12 August 2012
Full results available at http://www.uka.org.uk/competitions/uk-challenge/jumpsfest-throwsfest/
ALEX Smith (coaches: Shane Peacock & Dave Smith) followed up a solid showing at London 2012 with an impressive display on day two of the McCain Jumps and Throws Fest in Birmingham to come away with victory in the hammer.
Almost exactly a week ago Smith was lapping up the support of a raucous Olympic Stadium crowd, producing a best throw of 72.87m to finish a respectable 12th in the final.
A rain-soaked Alexander Stadium provided a drastic change of scene, but the 24-year-old seemed unperturbed as he produced a best effort of 74.21m to comfortably see off second-placed Mark Dry (Derek Evely) and third-placed James Bedford (Dave Smith) and claim the title of Best Performance of the Weekend by a male athlete.
And after claiming his winner’s cheque of £500, Smith revealed he was pleased to be enjoying such a strong finish to a testing campaign.
“I felt a bit lost after the Olympic final,” he admitted. “Everything you've trained for is gone, but I sat down with Brett [Morse] and decided to come here, and it's paid off.
“It's been a good competition for me. I didn't know I was in that sort of form - I was predicting around 72m or 73m, because I haven't trained much since last week - so I'm really pleased with the result.
“This season has given me a lot of confidence. It's been a bit of a wake-up call actually, knowing this is how far I throw now. I had a few bad competitions at the start of the season which knocked my confidence a bit.
“I was struggling to make the Olympic standard, but I managed to turn it around, and it's nice to be going into next season at this level.
“Hopefully I can build on it and start getting some top eights and into more finals next year.”
Zoe Derham (Derek Evely) and Sarah Holt (Robert Weir) narrowly missed out on London 2012 selection thanks to the emergence of Sophie Hitchon (Derek Evely), and endured further disappointment as they were edged out by Scotland’s Susan McKelvie (Alan Bertram) in the hammer.
McKelvie produced an impressive longest throw of 64.05m – just under one metre down on her personal best – to gain her first victory of the season over former British number one Derham (63.94m) and Holt (63.77m) after a tight and tense contest.
Another star to narrowly miss out on a home Olympic place was Samson Oni (Trevor Llewelyn), but he bounced back with victory in the men’s high jump.
Oni triumphed on countback after finishing level with Giffnock North’s David Smith (Ken Allan) on a height of 2.14m, while Sale Harrier Chris Baker (Graham Ravenscroft) took third with a jump of 2.11m.
In the women’s high jump, Isobel Pooley (Fayyaz Ahmed) cruised to victory by a massive 15 centimetres after reaching a height of 1.88m – just short of her personal best of 1.91m.
The 19-year-old Aldershot Farnham and District AC athlete was in a league of her own at the top and deservedly claimed the title of Best Performance of the Weekend by a female, although runner-up Moe Sasegbon (Antonio Minichiello) and third-placed Ayamba Akim (self-coached) were also pleased with their jumps of 1.73m and 1.67m respectively.
Kola Adedoyin (John Vernon) marked his comeback from lengthy layoff with a torn quadricep muscle with victory in the men’s triple jump, recording a best effort of 15.94m.
Nathan Fox (Larry Achike) claimed second with 15.87m, while Scot John Carr claimed his second podium place of the weekend with a jump of 15.51m.
Izzy Jeffs (Simon de Wilton) came out on top in the women’s javelin despite being disappointed with her winning throw of 52.96m – just under three metres down on her personal best.
Katy Watts (Bronwin Carter) pushed Jeffs close with a best effort of 51.25m, while Rosie Sementysh (Chris Watts) was a little further behind with 45.94m.
In the men’s competition, Lee Doran (John Davies) produced an impressive best throw of 74.68m to cruise to a comfortable victory as he looks to end an injury-disrupted campaign on a high.
Joe Dunderdale (David Parker) was some way behind the dominant Doran on 70.72m, while Bonne Buwembo (self-coached) completed the podium after a throw of 67.03m.
Elsewhere, Laura Samuel (Glenys Morton) continued her strong finish to the season with victory in the women’s triple jump. The Birchfield Harrier, who also triumphed in the Olympic trials back in June, recorded a sixth and final jump of 13.13m to take the top prize.
Sineade Gutzmore (Kevin Reeve) overcame a persistent foot injury to claim second with 12.93m, 18cm clear of third-placed Karlene Misiani’s (Keith Fleming) effort of 12.75m.
Additional non-Olympic weekend highlights
National Junior League, Hendon, August 12
Aviva Under-20 champion Nick Percy (John Hillier) won the discus with 59.39m, just short of his McCain Power of Ten ranking topping 59.53m, which he set in the world junior trials at Bedford.
Bushy Park Parkrun 5km, August 11
While it can't make up for his Olympic disappointment, where he narrowly missed making the 1500m final, Andy Baddeley (Andrew Hobdell) showed his fitness by blasting an all time Parkrun record of 13:48
BMC Gold standard Races, Stretford, August 7
ESAA champion Matt Sherling (Coach: Adrian Webb) won the 1500m race and also smashed the UK under-17 record with 3:44.11. The time took almost four seconds off his PB which headed the McCain Power of Ten rankings.