champion Jenny Simpson started her season on a firm footing as she saw off a very competitive Shanor Rowbury in a Mary Decker-esque hard run from the front and kick at the end, setting 4:07.27 against 4:07.66, while Morgan Uceny came on top of the women’s 800m in 2:03.35, Maggie Vessey surprisingly languishing back in fifth position.

Results

http://www.armorytrack.com/Meet/50/The-Millrose-Games-at-The-Armory

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Husky Classic, Seattle

Chris Thompson afforded further evidence that he is wintering well as he edged out Kevin Chelimo (KEN) in a competitive 5000m on the oversize track of Dempsey to notch his first victory of the season in 13:29.94, an indoor best and a short-lived UK-header since Andy Baddeley followed up in a considerably faster 13:22.44 the next day at the Milrose Games.

This is the first time since 1982 that two or more Britons have run inside 13:30 in a single season indoors to indicate the recent rise of standards on the home scene again, without Mo Farah having raced over the distance so far.

For that matter, that comfortably bettered Thompson’s fastest time in any environment through the entire last year.

In the minor races, U23 Callum Hawkins raced to a total PB of 14:03.37 and within touching distance of the 14mins barrier with Matthew Bond a couple of spots behind in a massive PB of 14:05.80, first time under 15 mins ever a few months before turning his 30 – it’s just never too late for anything.

There was more good news coming from the distances the following day as Ross Millington and Mitch Goose turned in massive PBs of 7:49.11 and 7:51.75 over 3000m, second and fourth fastest in Britain this winter, and lay the groundwork for a serious attack on the Olympic A standard over the 5000m in the oudoor season.

The former, European U23 silver medallist last summer, improved from 7:54.08 last winter while the latter had set his previous best of 7:58.11 less than a fortnight before.

Ross Clarke broke through inside 8 minutes further behind in a big PB of 7:57.82 and along with the top three finishers at the UK Trials in Sheffield, namely Jonny Mellor (7:58.36, iPB), Stephen Davies (7:58.78, PB) and Mark Mitchell (7:59.00, PB) raised the number of Britons under that benchmark to already 10 this winter.

Results

http://www.gohuskies.com/livestats/c-track/021012/index.htm

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Boston doesn’t seem to favour Mo Farah as he stumbled over a most unforeseen obstacle conjured up in his way to meet with defeat for a second time in as many visits to the ‘green’ capital of Massachusetts.

Last year it was a stunning last 200m in 26.2 secs by one-spike shoed Dejen Gebremeskiel (ETH) in the 3000m to deny him and this time round disaster struck hardly 120m into the race, having stepped down as overwhelming favourite to claim the mile.

As fortune would have it, it was fellow Briton James Brewer, back racing well after a frustrating two years in the twighlight, that inadvertedly caught Farah’s leg from behind for the world 5000m champion to tumble on the track, blowing away whatever chances of challenging Peter Elliott‘s long-holding UK indoor record of 3:52.02 (1990).

Showing character and his racing insticts, he was quickly back on his feet to chase and swiftly haul back into the thick of the action, involving new partner Ciaran O’Lionaird (IRL) and loyal companion Gallen Rupp (USA) under coach Alberto Salazar.

But the early fall and exertion to make up the lost ground took its toll in the late stages as he could not keep up with the top trio, made up by Canadian Taylor Milne, when Rupp wound up the pace making a long run for home around 400m out.

Daevu finalist O’Lionaird, stalking the American, sensed his chance and grabbed it with both hands as he swept past with about 140m to spare (3:40.65 at 1500) and pulled away round the last bend to a convincing victory in 3:56.01, a total PB, to inaugurate a new chapter in his career in grand manner.

Milne followed through for runner-up (3:40.85 1500m) behind the ‘Mullet’ Irishman in also a total best of 3:56.40 while Rupp held on for third in a PB of 3:57.10 (3:40.98 1500m) and Farah still managed an indoor best of 3:57.92 (3:41.90 1500m), yet anything but the speed polishing he was looking for.

Hopefully, that unfortunate turn won’t affect his build-up to assault the British record over the 2-miler in Birmingham in two weeks neither Brewer’s own chances as he dropped out despite a strong first half into the race, possibly also feeling some effects out of the incident himself.

As an aside, the pace set at 800m (1:58.4) would have hardly set the ground for Farah to challenge Elliott’s mark anyway.

Jenn Suhr clears a new US indoor landmark of 4.88m

Andy Baddeley, by contrast, consolidated a return to form as he made the most of a blistering pace in the men’s 3000m to draw well inside the qualifying standard for Istanbul in 7:47.09, an indoor best and new UK leading mark to replace Chris Thompson at the top.

The Harrow miler, gaining a solid foothold for selection, came an eventual eighth in a scintillating contest that saw Kenyan Kaleb Ndiku deny Gebremeskiel a second win in a row in 7:38.29 against 7:38.97, with Silas Kiplagat (KEN) third in 7:41.02 – slotting in the three top places in the global rankings this term.

Canadian Cameron Levins set a second big PB of 7:45.75 on the trot to grab a creditable fifth and afford further credit to Chris Thompson‘s 7:49.14, having outrun the Briton in Seattle the previous weekend.

But it was another disappointing evening for Mark Draper who hasn’t managed to transfer his country form onto the track, pulling out for a non-finish.

Kirani James storms to a global-leading 45.96 secs over 400m

Charlene Thomas raced her way a further step closer to full fitness and sharpness as she ran a debut of 2:40.03 for fifth (2:07.64 at 800m), losing a place round the last lap, over the rare 1000m as Moroccan Btissam Lakhouad overhauled Morgan Uceny (USA) in impressive manner to clinch victory in 2:38.15 against 2:38.44, with Anna Pierce filling the last top three spot in 2:38.91.

The highlight of the meeting came from the infield, nevertheless, as a resurgent Jenn Suhr, back to her natural dark colour hair, rose equal to a new US indoor record of 4.88m in a superb first-time effort, edging second in the indoor all-time lists ahead of Holly Bleasdale in the process.

The American then opted to raise the bar to a potential indoor world record of 5.01, failing all three times, as the event is slipping through the gears towards a breakthrough into uncharted territories on the early indications of the season.

Grenadian prodigy Kirani James powered to an additional world-leader of 45.96 secs in the men’s 400m well ahead of late-bloomer Joshua Scott (USA), who set a SB of 46.40 secs, and former outdoor world bronze medallist Renny Quow (TRI) in a rare indoor outing of 46.70 secs (indoor best).

The youngster made a forceful early statement of his intentions in view of the Olympics as he will be expecting a backlash on the part of the Americans, particularly in the frame of Lashawn Merritt and Jeremy Warriner.

Maggie Vessey outleaned former heptathlete Erica Moore, the winner in Glasgow, in a nailbiting women’s 800m as both crossed the line in an identical time of 2:02.37 whereas the Ethiopians dominated the longer distances by means of lone rides out in front by stars Tirunesh Dibaba in 9:21.60 over 2 miles, winning by nearly a full lap, and Meseret Defar in 8:33.57 over 3000m, both topping the global lists.

Gotytom Gebreslase, cited as just 17, followed on in second in a massive PB of 8:46.01 to suggest a new rising hot prospect out of the Ethiopian production line narrowly ahead of Moroccan Siham Hilali in 8:46.17 (PB), with Sarah Hall (USA) fourth in 8:54.75 (SB) and world 1500m champion Jenny Simpson seventh in 9:58.70 (SB).

Elsewhere, Adam Nelson romped to a comfortable win in the shot with a 21.27m put to go third in the world while David Oliver made no mistake to edge out Aries Merritt for a return on a winning trail in 7.60 to 7.62 secs, with Myrielle Ahoure (CIV) taking a clear top place in the dash in 7.13 secs ahead of American-turned-Nigerian Gloria Asumnu in 7.20 secs.

Full Results

http://www.flashresults.com/2012_Meets/indoor/02-04-NewBalanceGP/Day1.htm

 

Andy Baddeley and James Brewer have launched the racing department of the new multi-platform “British Miler” project in style as they battled it out to the very end for top honours round the track of the Armory at the New Balance Games, New York.

As a matter of fact, there was special stress laid on the British milers and their middle distance heritage during the presentation of competitors just before the start of the race, with ‘Badders’ called on last but one to toe the line as twice former winner.

Brewer was confident and quick to show his intensions as he settled behind pacemaker Brian Gagnon, who did some excellent job going through consistent splits of 59 (400m) and 1:58 (800m), straight after the gun as Baddeley slotted in fourth on the inside and the rest of the Brits were spread further behind into the field as they cruised round in the early to mid stages.

The pattern of the race remained unchanged until Baddeley moved past Brewer into second on the outside coming into the final third of the distance, with defending champion Craig Miller (USA) coming into the frame as well.

However, it became apparent that the affair was heading to a British duel as Brewer surged back behind Baddeley approaching the bell for the final burn-up, with Ricky Stevenson emerging into the top four from behind and briefly holding third ahead of the American.

Baddeley wound up the pace in trademark manner up the back straight but could not shake off the challenge of the Cheltenham harrier, who showed as though he could pull off a dream comeback to form moving up on the former Dream Mile victor round the top bend.

Experience told in this case, nonetheless, as Baddeley sensed the danger to drive his opponent wide coming off the curve and effectively shut all ways past him placing his body expertly into the home straight to cross the line in a solid 3:57.22 (roughly 3:42 at 1500m), with Brewer swerving onto the inside to no avail but still a happy runner-up in 3:57.92 to keep his record of sub 4 miles intact.

Stevenson had to relinguish third to Miller in the final stages in still an encouraging opener of 3:58.91 to the American’s 3:58.65 while Mark Draper showed quite short of speed after a serious season on the country to trail home ninth in 4:06.39.

For former European Cup winner Colin McCourt, though, it was anything but what he would have hoped for as he simply formed the tail-end of the finishing order in a disappointing 4:14.26, so questions remain unanswered as to his lengthy sticky patch of form.

But right up at the top, it was pleasing to see both Baddeley and Brewer surging back to form which served up the perfect tonic for the British men’s 1500m at the start of the journey towards London.

Incidentally, apart from Baddeley who had already a 3:39.16 over 1500m indoors from last year, Brewer and Stevenson qualify for the World Indoor Championships in Istanbul on their times.

Results

1.Andy Baddeley 3:57.22, 2.James Brewer 3:57.92, 3.Craig Miller (USA) 3:58.65, 4.Ricky Stevenson 3:58.91,…, 9.Mark Draper 4:06.39, 13.Colin McCourt 4:14.26

http://www.armorytrack.com/Meet/34/New-Balance-Games/#319

Rich Peters almost made four Brits inside four minutes over the distance at this early stage two days earlier, incidentally, as he won just outside that famous benchmark in what was a virtual solo run in 4:00.13 at the Five Way Meet in Boston Machaccusetts, with Angus McDonald second a long way behind in 4:08.61.

The British Miler, launched by New Balance at the famous Armory in New York on Thursday, is a new multi-platform initiative that tracks the build-up of seven main contenders in the battle for three places on offer on the British Olympic team in the men’s 1500m in London.

Those seven hopefuls, a rather symbolic number, are Beijing finalist Andy Baddeley, James Brewer, Ricky Stevenson, Tom Lancashire, Colin McCourt, Lee Emanuel and Nick McCormick. The three first, incidentally, get their track season underway over the mile at the New Balance Games at the very same ground tonight, joined also by Colin McCourt and Mark Draper.

Actually, Brewer described the official launch of the project as one of the most surreal nights of his life on Facebook as it also captures magical moments of the golden past from the days of Sir Roger Bannister, the man who first broke the myth of the 4 minutes over the distance, and Derek Ibbotson up to the ‘Great Three’ of the late 70s & 80s in Sebastian Coe, Steve Ovett and Steve Cram.

The official premiere on British soil is to be held on February 23 in London.

As concerns London contenders, I would also like to add the names of James Shane and Niall Brooks while there shouldn’t be ruled out a big breakthrough by the likes of Adam Cotton, Stephen Davies, Chris O’Hare and Kris Gauson.

As widely expected, the weekend was short on action due to the New Year on Sunday saving a few races on the road or the country.

Justina Heslop was involved in the most notable fixture as she placed a solid seventh in 16:35.1 in the BO Classic 5km in Bolzano (Italy), also known for a quality multi-event held during the summer, despite an uneven performance that saw her slip well behind into 10th at the end of the second lap but recover considerably to draw in three spots in the late phases.

The race was won by the hottest name in women’s distances nowadays in double world champion Vivian Cheruiyot (KEN) who had nevertheless to dig deep to hold off a very strong Afera Godfay (ETH) by a mere 0.4 secs, clocking 16:03.0 and 16:03.4 respectively.

The men’s version turned into a close two-horse Kenyan contest where Edwin Soi edged out Wilson Kiprop by half a second to victory in the end in 28:16.6 to 28:17.1 whereas world cross-country champion Image Merga (ETH) was surprisingly blown away into a distant third in 28:57.9.

Multi European champion on the country Sergiy Lebid trailed home even further behind in seventh in 29:20.2.

Over in Madrid, Spain, marathon Olympic hopeful Susan Partridge obtained a sound confidence boost as she came an excellent third at the San Silvestre Vallecana 10km in what would have been a big personal best of 32:44 but for the over the allowable average downhill slope course, gaining the scalp of returning to action global ‘chase champion Marta Dominguez (ESP, 32:49) in the progress.

The Brit felt inspired to even dare track, at a discreet distance, the fearsome duo of double Olympic champion Tirunesh Dibaba and top miler Gelete Burka up to the middle stages before the Ethiopian girls took off into the second half to vanish into the distance.

Burka showed as though she was heading for a sensational victory as she ground out a seemingly crucial edge coming into the home straight but Dibaba mustered a last reserve of strength and response to come back and snatch it at the death, both sharing the same time of 31:30 at the end.

The men’s race turned as much of a thriller as last-minute entry Hagos  Gebrehiwot (ETH), just 17, pipped favourite Teklemariam Medhin (ERI) right on the line in an identical time of 27:57 having matched each other stride by stride in the dying stages, over a poorly-designed last lap round a footbal pitch nevertheless.

European cross-country silver medallist Ayad Lamdassem (ESP) came a convincing third some way back in 28:10 followed by veteran marathoner Chema Martinez in 28:34 and former European 5000m champion Jesus Espana in 28:41 in a Spanish array.

Former Olympic 1500m bronze medallist Rui Silva (POR) was seventh well behind in 29:12 as he is still struggling to come to terms with longer distances.

Back in Britain, Andy Baddeley opened the new year in a winning tone as he ran a decent solo 14:26 way out in front at the Bushy Park 5km parkrun while Scot Freya Murray, a recent team European cross-country medallist, came top female and second overall in 16:32 at the Glasgow Pollok Park equivalent.

It is going to be intriguing to see whether ‘Badders’ will stick to the 1500m or has made up his mind on a move up to the 5000m and it won’t be long before the answer arrives.

In the most competitive domestic event at the Nos Galan 5km, Boston-based miler Rich Peters, who left a lot of promise with a 3:58.26 mile indoors last term, saw off Welshman Stephen Davies, a 3:38 performer over 1500m in 2007, by a couple of seconds in a PB of 14:40 to the latter’s 14:42, with also US-based Chris Gowell a close third in 14:44 just ahead of Adam Bitchell (14:45).

James Thie, 5th over 1500m at the World Indoors in 2004, was back in eighth position in 14:56 but somewhere between his racing and coaching duties these days.

Further, ‘Lobo’ Susan Waldron was top woman and fifth overall in 35:09 over 10km at the Hereford New Year event but a most extraordinary turn-up a week ago yesterday was Olympic 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu‘s venture over what should have been a first ever 5km outing in 20:43 at the Enfield & Haringey Boxing Day event at the Lee Valley, a rough average of 4:08 per km – not bad for her!

Indoors, the most notable showing was that of Ron Roddan-coached Nigel Thomas who started off his season to a brace of PBs of 6.82 and 6.81 secs over 60m at the New Year Spints meet at the Lee Valley, improving from 6.85 secs posted at the BUCS Championships last February. That augurs very well for a time inside 6.7 secs as the season progresses.

Outdoors, yes, in the hammer ring, U20 Callum Brown flung the 6kg junior implement to a second best ever 66.39m at the Winter Wonderwhirl in Ipswich, ten days after setting a massive PB of 68.05m in Norwich. The 17-year-old thrower of City of Norwich looks bound to reach well over 70m in summer and a new name to look out for.

Amir Williamson was top senior at 61.14m at the same meet.

Britain have weaved a wealth of tradition at the European Cross Country Championships through the years and the contingent of harriers that travelled over to Velenje, Slovenia, showed eager to uphold and add to the legacy left to them from day one, performing with flying colours.

Emelia Gorecka surged through from behind to clinch victory in the late stages of the U20 women’s race to a dream start for the squad and Richard Goodman followed up swiftly in an inspirational battling display for silver in the equivalent men’s affair before a sweeping foray by the U23 girls led by a flying Emma Pallant ensured of the top place in the medal table as early as halfway through the racing programme on Sunday.

The final end product comprising 6 golds, 5 silvers and a bronze easily surpassed the pre-championships target and made for a jubilant return home of the team draped in medals and glory.

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Senior Men

The blue ribbon event, as Brendan Foster dubbed it during Sunday’s commentary, turned somewhat of an anticlimax as the British seniors never really got into the main action and were very much sunk into the large field stretched out over the course.

And if there was a reprieve of a team silver in the end it felt against the flow of the race and was owed mainly to the perpetual workrate of the lesser lights of Ryan McLeod and James Walsh to grind out crucial, as it proved, 13th and 15th places at the end.

Main medal hope Andy Vernon, an eventual ninth, got ensnared towards the middle of the pack in a beguiling, even uninspiring at times, race and only read the situation when he had slipped well behind a chasing group effectively battling for the minor medals adrift of a runaway victor Atelaw Bekele (Belgium).

The last, admittedly even beyond his own expectations, made the most of a free ride he was allowed way out in front after the third kilometre into the race, taking his chances as everyone else seemed unwilling to commit, and was fully rewarded for his enterprise to do his illustrious name full credit with a comfortable win.

Former multi-winner Sergey Legid (UKR) was never a factor and finally dropped out as Spaniard Ayad Langassem, who broke up out of the medals over 10000m in Barcelona last year, and Jose Rocha (POR) got silver and bronze while Andy Baddeley endured a quiet noon well back in 25th place, with Mark Draper a few spots ahead.

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British placings: 9.Andy Vernon 29:39, 13.Ryan McLeod 29:45, 15.James Walsh 29:46, 22.Mark Draper 29:51, 25.Andy Baddeley 29:57, 37.Frank Tickner 30:24

Team 2nd 59pts

Full Results

http://www.sportresult.com/sports/la/ajax/eaa2.asp?event_id=10411100000001&ctype_id=551&module=competition&show=RL&lang=en&display_compID=55346

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Senior Women

Gemma Steel turned in a performance as solid  in material as her surname to accomplish her finest feat in her short international running career in the shape of a battling bronze behind a commanding Fionnuala Britton (Ireland), stamping her authority on the contest from the early days.

The John Nuttall-coached Brit showed content to stay off the hot early pace up front and work her way up the field gradually along with Scot Freya Murray to move into the top ten positions by the second lap, a rather shaky Hattie Dean tracking them a little further behind.

Steel’s patient waiting game and industry didn’t take long to pay dividends picking off one after the other the leading pack who were suffering under the hammer of the Irish’s relentless tempo and tapering off, moving first past Portugal’s Dulce Felix into third and then round Italy’s Nadia Ejjafini into the silver medal spot midway through the penultimate lap – the duo having run 2h25:40 and 2h26:15 in the marathon recently.

Her confidence high now, she even drew within striking distance of Britton approaching the bell and momentarily looked as though she could pull off a major shocker but her rival had still plenty left in the tank to move up another gear and away nonchallantly to a commanding victory.

Steel came under a powerful attack by Felix, who had somehow conjured up a reserve of strength to charge back into the medals, round the last lap to be eventually edged out of silver in the fading stages of the race, but that could hardly take anything away from a brilliant performance and a well-deserved bronze – her smile told the whole story in the end.

What’s more, Murray, Julia Bleasdale and Elle Baker pulled their weight nicely around to come behind in succession from 12th through to 14th place and ensure the British outfit of a further team gold – a fitting birthday present for the last the following day.

An off-colour Dean trailed well behind for a disappointing 18th outside 27 mins but hopefully that will turn out simply a bad day at the office for her.

British placings: 3.Gemma Steel 26:04, 12.Freya Murray 25:51, 13.Julia Bleasdale 26:58, 14.Elle Baker 26:59, 18.Hattie Dean 27:07, Emily Wicks DNF

Team 1st 42pts

Full Results

http://www.sportresult.com/sports/la/ajax/eaa2.asp?event_id=10411100000001&ctype_id=564&module=competition&show=RL&lang=en&display_compID=55348

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U23 Men

James Wilkinson showed that he is coming of age and firmly on track to take up the reins and lead British steeplechase out of the shadows as he delivered an assured, inspirational performance over the course of Velenje that was bested only by the brilliance and superior footwork of French miler Florian Carvalho in the late stages.

The event offered two sharply contrasting sides as runners looked happy to virtually parade in large numbers around and none interested to take the initiative for the best part, the Russians showing some unconvincing intention to control things from the front, and sparked to life only towards the end of the penultimate lap when the Briton drifted ahead.

Looking round to identify his surroundings, he took a few moments to make up his mind and then forged ahead to quickly break up the field with fellow ‘mohawk’ Briton Mitch Goose slotting in behind him, acting like a shield.

Into the final circuit, ‘Wilco’ piled on the pace to narrow the contenders down to four, Goose dropping behind, looking strong but could offer nothing when Carvalho employed his mile speed to surge past into the front and swiftly carve out plenty of daylight on his rivals, tearing along to a comprehensive victory by a good three seconds.

Meanwhile, the battle for the lesser silverware was winding up behind as Norwegian Sondre Moen temporarily showed to have made a decisive move for silver with German Richard Ringer shadowing third and Wilkinson having dropped fourth now.

Nevertheless, the Briton hadn’t said his final word as he dug deep on his steeplechase strength to power past his opponents off the last turn and clinch the runner-up spot himself in awesome fashion, with Moen finally settling for bronze – a display suggesting that a move into the 8:20s over the barriers is well on the cards come summer.

Goose came a creditable eighth some way behind and combined with a useful account by Derek Hawkins back in 26th draw Britain second in the team standings for an additional silver.

British placings: 2.James Wilkinson 23:47, 8.Mitch Goose 23:57, 26.Derek Hawkins 24:18, 40.Phillip Berntsen 26:32, 41.Matt Gillespie 24:32, 45.Matt Graham 24:35

Team 2nd 76pts

Full Results

http://www.sportresult.com/sports/la/ajax/eaa2.asp?event_id=10411100000001&ctype_id=562&module=competition&show=RL&lang=en&display_compID=55350

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U23 Women

The British girls were highly tipped to conquer the summit of Velenje and turned equal to their ranking on the day although a sweeping victory arrived from a rather unexpected source, with an inspired Emma Pallant turning in a sensational performance.

The 22-year-old athlete hadn’t really sparkled since a promising track season opener of 4:09.96 over 1500m well back in Rabat in May 2009, albeit a bronze medalllist in Albufeira last year, and slipped down the pecking order even in her own training group of Mick Woods’s golden girls but her resilience carried her through to come up with a real statement that she is back to her best.

It was Steph Twell that began a long drive for home past the bell, in a venture to craft a fairytale return to the international scene, and was quickly joined up front by Pallant and a surprisingly fluent and composed Naomi Taschimowitz, who has been swiftly rising through the British distance ranks.

The three Britons combined well to open up a considerable lead on a small chasing group formed behind, comprising Germans Corinna Harrer and Anna Hahner as well as Ukrainian Victoriya Pohoryelska, and looked briefly as though they were pulling away for a clean sweep of medals.

However, as the last lap rolled on Twell was struggling to sustain her pace at the front and the pursuing trio paid heed to claw their way gradually back, whereon Pallant sensed the danger to strike out for home in a decisive move.

Rather surprisingly, none could muster any sort of response as the AFD runner poured on the pace to nonchallantly dominate the field, crossing the line full of running with a good five seconds to spare in 19:57. On this evidence, she could emerge as a serious contender for a place in the 5000m for Britain in London.

As if bearing years of experience on her shoulders, Taschimowitz once more timed her own effort and kick to perfection to wrap up a brilliant breakthrough display with silver whereas Twell was, sadly, pipped out of bronze by Harrer in the dying stages, yet another big step in quick succession back to her best form with a consolation of a comfortable team gold in the end.

Hannah Walker, topping the U23s in Liverpool a fortnight before, endured an uncharacteristic low flight in just seventh and Lauren Howarth came 13th as all six Britons figured in the top 20 for an impressive demonstration of strength in depth.

British placings: 1.Emma Pallant 19:57, 2.Naomi Taschimowitz 20:02, 4.Steph Twell 20:03, 7.Hannah Walker 20:12, 13.Lauren Howarth 20:34, 20.Lily Partridge 20:58

Team 1st 14pts

Full Results

http://www.sportresult.com/sports/la/ajax/eaa2.asp?event_id=10411100000001&ctype_id=565&module=competition&show=RL&lang=en&display_compID=55352

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U20 Men

British placings: 2.Richard Goodman 17:51, 8.Jonny Hay 18:09, 9.Kieren Clements 18:10, 11.Niall Fleming 18:18, 17.Mark Shaw 18:27, 25.Jack Goodwin 18:33

Team 1st 30pts

Full Results

http://www.sportresult.com/sports/la/ajax/eaa2.asp?event_id=10411100000001&ctype_id=553&module=competition&show=RL&lang=en&display_compID=55354

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U20 Women

British placings: 1.Emelia Gorecka 13:13, 6.Annabel Gummow 13:34, 16.Gemma Kersey 13:53, 17.Katie Holt 13:56, 31.Laura Muir 14:06, 33.Beth Carter 14:07

Team 1st 40pts

Full Results

http://www.sportresult.com/sports/la/ajax/eaa2.asp?event_id=10411100000001&ctype_id=566&module=competition&show=RL&lang=en&display_compID=55356

MEDAL TABLE

http://www.sportresult.com/sports/la/ajax/eaa2.asp?module=medals&event_id=10411100000001&lang=en

(more later..)

UK Athletics have just announced the make-up of the British team that will travel to Vilenje, Slovenia, to contest the year’s European Cross-Country Championships next weekend.

There are no surprise calls whatever involved, save maybe that sensational U17 prospect Jessica Judd hasn’t eventually been picked for the U20 women’s outfit, as selectors seem to have gone stricktly by the book and for top five finishers at the respective Trials held in Liverpool on Saturday.

The mid to late stages in the women’s race with Hattie Dean a creditable seventh at last year’s European XC Championships

Steph Twell has been named as expected on a strong U23 women’s side, featuring Hannah Walker, Lauren Howarth and Emma Pallant,  that show the makings of firm gold medal contenders as Andy Baddeley returns to the picture after a while to join the likes of Andy Vernon.

Apart from the U23 women, the U20 women’s side look odds-on to claim the European title spearheaded by the fabulous duo of Emelia Gorecka and Annabel Gummow, silver and bronze medallists over 5000m in Kaunas last summer.

The overall side selected has as follows:

Senior Men

Andy Baddeley, Mark Draper, Ryan McLeod, Frank Tickner, Andy Vernon, James Walsh

Senior Women

Elle Baker, Julia Bleasdale, Hatti Dean, Freya Murray, Gemma Steel, Emily Wicks

U23 Men

Philip Berntsen, Matthew Gillespie, Mitch Goose, Matthew Graham, Derek Hawkins, James Wilkinson

U23 Women

Lauren Howarth, Emma Pallant, Lily Partridge, Naomi Taschimowitz, Steph Twell, Hannah Walker

U20 Men

Kieran Clements, Niall Fleming, Richard Goodman, Jack Goodwin, Jonny Hay, Mark Shaw

U20 Women

Beth Carter, Emelia Gorecka, Annabel Gummow, Katie Holt, Gemma Kersey, Laura Muir

Senior Men (9.8km)

Andy Vernon has opened his individual account on the country to fabulous effect as he streaked past a surprisingly strong Mark Draper in the dying stages of the senior men’s race to convincingly defend his title in 29:19 in windy conditions, placing a good three seconds in between.

The World Student Games champion opted to sit in the leading pack to keep close hold of procedures throughout and didn’t hit the front but for roughly the last furlong where his superior track speed over the distance told. A substantial mental boost, he has got now a sterner task on his hands at the racing ground of Vilenje in less than a fortnight as he is turning to face his last year’s demons and force his way into the medals.

Highlights from Liverool on Saturday

Likewise, distance ‘drifter’ Draper, hardly a familiar figure in these quarters, cashed in on his recent altitude training spell in Kenya into runner-up (29:22) straight away and is looking for a lot more in Slovenia while hopefully earning a British vest will Mark a new beginning for him to reach his potential – maybe reverting to the barriers as shown late in summer?

Third, a mere two seconds adrift, came Ryan McLeod, the son of Olympic 10000m silver medallist Mike, to grab the last automatic slot in a solid display and returning-to-action Andy Baddeley may have done enough to earn his place following in fourth at a similar distance behind.

Apparently moving up to 5000m, the Beijing 1500m finalist employed a more reserved early pattern and showed only in the second half of the race to work his way through, edging out early leader James Walsh in an identical time (29:26) at the end.

Bristol’s winner Frank Tickner wound up sixth in 29:29, Steve Vernon was seventh some way behind in 29:38 while marathon Olympic hopeful Phil Wicks occupied an eventual ninth in 29:49 and US-based Keith Gerrard closed out the top ten in 29:52.

Results

1.Andy Vernon 29:19, 2.Mark Draper 29:22, 3.Ryan McLeod 29:24, 4.Andy Baddeley 29:26, 5.James Walsh 29:26, 6.Frank Tickner 29:29, 7.Steve Vernon 29:38, 8.Ben Whitby 29:45, 9.Phil Wicks 29:49, 10.Keith Gerrard 29:52, 11.Jonny Taylor 29:53, …, 16.Jonny Mellor 30:04, 17.Ricky Stevenson 30:05, 19.David Bishop 30:05, 28.Jon Pepper 30:18, 26.Ben Moreau 30:20, 28.Glen Watts 30:29, 38.Steve Mitchell 30:56

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U23 Men

‘American’ Mitch Goose rose a rather surprise U23 top finisher in 29:55, 12th overall, in a separate contest incorporated into the senior’s race but, rather astonishingly, it wasn’t pre-race favourite James Wilkinson he had to hold off to the title, trailing well behind in fifth (22nd overall) by a good 16 secs. But, quite likely, a one-off for the latter who ought to be shown confidence and be drafted into the age group outfit still.

Dereck Hawkins came home in second  just under 30 minutes (29:59) and steeplechaser Matthew Graham got his hands on the last automatic spot in 30:05.

Results

1.Mitch Goose 29:55 (12th overall), 2.Dereck Hawkins 29:59 (14th), 3.Matthew Graham 30:05 (18th), 4.Matthew Gillespie 30:09 (20th), 5.James Wilkinson 30:11 (22nd), 6.Ashley Harrell 30:12 (24th), 7.John McDonnell 30:33 (32nd), 8.Charlie McLean 30:39 (42nd), 9.Daniel Clorley 31:04 (44th)

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U20 Men (6.7km)

Jonny Hay emerged an impressive winner out of his much anticipated duel with Richard Goodman as his sizzling turn of pace in the final burn-up saw him fashion sheer daylight of six seconds between them at the end, clocking 20:23 to 20:29 respectively.

Both were very pleased with their displays, however, having also just returned from altitude training in Kenya. The last automatic berth was staked out by Mark Shaw who slotted nicely in the gap between the top duo and fourth-placer Kieran Clements for a convincing third in 20:37.

Results

1.Jonny Hay 20:23, 2.Richard Goodman 20:29, 3.Mark Shaw 20:37, 4.Kieran Clements 20:44, 5.Niall Fleming 20:46, 6.Jack Goodwin 20:53, …, 8.Robbie Farnham-Rose 21:00, 9.Charlie Grice 21:05

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U17 Men

1.Laurrie Probert 17:38, 2.Charlie Joslin-Allen 17:42, 3.James Lanswood 17:47, 4.Tom Bains 17:50

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Senior Women (8.1km)

A dark horse as she had been going into the Trials, steeplechaser Hattie Dean showed plenty of horsepower in her gear to upstage pre-race favourite Gemma Steel into a fairytale comeback on the country of Liverpool, having not raced since late May in Rome.

But a touch of altitude training in the land of the runners, the famous Rift Valley, went a long way against a currently flying Steel, on an unbeaten run since September, who made her intentions clear from early on to make a tough pace out of it from the front and not leave matters to a late burn-up at the hands of faster finishers.

And her tactics all but worked to plan quickly since soon only Dean was still following along, yet fairly comfortably, as the two kept moving away from the rest of the field with every stride and lap.  But when the crunch came, the Barcelona ‘chase fourth placer’s strength and track speed told to work her crucial space that stretched up to four seconds in the end for a superb victory and a big confidence boost.

Needless to say that both booked their place on the team to Vilenje a fortnight on, clocking 27:05 and 27:09 respectively, with Scott Freya Murray, racing into form after an intermittent year due to sorts of injuries, just pipping up-and-coming U23 Hannah Walker for the last automatic place as both shared the same time of 27:32. The latter must have been more than content to clinch her age group title though.

A race of fairytale returns was most fittingly suplemented a place behind with the delightful sight of Steph Twell, in her first serious competitive test since her freak ankle injury in February, who applied well and performed beyond all expectations to secure the runner-up spot and a berth in the U23 side in 27:37. Maybe the story of the day above all with her hopes receiving a massive mental boost in view of London next summer.

Charlene Thomas, also on a return after a lengthy injury lay-off, came in well behind in 14th in 28:15 and Sian Edwards, a nearly forgotten golden prospect of the recent past, trailed a long way back in 34th well over two minutes behind the top places; can she revive the promise she showed in the U20 ranks only a few seasons ago?

Results

1.Hattie Dean 27:05, 2.Gemma Steel 27:09, 3.Freya Murray 27:32, 4.Hannah Walker (U23) 27:32, 5.Steph Twell (U23) 27:37, 6.Julia Bleasdale 27:39, 7.Elle Baker 27:44, 8.Naomi Taschimovitz (U23) 27:45, 9.Emma Pallant (U23) 28:04, 10.Emily Wicks 28:05, …, 14.Charlene Thomas 28:15, 15.Justina Heslop 28:19, 16.Lauren Howarth (U23) 28:24, 17.Katrina Wooton 28:26, 19.Natalie Harvey 28:39, 20.Jessica Sparke 28:35, 31.Andrea Whitcombe (W35) 28:35, 24.Emily Pidgeon (U23) 28:43, 25.Beth Potter (U23) 28:49, 30.Kate Avery (U23) 29:10, 31.Jessica Coulson (U23) 29:21, 32.Abbey McGhee (U23) 29:24, 34.Sian Edwards 29:31, 41.Felicity Milton 29:41

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U23 Women

Behind Walker and a buoyant Twell, new face in the swim Naomi Taschimovitz ensured of a British vest taking third in 27:45 and Emma Pallant followed in fourth in 28:04 to effectively qualify herself.

On the other hand, Lauren Howarth must have been disappointed with just a 16th finish in 28:24 while Emily Pidgeon ranged further adrift in 24th in 28:43 and Kate Avery ended up well down the order in 30th in 29:10, both still looking to find their way.

Most surprisingly, new Mick Woods-asset Jess Coulson trailed way behind in 31st only a couple of months on setting a UK age best over 10 miles, some niggle possibly creeping in in the interim.

1.Hannah Walker 27:32, 2.Steph Twell 27:37, 3.Naomi Taschimovitz 27:45, 4.Emma Pallant 28:04, 5.Lily Partridge 28:09, 6.Lauren Howarth 28:24

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U20 Women (4.4km)

The eagerly anticipated three-way clash in the affair, incorporating the U17 group, remained on paper as Emelia Gorecka turned up with ideas of her own to demolish the field with aplomb in the most impressive performance of the day.

The race stood as a contest only round the first lap until the European U20 5000m silver medallist, another one of Mick Woods’s wonder girls, moved up a gear to swiftly open up a decisive gap that was ever growing and claim the race sight unseen.

Her final winning margin of 16 seconds, wrapping up the distance in 14:54, simply echoed the magnitude and quality of her supremacy and form as she will be heading to Slovenia with confidence sky high to add the European title to her silverware.

Notwithstanding a thorough defeat, sensational U17 Jessica Judd turned in a stellar display of her own to convincingly hold off  European U20 bronze medallist Annabel Gummow into a superb runner-up for her tender age, clocking 15:10 to 15:15 respectively, and demonstrate her amazing range once more while Stoke’s Katie Holt emerged as a new force, just a 9:55 performer over 3000m last summer, to grab a sound fourth in 15:23 further behind.

1.Emelia Gorecka 14:54, 2.Jessica Judd (U17) 15:10, 3.Annabel Gummow 15:15, 4.Katie Holt 15:23, 5.Amy Griffiths (U17) 15:25, 6.Beth Carter 15:28, 7.Gemma Kersey 15:31, 8.Laura Muir 15:42, 9.Grace Baker (U17) 15:42

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U17 Women

Apart from highly-anticipated Judd, 15-year-old Amy Griffiths shone brightly herself to clinch a striking overall fifth and second in the U17 class in 15:25 as she is rising a new fascinating prospect through the ranks and a potential heir to the summit.

Grace Baker, also 15, was third and ninth overall in 15:42 to add to a very prolific day for Woods’s group.

1.Jessica Judd 15:10, 2.Amy Griffiths 15:25, 3.Grace Baker 15:42, 4.Abbie Hetherington 16:00

Full Results

http://www.uka.org.uk/EasysiteWeb/getresource.axd?AssetID=84447&type=full&servicetype=Attachment

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Purdue out but Twell comes in at European XC Trials in Liverpool

Top distance hopeful Charlotte Purdue will be missing the second leg of the McCain’s Cross-Country Challenge, incorporating the European Trials for Velenje (Slovenia) a fortnight on Sunday, due to a knee complaint that forced her into a slightly earlier return from a training stint in Kenya last week.

Nevertheless, the Mick Woods-coached U23 runner looks to have been pre-selected on the senior team and can solely turn her sights on the European Championships where she is aiming to steer into the medals.

By contrast, groupmate star Steph Twell, having also just returned from Kenya, is contesting her first serious race since a freak accident in February that saw her miss the entire track season, hoping to snatch a place of her own on the British team.

The 22-year-old tested her leg in a calculated gamble of a low-key road relay in September to come off well and unscathed but she is still lying some way off top shape and therefore may have to fight her way into the U23 outfit, with Hannah Walker, Lauren Howarth and teammate Emma Pallant figuring among the starters.

On the other hand, in-excellent-form Gemma Steel is brimming with confidence and pace as she heads into the race as standout senior favourite to clinch a second back-to-back victory in the series and it’s hard to see where a challenge could come from given the complexion of the affair.

Backing up her claim, the 26-year-old remains unbeaten on any surface or distance since September and would like to add to that three-on-the-trot string.

A further couple of very welcome returns to the fold involve ‘chaser Hattie Dean, fourth over the barriers in Barcelona last year, who competes for the first time since injury ruined a season that started in the most promising colours of a straight Olympic qualifier of 9:37.95 in Rome last May; as well as European Cup 1500m victor Charlene Thomas who hasn’t raced on any surface since the very same time of her highest feat so far as though following parallel fortunes.

Despite their pedigree, both are going to be unknown quantities until the contest gets going and maybe even further until it hits decisive stages, likely feeling their way into action.

Freya Murray, Justina Heslop and Julia Bleasdale are other notable names on the start-lists, which oddly don’t include the name of Thomas – a late withdrawal?

On the men’s side, the presence of World Student Games champion Andy Vernon promises an injection of quality on the opener of the series and a stern test for the likes of Frank Tickner and Phil Wicks, the prominent figures in Bristol, along with the comeback of Andy Baddeley on the country after sitting out last winter. It will be really interesting to see what sort of proposition the latter is going to offer on the back of a poor summer campaign.

U23 steeplechaser James Wilkinson has got to be a red-hot favourite among U23 men while James Walsh, Tom Humphries and Mark Draper, apparently working his way back over the barriers, are other names to watch.

Emelia Gorecka and Annabel Gummow, the silver and bronze medallists over 5000m at the European U20 Championships, engage in a very enticing duel in the junior ranks anew and the affair is spiced up nicely with the presence of sensational U17 prospect Jessica Judd.

The first three-past-the-post in each division gain automatic qualification for Slovenia although an U23 runner that finishes in a senior qualifying spot, with the two age groups blended into a single race, can still claim his place in the top tier.

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Entry Lists

http://www.uka.org.uk/EasysiteWeb/getresource.axd?AssetID=84404&type=full&servicetype=Attachment

Selection policy

http://www.uka.org.uk/EasysiteWeb/getresource.axd?AssetID=82411&type=full&servicetype=Attachment

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.

MEN

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.