9 February 2013
An immensely talented trio asserted themselves ahead of next month’s continental championships in Sheffield today, as Britain’s best athletes look to book their place at the European Indoor Championships at the British Athletics European Trials & UK Championships graced the English Institute of Sport-Sheffield.
Pole-vaulter Holly Bleasdale (coach: Dan Pfaff, Scott Simpson) soared to a world-leading 4.77m in claiming her third UK indoor title, whilst sprint pair Asha Philip (Christine Bowmaker) and James Dasaolu (Steve Fudge) sped to scintillating 7.15 and 6.58 60m victories.
In the women’s pole-vault final,Bleasdale jumped a stunning world-leading 4.77m to claim her third title. The 21-year-old reigning champion first cleared 4.50m on her second attempt, 4.65m at her first and then went onto challenging a remarkable height of 4.90m on three occasions. The world indoor bronze medallist said afterwards:
“It was really fun today. I felt really confident in my warm up and I was blowing through all my poles so I knew that I could be on big poles today. I was really happy when I cleared 4.77m on my last attempt, I didn’t quite hook things up how I’d like to but I can’t complain with 4.77m and I know that once I hook everything up I’ll be in a good place.
World indoor semi-finalist Asha Philip set the track alight in the 60m final with a scintillating 7.15 stadium record and the third-fastest British time ever to take her second win in as many years and pushed Annabelle Lewis (Roger Walters) and Anyika Onuora (Rana Reider) into second and third with 7.33 and 7.37, respectively.
She said: “I’m so happy that I’ve managed to time my championships perfectly. I sometimes peak in the semis and this time I said I was going to relax, then go hard in the final, and that’s what I did.
“I’ve been working my socks off because I’ve got such a bad history of injuries, breaking my leg and so on, so it feels great to have come out and run as fast as I did. I’m happy that I’m on top of my game. I’m going to go to the Euros and I’m going to try to aim for a medal.”
Olympic 100m semi-finalist James Dasaolu edged further inside the European qualifying mark with victory in the 60m final in a time of 6.58.
The 25-year-old’s lifetime best came after a 6.67 semi-final win and ensured 2012 bronze medallist Harry Aikines-Ayreetey (Rana Reider) had to settle for silver, courtesy of a 6.69 season’s best. Dasaolu said:
“I’m really pleased to book my place for Gothenburg. I was a bit worried after my semi-final when I didn’t get a good start but I knew that as long as I got my start right I’d have a really good chance and to get a new PB as well, so I’m happy.
“I’m pleased with the time, I’d like to have gone a little bit quicker but I’m happy. I want to get a medal at the European Indoor Championships, obviously I’m going to have to go on the lower side of 6.50 but that’s my goal.”
Olympic 400m hurdles semi-finalist Eilidh Child (Malcolm Arnold) flew to a Scottish record-breaking 52.06, the third fastest time in the world this year, to reach tomorrow’s 400m final as the fastest qualifier by almost two clear seconds. Shana Cox (Lloyd Cowan) won her semi-final to set up an intriguing battle in the final.
Gianni Frankis (Tony Jarrett) upgraded his silver medal from last year to gold this time in the 60m hurdles final. The 24-year-old capitalised on the form which took him to a fine 7.67 personal best in Austria last month to register 7.73 from Allan Scott (Stuart Hogg)’s 7.76 in second whilst Nick Gayle was third in 7.79.
UK outdoor champion Andrew Pozzi (Malcolm Arnold) was the quickest in qualifying with an eye-catching 7.62 but failed to contest the final due to a hamstring pull.
In the triple jump final, UK Champs guest andCommonwealth champion Tosin Oke led the field with an impressive 16.87m. Kola Adedoyin (Frank Atttoh) registered a 16.50m personal best to take the UK title for the second time, while his training partner, Michael Puplampu replicated his 2012 performance with bronze and a personal best mark (16.43m).
2012 bronze medallist Matthew Burton (John Herbert) took the scalp of Olympic sixth-placer Chris Tomlinson (Rana Reider) in claiming the long jump final as the 25-year-old leapt 7.94m ahead of Tomlinson’s 7.88m.
In the women’s high-jump final, 2012 silver medalist Emma Perkins (Fayyaz Ahmed) won a tough battle with 15-year-old Morgan Lake (Eldon Lake). The 27-year-old enjoyed a best height of 1.81m and took victory on count-back, having cleared the mark on her second-attempt in comparison to Lake’s third-time clearance.
Meanwhile, Lake – the British u17 heptathlon record-holder - improved her lifetime best by a single centimeter and cleared 1.78m at her first attempt. Taking the bronze medal after finishing sixth last year, Edinburgh’s Jayne Nisbet (Emily Parker) cleared 1.78m.
David Bishop (James Thie) got the better of cross-country specialist Tom Humphries in the 3,000m final with the former taking gold in a 8:06.98 season’s best from 8:07.11. Moving up one place from 2012, Phillip Hurst (Martin Crowe) clocked 8:07.28 to take the bronze medal.
Back on the in-field,Rachel Wallader (Geoff Capes) improved from fourth place last year to take the shot put title with a 16.19m throw. Shaunaugh Brown (John Hillier) took silver with 16.07m, while British under20 record-holder Sophie McKinna (Geoff Capes) claimed the bronze medal with a 15.76m throw.
In the men’s 400m,Nigel Levine (Linford Christie) heads into the final as the fastest qualifier in 46.95 ahead of training partner Richard Strachan (Linford Christie – 46.99). Last year’s silver medalist Michael Bingham (George Harrison) and three-time champion Richard Buck (Steve Fudge) also qualified with 47.26 and 47.28, respectively.
European outdoor semi-finalist Mukhtar Mohammed (Mustafa Mohammed) was the fastest qualifier for tomorrow’s 800m final with a swift 1:49.84 clocking in winning the third heat.
Last year’s champion, Joe Thomas (Arwyn Davies) also qualified in 1:51.53 and British U17 record-holder Sean Molloy (Mark Hookway) qualified with a 1:54.61 clocking.
Charlie Grice (Jon Bigg) and Lee Emanuel (Ronnie Warhurst) were the fastest qualifiers ahead of the 1500m final with 3:48.66 and 3:48.69, respectively. British under20 record-holder Matthew McLaughlin (Ayo Falola) fell mid-race.
Alison Leonard (Bud Baldaro) and Marilyn Okoro (Ayo Falola) were the fastest qualifiers for in the 800m with a 2:05.83 and 2:06.11 season’s best respectively.
Nineteen-year-old Laura Muir (Andy Young) qualified fastest for tomorrow’s 1500m final with a comfortable 4:24.71 clocking.
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