14 September 2013
There was a dominant British showing at the fifth Great North City Games in Newcastle with five British athletes taking the win in front of a home crowd on the Quayside.
In the most anticipated event, James Dasaolu (coach: Steve Fudge) led fellow Britons Dwain Chambers (Rana Reider) and Harry Aikines-Aryeetey (Reider) in the men’s 100m winning with 10.17 into a -1.5 m/s head wind.
World championships finalist Dasaolu, who ran 9.91 in the Sainsbury’s British Championships in July was happy with his performance and was pleased to wrap the season up with a win:
“It was brilliant today. I love this meet as there’s no other meet like this in the world as the fans are so close, and it’s such a fun and exciting atmosphere. I was happy to close my season with a win in Newcastle and Britain and I really enjoyed it out there.
“It wasn’t the best of starts but I was able to transition pretty well and finish pretty strong so put together a good race in the end. I’ve struggled with my starts a little after I had a bit of time off after Birmingham but I was happy to execute a good race today. I’m glad I can go into the winter with a win and end my season on a high.”
There was a British win too in the women’s 100m, as Ashleigh Nelson (Michael Afilaka), who was part of the bronze medal winning 4x100m relay team in Moscow, ran 11.50 to finish off her superb season in style in front of a home crowd.
Nelson said: “The 100m was really fun and it was almost over too quickly. I’ve had a great year, finishing fourth in 200m at the under 23’s and then going to Moscow and getting a bronze in the 4 x100m. I then went off to Zurich and ran a PB – I’ve run a PB in the 100m and 200m this year so it’s been a good.
“I’m thinking about doing World Indoors next year. It’s big year with so much opportunity and my coach and I are constantly working away at how we can keep getting better and competing with the top girls because the sport's moving forwards it’s not the same faces all the time and there’s so many new girls on the scene.”
Elsewhere in the sprints, London 2012 Paralympic Champion 2013 World champion, Jonnie Peacock (Fudge) also put in a winning performance on the straight in the T44 100m. Going head to head with American rival Richard Browne, Peacock was pleased with his performance and hopes to return to the City track again next year:
“It was a good way to finish off the season and I’m really happy just to be up here. I love running in front of the British crowd and being incorporated into an event where you have some of the best names in the whole world of athletics.
“It’s awesome to see their names on the start list and then see your name just below theirs. It’s really special and I hope we can see more of that next year.”
Not to be outdone by the sprinters, there were two British wins in the field today as British record holder and local hero Chris Tomlinson (Reider) dominated the long jump competition with a jump of 7.83m, while Luke Cutts (Trevor Fox) won the Pole Vault with a 5.50m jump.
Middlesborough man Tomlinson said:
“I wanted to win. I wanted to get myself in winning spirits and winning form. I was having a bit of a think about my athletics last week and I’ve finished 2nd and 3rd at a few championships and 5th and 6th at Olympics and Worlds so I need to get a winning mentality.
“I really wanted to come here and beat some good athletes. Through the winter I need to do plenty of running, my technique has been very good this year and I'm very happy with it. I've stayed away from injury better than before, now my coach will have ideas how to move forward.”
Cutts who got the British contingent off to a winning start this morning with a best clearance of 5.50m said:
“It was good today and I really enjoyed it. I’m disappointed I didn’t beat my personal best but hopefully next year the British record will come.”
World 400m Champion Christine Ohuruogu (Lloyd Cowan) was also in action on the track today and decided to drop down to the 150m as she lined up against 100m hurdles Olympic Champion Sally Pearson. Ohuruogu finished in third in 17.60 but enjoyed racing in front of a British crowd:
“I think the most important thing was coming out and just putting on a show for the public. It’s been a long season so it’s about coming out and turning up and saying thank you. I think it’s a nice way to finish the season and that’s more important than anything else.”
On the roads local girl and London 2012 finalist Laura Weightman (Steve Cram) put in a solid run to finish second in the women’s mile and was pleased with her performance:
“I went out hard from the start through 400in 65ish. I think I prefer to run hard from the start it's where my strengths lie now with the fall and what I've missed. I knew if it was left to a sprint I might lack that pace change. My transition from road to track was fine I just had to work really hard.
“That's me finished now. I have a few weeks break then into a solid winter training to work on strength. I absolutely loved it out there I've never ran the road mile here. The course just flew by with fantastic support the crowds being so close to you I just felt really strong.”
For a full list of results from today’s Great North City Games visit www.greatcitygames.org