Tag Archive: Shara Proctor

Lawrence Okoye and Shara Proctor staged spirited late comebacks to come away impressive winners in the discus and the long jump respectively at the Hanzekovic Memorial in Zagreb, applying a gloss finish to the close of their summer campaigns.

Both athletes seem to be treading on parallel trails in recent weeks as they made their respective finals in style but could not quite follow through to slip outside the top eight places in London so maybe it shouldn’t come as casual they earned their spurs on an identical pattern.

Okoye was enjoying a solid outing lying in third place on a second-round 64.51m, Dutchman Erik Cadee narrowly leading from Piotr Malachowski (POL) through a 65.67m in his fifth, but hardly anything in the build-up had suggested what was about to come as the giant 20-year-old Brit stepped into the ring for a final time.

This time round his throwing came all together to let fly the implement way beyond to a powerful 67.25m, his third farthest mark ever, and stun his rivals at the death as they were barely left with any chance or time to respond in a manner reminiscent of Manchester United’s renowned late winners.

A ‘continent’ best and meeting record on his part, the Croydon thrower marked a return to winning ways for the first time since July and he will be brimming with confidence heading to his last major fixture in Brussels, the formal curtain drawer of the Diamond League series and the Olympic season.

Cadee, closing out the competition with only 63.43m, had to do with second in the end and Malachowski remained third on a fourth-attempt 65.64m while Indian Vikas Gowda came fourth at 64.06 further behind.

Likewise, UK record holder Proctor was stranded down in the 6.50m region and fourth place up to her fifth attempt, a best of 6.58 (-0.2) in round four, as the main action was played out between Natassia Mironchik-Ivanova and season find Chelsea Hayes (USA) at 6.68 (-0.3) and 6.64 (0.0) up front in the long jump pit.

Yet, the Briton somehow drew inspiration to grind out a last-ditch 6.79 (0.3), a meeting record at that, and steal an unlikely victory out of the hands of a shell-shocked Belarusian, who could reach no further than 6.49 in her last effort, to bow out of the term on a winning note and smile – as ever, nothing is over until is over!

Funmi Jimoh was fourth at 6.59 and a very quiet Darya Klishina, a major absentee from London, faltered well below in sixth at just 6.39m.

Martyn Rooney had added a third British win in between in the men’s 400m as he controlled the race through in lane five and never left the final outcome in doubt. Building up nicely round the top bend, he carved out plenty of distance on the field to ease down the home straight to 45.78 secs on top with 1:42 800m man Duane Solomon back in third in a decent 46.39 secs.

Jeneba Tarmoh, a member of the world record-breaking US sprint relay in the Olympics, put up some decent fight over the first 60m or thereabouts but world champion Carmelita Jeter had too much in the final third of the women’s 100m to draw away to a clear victory in 11.06 to 11.30 secs into a slight headwind (-0.6).

Anyika Onuora just managed to dodge last spot by a hundredth of a second from Hayes, before taking up her long jump duties, in 11.59 but fared much better over the 200m to take fourth in 23.17 as sprint superstar Allyson Felix dominated with ease in a professional 22.35 (-0.2), another meeting landmark in the process.

Aileen Bailey and Charonda Williams battled stride for stride down the home straight and it was the Jamaican to sneak the runner-up spot in 22.95 to 22.96 on the line.

In the men’s dash, Ryan Bailey returned to winning ways as he weathered evergreen Kim Collins’s trademark blast as far as around 70m fabulously to power through to a convincing victory in 10.02 secs against the former world champion’s 10.14 at the end, while Mario Forsythe got third in 10.25 ahead of Darvis Patton and Michael Frater who were tied in 10.31.

Nickel Ashmeade, sadly, pulled up around 60m into the race apparently due to a hamstring injury and that could signify a slightly early end to a sound season of his.

Jason Richardson didn’t get off to the best of starts but his neat hurdling saw him swiftly restore order to storm through to a commanding 13.08 secs (-0.4) and well ahead of US record holder David Oliver in the 110m hurdles, the latter leaving a trail of disaster in his wake as he clattered no less than six hurdles with his trail leg on the way – and still managed a very respectable 13.22 secs!

The Olympic silver medallist, as well as the reigning world champion, has been enjoying a fabulous season, having posted 12.98 secs three times, save that he cannot find a way past an imperious Aries Merritt who looks invincible these days.

South African Lehann Fourie was third marginally off his PB in 13.28 followed by Ryan Wilson in fourth in 13.43, Jeff Porter and Beijing silver medallist David Payne tied in 13.55 secs.

Kellie Wells was first out of the blocks but slipped over hurdle two never to recover thereon, Kristi Castlin enduring a nightmare of a race in the adjacent right lane, which opened the way to the in-late-form duo of Ginnie Crawford and Queen Harrison to notch up the top two slots in 12.68 and 12.74 respectively in the women’s equivalent of the 100m hurdles, with Canadian Priscilla Lopez-Schliep third in 12.86 secs.

Reese Hoffa has taken the bit between his teeth since his defeat in London to dominate over double Olympic champion Thomasz Majewski (POL) nonchalantly once more as he pounded the 21m region of the sector relentlessly through the six rounds of the shot put; 21.34. 21.76, 21.56, 21.80, x and 21.70m to tell the tale as any of his valid five efforts would have claimed the spoils comfortably.

“What if” must be turning through the American’s mind, unbeaten since the Olympics, as the Pole could not mount any sort of response at any point to come a distant second over a metre down at 20.70 with world indoor champion Ryan Whiting in third at 20.52m.

Local heroine Sandra Perkovic had no trouble whatsoever to boss the women’s discus on a second-attempt 65.79m, plus two more throws in that province, while in-late-peak Jamaican Rosemarie Whyte was a runaway winner over the women’s quarter-mile in a meeting record and SB of 50.08 secs.

Denisa Rosolova was second in 52.07 and Marilyn Okoro came through strongly in the late stages to grab third in 52.67 secs in another solid performance.

Elsewhere, Olympic champion Taoufik Makhloufi comfortably put away a quality men’s 1500m in 3:32.58 with a familiar surge over the last 300m, Jairus Birech saw off Abel Mutai in 8:11.80 (MR) to 8:12.47 over the men’s ‘chase and Maggie Vessey shadowed the women’s 800m in 1:59.61 although her let-up at the end almost cost her the win to fast-finishing compatriot Brenda Martinez, who shattered her PB into 1:59.63.

Full Results


Costas Goulas


In the aura of anticipated pulsating end-to-end action and stirring contests on the track and the infield, there are several British matters to be settled at the AVIVA Grand Prix in Birmingham today either in terms of challenging national records or clinching late places on the British team for Istanbul incorporated in.

So let’s have a look through what could be on offer in a few hours, starting with potential bids for UK records.

Men’s 2 miles

It’s hard to see how John Mayock‘s landmark of 8:17.06, set on this very arena 10 years ago, can possibly survive the onslaught of Mo Farah, save some disaster, or Emiel Puttemans (BEL) haunted European record of 8:13.2 (1973) come to that. The world 5000m champion is in frightening shape and overflowing with pace so has got to run over those marks and even force his way inside the territory of the very great, 8:10 that is.

The finale of the meeting has been specially reserved for his venture and he will enjoy some quality company along in his quest in the shape of Eliud Kipchoge (KEN), Tariku Bekele (ETH) and Moses Kipsiro (UGA).

Jonny Mellor, Stephen Davies and Mark Mitchell get a rare opportunity to race against such calibre opposition and could seriously revise their record books either over the full distance or at 3000m.

Women’s Pole Vault

Every time Holly Bleasdale steps into an arena the UK record simply lies on the line and so should be the case today. Some late technical tweaks to her vaulting model must have bedded in a lot more by now and something around 4.90m has got to be well on the cards today.

It’s a shame that German Sielke Spiegelburg (4.77) has pulled out of the contest late as she could have provided some hot competition up to dizzy heights but hopefully former world champion Anna Rogowska could step into her stead in that regard.

A further UK record, an U20 one, could be looked for in Katie Byres but beyond the British shores in France as she will be attempting to rewrite her 4.37m from the UK Trials in Sheffield last weekend.

Women’s Long Jump

Long has endured time Susan Heanshaw‘s 6.70m, set twice in winning gold at the European Indoor Championships in 1984, and even survived by the skin of its teeth when Jo Wise tied it at the World Indoor Championships in 1997 but its time to make way may have finally come as Shara Proctor indicated through an indoor best just a couple of centimetres shy last weekend.

She has been very consistent in the 6.6m province this term, ranging therein in all her three outings, and if she clicks on the day a mark in the high 6.7m region shouldn’t be ruled out.

Men’s High Jump

Robbie Grabarz has made talk of targetting Steve Smith‘s mighty record of 2.38m but it is maybe very early for that to arrive today even though his clearance over his PB of 2.34m suggested there is more to come. Smith was jumping regularly around 2.34 to 2.37m in his time so such a platform may be required. Nevertheless, nothing can be dismissed but the World Indoor Championships look like a more likely occasion to challenge heights in that sphere.

Samson Oni is in that one too and will be eyeing to rewrite his PB of 2.31m, which he has tied this winter, against some good field involving Donald Thomas (BAH), Andra Manson (USA) and Michal Kabelka (SVK).

Women’s 3000m

Helen Clitheroe could have an outside chance of replacing Jo Pavey at the top of the UK indoor lists with the British barrier lying at 8:31.50 from Stuttgart five years ago. She has wintered superbly and goes off a substantially better starting-point of 8:45.59, set in Glasgow last month, than last year when she set her PB of 8:39.81 en route to winning the European title in Paris.

Moving over to run-offs for places in Istanbul now, so let’s see what could lie in store in the following events.

Men’s 60m

Following the withdrawals of Simeon Williamson and Mark Lewis-Francis, the battle for the second spot alongside Dwain Chambers narrows down to Andrew Robertson and Harry Aikines-Ayreety, the runner-up and third-placed at the UK Trials respectively, who face off with each other in the second heat.

It’s a tricky situation as Robertson will not only need to hold off his rival but also dip inside his week-old PB of 6.61 secs even by a mere hundredth. Otherwise, Aikines-Ayreety could snatch a place even in the event of a defeat as he holds the qualifying standard from last winter.

Asafa Powell, Lerone Clarke, Nesta Carter and Michael Frater make up a poweful Jamaican quartet to fight it out for top honours and fast times while evergreen Kim Collins will be hoping that his hamstring will last the demanding task of two fast rounds, having pulled up in both his previous two outings.

Men’s 400m

The virtual run-off will be, sadly, accommodated in the national race that kicks off the meeting’s schedule and inevitably slip outside TV coverage. UK Trials runner-up Michael Bingham lies in a similar position as Robertson in the 60m since he needs to find a time inside 46.90 secs and beat Rirhard Buck again, the latter looking more flowing but often having run into sorts of troubles in his races.

Therefore, it is going to be touch-and-go while none should rule out a late stunner by Conrad Williams who has shown very sharp in the shorter sprints this season – and Luke Lennon-Ford might spring a surprise having been shifted to the main race alonside Nigel Levine.

Men’s 1500m

Andy Baddeley is more likely opt for the 3000m by the look of his racing pattern so James Brewer has got the simple task of showing his form to be named alongside also-competing Lewis Moses and he’s capable of more than that, having displayed potential to go under 3:40.

Men’s 60m hurdles

Lawrence Clarke needs just the qualifying time to make the cut and is lying an agonising 0.03 secs off dreamland (7.65). Could he do it?

Andy Pozzi has got the chance to take his game inside 7.6 secs on the back of an amazingly consistent season in the wake of a mighty contest brewing up between hurdles heavyweights Dayron Robles (CUB) and Xiang Liu (CHN), although none should discount latest American find Kevin Craddock.

Women’s 60m

Following the withdrawal of sensational Jodie Williams (food poisoning), Asha Philip should not have much trouble clinching that second spot, provided she doesn’t slip into any unnecessary mistake, and has shown the credentials to drive even under 7.2 secs.

Laura Turner will have to run out of her skin to upset her lining up in the same heat whereas Jeanette Kwakye won’t have any such concerns and set her eyes on improving her SB of 7.20 secs from last weekend.

Women’s 400m

Normally, Nicola Sanders shouldn’t be interested in anything more than probably a relay place for Istanbul as she is employing a short indoor stint by means of a gauge of her build-up so Nadine Okyere would occupy the remaining spot behind Shana Cox regardless of the result, but until that is confirmed this duel can be also considered as a run-off.

Anticipation and tension is building up sharply as the indoor season picks up to the crunch for the majority of hopefuls to pull on a British vest at the World Indoor Championships in Istanbul in March, with a crucial last nine days up to the selection deadline marked with the UK Trials in Sheffield across the weekend.

Each athlete that tops an event over the next couple of days gains automatic selection provided they have achieved the qualifying standard set by UK Athletics as far as the cut-off, with the rest of the make-up of the team lying with the selectors.

There won’t be any such concerns on the mind of Jessica Ennis, though, as she has taken up the invitation extended by IAAF on the merit of her world ranking, the very holder of the global title in the pentathlon.

Britain’s golden girl is expected to dominate the limelight in an arena that feels like a second home to her as she is down for the high jump, the shot, the 60m hurdles and the long jump to effectively simulate a pentathlon but spread over two days.

So let’s have a look at how events look likely to shape up over the next two days in Sheffield, starting with the ladies.

60m (7.30/11.25 100m)

The women’s dash could have hardly turn any tighter and has got all the makings of a gripping thriller, likely to come down to a blanket finish between even up to five contenders. Apart from sheer speed, strength and composure may come in handy across three gruelling rounds back-to-back on Sunday.

Asha Philip has staged an astonishing comeback to form out of years in the shadows to storm to a UK-leading 7.24 secs at the London Games three weeks ago, looking fluent and powerful again, so is holding a slight edge going into the showdown.

As importantly, she maintained her nerve to cope brilliantly with the pressure of racing U20 sprint sensation Jodie Williams alongside, beating her twice on the same day – not many can boast that around!

Incidentally, she is rumoured to have left Mike McFarlane‘s group since summer although that will hardly have any bearing on the affair.

A silver medallist in Valencia four years ago, Jeanette Kwakye is back to her very best and literally demolished the field in a British runner-up mark of 7.26 secs at the AVIVA International but on the slower track of Kelvin Hall in Glasgow, therefore she should be regarded on an equal footing in the battle for top honours.

Laura Turner set 7.29 secs, her fastest ever leading up to a UK Trials, behind Ivet Lalova (BUL) in France last weekend so seems to be hitting form at the right time, having also tweaked her dynamics, while seasoned campaigner Abi Oyepitan has also returned on top of her game in 7.31 secs showing plenty of consistency into the bargain.

Williams, for her part, has raced sparingly and is lying slightly down on last year at this stage although that could turn round radically as soon as she settles in her blocks for her first round heat. She is a renowned fierce competitor and relishes rising to the occasion so none to take lightly.

Anyika Onuora showed race-rusty in her only showing so far, setting only 7.57 secs, and has got lots of ground to make where the distance may come a little too short for the strength of Margaret Adeoye, more suited to the 200m. Improving Annabelle Lewis and talented U20 Sophie Papps could surprise a few.

200m (non-major championship event)

Adeoye, a shock winner in Glasgow, is playing on her own ground here and stands head and shoulders above anyone else in the field so probably setting her eyes mainly on the clock and a new PB. Louise Bloor is a shade away from the sub 24 secs region and U23 now Jenny Batten could spring a surprise second.

400m (53.25i/51.25)

Nicola Sanders steps on an indoor track on racing terms for the first time since her sensational triumph at the European Indoor Champs in Birmingham 2007 in a UK record of 50.02 secs, fifth fastest all-time, and she will be raring to mark a new chapter to her career and haul back into top form.

She is held to have enjoyed a smooth winter build-up, spending a lengthy spell down in South Africa, which forms a solid platform to her campaign for starters. After all, talent has never been an issue with her, it is all about keeping in one piece.

Perri Shakes-Drayton has pulled out to take some gloss off what looked like a potential highlight of the Trials but Sanders still faces off with a worthy rival in Shana Cox, who has the potential to go places in the event.

However, she looked in deep waters round the tight bends of the Kelvin Hall recently, as though she hadn’t been on an indoor track for ages, so will have to pare down that margin on the curb to give herself a fair chance. Her SB of 53.08 secs in the heats of the Birmingham Games was a good sign in that respect.

Relay places will be up for grabs as well and Nadine Okyere comes in first in the shake-up on a recent indoor best of 53.43 secs behind Vania Stambolova (BUL) in Vienna, plus PBs in the sprints, while a burgeoning Emily Diamond could turn a revelation having smashed her PB into 54.19 secs last weekend.

From there on, Laura Langowski, Emma Pullen, Kirsten McAslan and Shelayna Oskan-Clarke could all dip inside 54 secs, Kim Wall an unknown quantity.

800m (2:03.50i/1:59.50)

Marilyn ‘Maz’ Okoro is the overwhelming favourite to dominate the event and clinch her berth on the British team to Turkey as she has got far too much for anyone else in the field to handle. Rowena Cole, the European U20 silver medallist, Charlotte Best, Tara Bird and Alison Leonard ought to fight it out for the minor top three places.

1500m (4:14.00i or 4:31.00i mile/4:03.50 or 4:22.00 mile)

Not a single name among Britain’s top 10 milers is about to tackle the distance and thus Scot Claire Gibson, along with Laura Kirk, rise as the most likely candidates to lift the title. Qualifying times chances don’t look good in this quarter though.

3000m (8:51.00i/8:38.00 or 15:02.00 5000m)

Having already shown enough to effectively ensure of selection, European Indoor champion Helen Clitheroe is skipping the affair leaving the field open to Hannah England and her lethal finishing kick to prevail.

It’s hard to see how the Daegu 1500m runner-up could possibly lose this race whether it be a slow tactical affair or paced hard from the front as she possesses the required equipment to cope with everything thrown at in the context of it.

Gemma Steel, on the back of a fabulous season on the country, might have an outside chance to shake her as long as she commits herself to a fast pace from the off and can take the race inside 9 minutes, while pacy Stacey Smith ought to come among the medals from the rest.

Interesting figures on show are Emily Pidgeon, Elle Baker, Abbey McGhee, Beth Potter and Katrina Wooton.

60m hurdles (8.10 or 12.95 100mh)

UK record holder Tiffany Porter is missing since racing at the centennial Milrose Games in New York so Jessica Ennis takes pole position to land yet another British title over the hurdles, with an eye on her PB of 7.95 secs. Her first sample of a 8.05 secs on the very same track at the opening leg of the McCain Indoor Challenge firmly points to that way.

Gemma Bennett has solid hopes of edging under the qualifying mark on a SB of 8.16 secs set in Glasgow whereas Beijing finalist Sarah Claxton has failed to build on an encouraging start as yet, with a SB of 8.25 secs.

Consequently, the likes of Louise Wood and U23 Ashley Helshby might fancy their chances of sneaking into the medals on the grounds of PBs of 8.31 and 8.34 secs respectively.

Commonwealth heptathlon champion Louise Hazell will be out in this one as well looking to challenge her own PB of 8.27 secs, slightly over a tenth down this season on 8.38 so far, as is Meghan Beesley over a speed workout on the back of a n indoor best of 53.74 secs over 400m in Birmingham midweek.

High Jump (1.92)

Young Isobel Pooley, fresh from a big PB of 1.88m last weekend in the same arena, is brimming with confidence and could push Ennis towards her PB and equal  UK record of 1.95m, as could herself be spurred on by her great opponent to reach the qualifying standard of 1.92m and book her ticket for Istanbul.  But, at length, there appears that it could be some light at the end of the tunnel in this event on the domestic front.

Interesting to see what Steph Pywell has to offer though she looks some way off her best at the moment.

Pole Vault (4.52)

This is no contest by any stretch of the imagination but more of a Holly Bleasdale vs the bar affair that will turn on the freshness of the new British sensation in athletics following her epic battle with Yelena Isinbayeva in Bydgoszcz, Poland, on Wednesday. A new UK record is always a possibility whenever she turns up in a competition.

Britain’s No2 Kate Dennison will be missing to leave the gap on the opposition even larger but there is a potential separate duel between swiftly rising U20 record holder Katie Byres and Welsh top all-time marker Sally Peake shaping up that could spur either on to new standards.

Also U20 Lucy Bryan is an interesting character for the future in the field and Sally Scott could improve considerably.

Long Jump (6.65)

Shara Proctor has shown very consistent with two indoor bests of 6.59 and 6.60m in as many outings this season so ought to come on top with relative ease, with pressure off her shoulders since she holds a qualifying 6.81m from last summer. Hopefully, she is going to keep up the trend and improve even further towards the 6.70s to boost her chances of a good result in Turkey.

Tony Minichiello says that Jessica Ennis is gearing up to a leap in the discipline and that would be a good occasion to bring it about and shake the confidence of her major rival for gold, Tatyana Chernova.

Abigail Irozuru looks like a safe bet to make up the top three and is on a PB-ing streak lately.

Triple Jump (14.10)

Yamile Aldama could be on the verge of turning her 40 but has still plenty of spring left in her legs to deliver the goods on the big stage, having started the season on a winning note at 14.03m in Glasgow. Two weeks on, she should move up a gear and well capable of landing towards the 14.30-14.40s and announce herself as a potential medallist in Istanbul next month.

Nadia Williams will be out to add to her recent 13.52m in Vienna but if one is looking for a breakthrough then world U20 silver medallist Laura Samuel fits the description, always relishing a championships environment.

Shot Put (17.50)

The spotlight will be on Jessica Ennis, again, eyeing to reach way beyond the 14m mark after a solid opener of 13.95m on this ground about three weeks ago. But spare a few glances on Eden Francis, the European U23 discus champion in 2009, who has made plenty of headway and is lying on the edge of 17m, setting a PB of 16.92m last week – the farthest by a Brit since 2006.

Louise Hazell goes in this one too and U20 Sophie McKinna is a good prospect for the future to follow.

Chambers marginally misses out on win to Josh Norman in Moscow

Dwain Chambers has got off a season that could well spell a return to the Olympic arenas after 12 years on the front foot as he was marginally beaten by American Josh Norman in the 60m at the Russian Winter in Moscow on Sunday, a mere hundredth behind in a fast 6.64 secs.

The world indoor champion wasn’t the quickest out of his blocks and looked a little heavy-legged, rather expected due to the cobwebs of a lengthy warm-weather training spell in South Africa, but his strength saw him emerge at the top of the race from the inside lane 30m out, looking destined to a victorious opener.

However, Norman had different ideas this time, disqualified down to a false-start last year, as he came through strongly on the outside to steal the win out of the hands of the Briton at the death.

Despite the defeat, that was a promising outing for Chambers, substantially faster than his season debut last year, and he will be looking to move up a gear at the UK Trials in Sheffield this weekend where he faces a tough challenge by burgeoning Richard Kilty, who shot to a massive PB and UK-leading 6.61 secs in Birmingham.

The anticipated first British duel with Simeon Williamson since 2009 incorporated into the final never took shape, at the same time, as the former UK champion slipped to a false-start to leave the arena empty-handed, having qualified considerably faster in 6.65 secs out of the heats to Chambers’s 6.68 secs, for a let-down in a British point of view – but that won’t have to wait long as he is also lining up at the UK Trials.

In the backdrop of the duel, evergreen Kim Collins (SKN) pulled up around 20m before the end to simply hobble across the line in 7.11 secs  which may have well brought his indoor season to a premature end by the sight of it. Hopefully, it isn’t going to dent his summer ambitions.

Shara Proctor looks far more at home indoors than last year, maybe due to the ever sunny skies of Florida, as she showed sound consistency to sneak ahead of her week-old indoor best to 6.60m for third on countback, coming in the first round just like in Glasgow. But this time round she went on to back it up with a 6.56m in the fourth and final attempt, her third farthest leap under a roof ever.

Ironically, 2cm more would have nicked her second place over Yuliya Pidluznhaya (RUS), level at 6.60 but on a slightly superior 6.58m second best effort, while before her at the top was once again Russia’s sensational, in every sense, long-jump prospect Darya Klishina (U23) who nailed the competition from day one on a SB of 6.86m, almost replicating it with 6.85m in her final effort.

The Russians had a good feeling about reserving the curtain-drawer of their show for the odd 600m albeit on far different grounds, seeing fit that great Yuriy Borzakovsky wrapped up affairs, as Adam Kszczot burst on the track to snatch the thunder out of the former Olympic champion’s hands and deliver a thumping 1:15.26, second fastest all-time and narrowly shy of German Nick Motchebon‘s world record of 1:15.12 (1999).

That was a display that is certain to draw a sensation and may have ruffled the feathers of even the very top in the business like David Rudisha or Abubaker Kaki, who might have to start looking over their shoulder for the young Pole henceforth.

Borzakovskiy was no slouch either to clock a fast 1:16.08 in second place behind but his performance was meant to fall into the shade of the winner’s searing run.

Lolo Jones, double world indoor champion, demonstrated that she has not only shrugged off her injury woes but she may also be hitting her best form ever to flow over the hurdles to a world-leading 7.89 secs for a comfortable third victory in as many outings this term. Fellow Americans Yvette Lewis and Deagu silver medallist Danielle Carruthers followed some way behind in 8.03 and 8.05 secs respectively.

Andrei Silvov picked up from where he left off in his previous outing to claim the global summit for his sole possession over an impressive 2.36m before trying once at a potential national record of 2.41m, having come on terms with Aleksandr Shustov‘s 2.35 a few days earlier. The latter was forced into runner-up on 2.30m in this instance with Daegu bronze medallist Trevor Barry (BAH) third at 2.27m.

Dmitriy Starodubtsev seems like fizzling out after a startling brace of 5.90m clearances in December to stall at 5.65m behind winner Bjorn Otto (GER), who set a SB of 5.77m, whereas Aleksander Menkov sprang up a screamer of a last-gasp 8.24m (WL), by stark contrast, having suggested nothing of the like in the build-up in the long jump.

In the women’s 400m, in-form Vania Stambolova (BUL) stumbled to a rather surprise defeat, given her world-leading 51.26 secs just days earlier, at the hands of home favourite and moving up from sprints and hurdles Aleksandra Fedoriva in 51.59 to a total PB of 51.46 secs respectively, Berlin bronze medallist Antonina Krivoshapka getting third in 51.88 secs for a sound strength in the affair.

The hosts did not fail to highlight their abundant talent in race walking as Valeriy Borchin, Vladimir Kanaykin and Sergey Bakulin lined up an impressive array of times in the specially held 5000m in 18:16.54, 18:17.13 and 18:26.82 – amazingly enough, not a PB for anyone of the three.



Mo Farah is headlining the first British outfit in action into the Olympic season at the AVIVA International Match on Saturday as he is stepping down for an opening sharpener over the odd 1500m on the track of Kelvin Hall, Glasgow.

He is faced with a stern challenge in the face of Augustine Choge, holding a PB of 3:29.47 outdoors (2009), and it will be interesting to see how he tackles the race and the pace of the Kenyan.

The world 5000m champion will be also lining up in the mile in Boston over further speedwork later on before he launches his attack on the British and European records in the 2-miler in Birmingham next month.

Deagu silver medallist Hannah England, European indoor 3000m champion Helen Clitheroe,  both returning from Kenya just prior to the meeting, Beijing finalist Jeanette Kwakye, European 100m runner-up Mark Lewis-Francis and Daegu finalist Yamile Aldama will be making their season premieres, as will birthday girl Shana Cox and Shara Proctor coming over from across the Pond.

Global bronze medallist Andy Turner, nursing a slight achilles niggle, will be out to move up a couple of gears on a low-key opener of 7.79 secs at Crystal Palace midway last week while high jump new star Robbie Grabarz is going to draw plenty of the spotlight, as well as hopefully new heights, in a battle against former world champion Donald Thomas (BAH) and top Russian Aleksandr Shustov.

Steve Lewis goes in the pole vault up against season’s top marker Dmitriy Starodubtsev (RUS, 5.90m) having got off to a decent opener of 5.50m off 16 strides in Cottbus, Germany, on Wednesday.

One should also keep an eye on Joe Thomas as the Welshman ran a solo Istanbul qualifier of 1:47.82 from the off in Cardiff last weekend and looks set for great improvements into the season, facing top Kenyan Boaz Lalang.

The British team, as follows, are facing line-ups from the USA, Russia, Germany and a Commonwealth Select side captained by evergreen Kim Collins (SKN) in what has been a long-time formal curtain-drawer for the indoor season.


60m Mark Lewis Francis
200m Danny Talbot
400m Richard Buck
800m Joe Thomas
1500m Mo Farah
60mh Andy Turner
HJ Robbie Grabarz
PV Steve Lewis


60m Jeanette Kwakye
200m Margaret Adeoye
400m Shana Cox
800m Claire Gibson
1500m Hannah England
3000m Helen Clitheroe
60mh Gemma Bennett
LJ Shara Proctor
TJ Yamile Aldama

Brits on the Commonwealth Select Team: Charlene Thomas (1500m), Lawrence Clarke (60mh), Andrew Sutcliffe (PV), Shelayna Oskan-Clarke (400m), Laura Samuel (TJ)

Timetable & Start-lists


A very welcome emergence at the low-profile Crystal Palace Indoor Open on Wednesday was the sight of Jade Johnson dashing down the straight in the women’s 60m in her first competitive outing in any event in well over a year.

It has been a rough journey for the 31-year-old long jumper ever since finishing a rather surprise seventh at the Olympics in Beijing as she was battered by storms and swept by waves of adversity all the way, looking adrift, doomed and as though she could not escape her fate.

But she has managed to survive and struggle out of her woes, even shaken off a long-term adrenal fatigue syndrome, and now entertains thoughts of competing in a third Olympics in a row, more so when this time is held round her own backyard in London.

Her time of 7.87 secs is nothing to set the world alight at the moment, her first sprint race after two years (PB 7.43 secs 2004), but it’s a competitive start to get that feel back in her system while still just in late December, so she can hope to improve a lot on this when the indoor season gets underway in earnest.

Nevertheless, Johnson has got a mountain to climb to force her way into the Olympic squad in that only an A qualifying standard (6.75m), essentially a straight return to her very best form, will be enough to gain a place.

Shara Proctor already meets that standard on her PB of 6.81m in Florida last summer and the UK Athletics selection policy demands that any other athlete looking to occupy a berth out of the two left up for grabs do likewise, B qualifiers coming into play only in the event where there is no A equivalent in their discipline.

Yet, if tradition is anything to go by, the John Herbert-trained jumper has enjoyed her best form ever in Olympic campaigns and maybe her star could shine again, coming seventh both in Athens in 2004 and Beijing in 2008. Moreover, she set PBs in both seasons reaching out to 6.80m in that former Olympic final and improving it by a mere cm at the European Cup in Annecy leading up to the latter.

For good measure, she was fourth at the World Championships in Paris in 2003, silver medallist at the Europeans in Munich in 2002 and a European U23 champion the preceding season, therefore the quality and experience is there to make that big leap back to the fore.

After the storm comes the calm… Following months of battling against menacing storms and waves under dark gloomy skies, Olympic champion Christine Ohuruogu has finally steered her ship out on a sunny patch and calm waters just as time was running desperately short. For tension and pressure were piling up battering her sides and there needed to emerge a way out and within sighting distance of her fast sailing rivals ahead before the turn to London.

By all aspects, that was a turn totally against the flow of her season, even her recent outings. It was only three days earlier that she ended up fourth over 400m in only 51.80 secs on a particularly fast track in Rieti that very much ruled out any chance of recovery or shaking off Daegu’s major disappointment. But you can never discount the heart and the class of a champion to stage a rally even when all hope seems lost. Up against an arguably better line-up in Zagreb, Croatia, she showed glimpses of her glorious past, traveled well round the track and finished solid to set a huge SB and a UK leading mark of 50.85 secs for fourth and get her season alive again – hope was rekindled!

As a matter of fact, she came within touching distance of some leading figures this term like eventual winner Novlene Williams-Mills (JAM) in 50.31 secs, the woman she pipped to the world crown in Osaka in 2007, and runner-up Anastasiya Kapachinskaya (RUS) in 50.40, the world’s fastest with 49.35 secs and a bronze medalist in Daegu, so she is going to take plenty of heart from that as well. She will be feeling competitive again and the gap on the top substantially narrowed which is going to fired her up heading into a top tier affair against new World champion Amantle Montsho (BOT) at the Ivo van Damme in Brussels on Friday, with a point to make and some good scalps for the taking.

Incidentally, her time was the fastest by a British girl since 2009 and got the better of Ksenia Zadorina (RUS), Natasha Hastings (USA) and Olga Topilskaya (RUS) who all held considerably faster SBs prior to the race.



Another British girl that must have left the arena with a grin on her face was Jemma Simpson who, astonishingly enough, tied her two-day old SB of 1:59.59 from the ISTAF in Berlin but climbed up two places into third this time round in the women’s 800m, obtaining an important second Olympic A qualifier in quick succession. After a curtailed summer due to injury, she looks settled back into her stride and racing consistently well which is going to raise that feel-good factor and confidence back in her heading into the winter, something so essential. But really, how often does it happen for an athlete to clock an identical time in successive races over such a distance?

A new-look and surprisingly consistent Maggie Vessey (USA), a Daegu finalist, came thumbs up across the line in 1:58.64 narrowly before new Cuban star Yunesy Santiusti, second in 1:58.70, some way ahead of the Briton but a useful scalp picked up was that of 1:58.30 performer this term Liliya Lobanova (UKR) in the progress. Simpson has got one more top level race lined-up before she bows out of the season and she will be gunning for something really fast as herself vows.



Dayron Robles edges out Jason Richardson in another epic battle over the high hurdles

Andy Turner showed he has still got something left in the tank towards the end of a long summer to clock a solid 13.33 secs (-0.2m/sec) for fifth in the background of a latest enthralling knife-edged battle over the high hurdles as Olympic champion Dayron Robles (CUB) narrowly held off new global champion Jason Richardson once again in a SB of 13 secs dead to hold his ground convincingly at the top this term. But the young American is running the Cuban close and pushing all along, landing a new PB of 13.04 secs as he is bearing down on the landmark of the very great in the event, as the two look to edge away out of the top four in maybe the most hotly contested event around. Astonishingly enough, last season’s invincible number one David Oliver, apparently carrying an injury, looks like moving on the fringes of limelight at the moment to come off well-beaten in third place in 13.20 secs.



Usain Bolt overcomes a modest start to sweep past evergreen Kim Collins to win and a SB of 9.85 secs over 100m

Mark Lewis-Francis edged a rare international win in 10.35 secs (-0.7m/sec) over Moroccan record holder Aziz Ouhadi (10.38), James Ellington two places down in third in 10.42, in a ‘warm-up’ B race to the marquee event at the peak of the program reserved for Usain Bolt. The Jamaican didn’t get to the best of starts but once into his giant stride he stormed past evergreen Kim Collins, enjoying a second and even greener spring to his career, in the second half of the race to come away with a comprehensive win in a SB of 9.85 secs in almost windless conditions (0.1m/sec). Collins, for his part, was rewarded with a SB of 10.01 secs in second narrowly ahead of Richard Thompson (TRI) in 10.03 secs, looking like getting himself again after a slump of form in Daegu. Justin Gatlin came home well behind in fifth in 10.17 secs.

In the women’s dash, Jeanette Kwakye trailed home well off the pace in 11.51 secs but obtained the scalp of European indoor champion Olesya Pohv (UKR, 11.61) as world champion Carmelita Jeter (USA) romped to an easy victory in 11 secs sharp into a slight headwind of -0.5m/secs while late entrant Abi Oyepitan fared slightly better in fifth in 23.27 secs over 200m, dominated by Jamaican Schillonie Calvert in a PB of 22.55 secs (-0.2m/sec). By the way, that was Oyepitan’s faster run since her SB of 23.21 back in mid April, and arguably better given that was on a perfect tailwind of 2.0m/sec instead.

A last-ditch 6.63m in totally still conditions (0.0m/sec) saw Shara Proctor eventually draw out of a shaky patch that culminated in a premature exit in the qualifying round in Daegu and return to normal service, contrary to what her previous rounds had suggested (x, 6.39, 6.26). That proved good enough for runner-up ahead of American rising prospect Janay Deloach (6.48m) and behind Russian Olga Zaytseva‘s first-rounder of 6.73m.

In other events, Anna Chicherova (RUS) effected another countback win over home favourite Blanca Vlasic over 2m, the Croatian going over at the second attempt, to establish herself as a marginal top performer in the women’s high jump this term, Kenyan Nixon Kiplimo Chepseba pulled away to an impressive victory in a PB of 3:30.94 ahead of Ilham Tanui Ozbilen‘s Turkish record of 3:31.37 over 1500m and Reese Hoffa hurled the shot away at 21.73m to see off compatriot Christian Cantwell and Canadian Dylan Armstrong at 21.55 and 21.40m respectively.

Full Results


Former world silver medalist Yamile Aldama, the 11th hour-surprise package of the British team, has celebrated her selection for Daegu by means of a first international win in Tallinn, Estonia, the venue of the European U20 Championships a few weeks ago.

The former Cuban edged a useful win through a second-round SB and UK-lead of 14.20 (1.7m/sec), backed up with a 14.09m (1.9m/sec) in her next attempt, before calling it a day over the second half of the competition despite coming under pressure from Natalia Viatkina in the late stages, the Belarusian grinding out leaps at 14.17 (2.4m/sec) and 14.16 (2.0m/sec) in her 4th and 5th effort. Hopefully, Britain’s new asset hasn’t suffered any setback and was simply a matter of precaution or the like.

Shara Proctor was a more comfortable winner in the long jump with a windy 6.71m (3.9m/sec) from the off following up with a 6.68 (2.1m/sec) in the second round over Russian Olga Balayeva, who had a best of also a first-round 6.58m (1.8m/sec).

Over the men’s 200m, European U20 champion David Bolarinwa, apparently on the wind-down of his season, came third in 21.83 secs into a -1.0m/sec headwind well behind winner Ramil Guliyev (TUR) and Jamaica’s Lerone Clarke, who ran 20.83 and 21.23 secs respectively.

The spotlight was caught, however, by long jumper-cum-hurdler Marcos Chuva (POR, U23) who powered out to a massive last-gasp PB and national record of 8.34m (1.8m/sec) to shatter his previous lifetime best of 8.03m set in Lisboa in June, very much against the flow of his previous attempts. For that matter, he swept up the European charts into a narrow second behind Chris Tomlinson by a mere cm!

Anna Iljustsenko, just 1.68m tall, added another national record of 1.96m on account of Estonia to the meeting tally while Olympic champion Gerd Kanter easily prevailed in th discus at 65.46m and World champion Yaroslav Rybakov (RUS), who won’t be defending his title in Daegu due to a foot injury, was a below-par second at 2.20m behind countryman Nikita Anishchenkov (2.26m).

European Athletics Report http://www.european-athletics.org/general-news/national-records-in-estonia-israel-and-turkey.html

Full results http://www.kuldliiga.ee/?id=download&table=sys_attachments&recid=1899

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


Live Results:




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?


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.


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!


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.


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!


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).


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.


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.


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.


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..


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!


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.


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.


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


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.


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!


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.


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?


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.


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.