Sainsbury's Glasgow International Match | Emirates Arena | Glasgow | Saturday 24 Jan 2015
The British Athletics indoor season got off to a storming start at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow International Match on Saturday 24 January, with Jess Judd (coach: George Gandy) one of six GB & NI winners in front of a capacity crowd at the Emirates Arena.
Judd clinched maximum points for the team in the 1,500m with a dominant performance in just her third ever indoor race. Acting as the British team ‘ace’, Judd’s four points (awarded for winning) were doubled to eight, but that still wasn’t enough as Germany secured overall victory. France were disqualified in the last event of the day when it looked as if they’d finally won the match for the first time since its inception in 1988.
Kelly Massey (Stephen Ball) had earlier succeeded in getting the GB & NI team off to a flying start with victory in the first event on the track, the women’s 400m. The 30-year-old set a new lifetime best of 52.95 after a terrific start out the blocks and she set the tone for the rest of the day.
In the men’s 400m four points went to the host nation as Jamie Bowie (Piotr Haczek) got the better of GB & NI team captain Conrad Williams in a closely fought race.
The Scot – part of the 4x400m silver medal winning quartet at last year’s IAAF World Indoor Championships – stayed tucked in behind Williams for 300m before making his move round the final bend. The pair tussled for the lead but it was the 25-year-old who pushed to the line in the final 20m, clocking 47.38. Williams took second in 47.52.
Serita Solomon (Michelle Bovell) was next to follow suit, securing maximum points for GB & NI in the women’s 60m hurdles, taking the scalp of France’s Cindy Billaud, who finished fourth at last year’s IAAF World Indoor Championships. Next up was GB & NI senior debutant Chris Kandu (Fuzz Ahmed), who equalled his personal best of 2.23m to take victory in the men’s high jump, and just 19 years of age it was performance that displayed maturity beyond his years.
There was double victory for the GB & NI team in the 4x400m relays, with both the women and men's teams triumphant at the close of the day. The women’s quartet enjoyed a convincing victory after after Seren Bundy-Davies (Ball) ran the team into a decisive lead on the second leg. For final leg runner Massey though, her relay performance, coupled with her individual victory at the start of the day saw her crowned Sainsbury’s Performance of the Day. In the men’s 4x400m Conrad Williams put the British quartet out front from the gun, and they never looked back, ensuring victory with a season’s best 3:08.90.
Elsewhere there were encouraging performances from some of the new faces on the GB & NI senior team, such as second place finishes from hurdler David Omoregie (Mike Guest) and sprinter Rachel Johncock (Leon Baptiste) meaning the future really is bright.
Next stop for many of these athletes is the Sainsbury’s Indoor British Championships in Sheffield on 14 & 15 February.
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