10 February 2013
Day two of the British Athletics European Trials & UK Championships saw several athletes secure a place at next month’s European Indoor Championships.
Robbie Grabarz (Coach: Fayyaz Ahmed), Nigel Levine (Linford Christie), Margaret Adeoye (Linford Christie) and Eilidh Child (Malcolm Arnold) all enjoyed fine performances as they continue to hone their preparations for the continental championship.
Olympic bronze medallist Robbie Grabarz cleared 2.31m to win the high jump by nine centimetres to show his form leading into Gothenburg. The 25-year-old European champion passed the 2.33m mark to attempt the British record of 2.39m, which he narrowly failed.
In second place, Italy’s Marco Fassinotti jumped 2.22m as did Allan Smith (Bryan Roy), who took the silver a fortnight after setting a 2.23m Scottish native record in Glasgow last month.
Grabarz explained afterwards: “I’ve never had the indoor title so that was my target today and then come in and try to get the world lead. It wasn’t too bad but I was just running too fast so it was the same story as always. It was only my second competition so to be jumping that high is pretty good.
“I’m ready to try and break the record. I’ve been training hard, I’ve not done too many competitions indoors so I know that when I come out I’m ready to go and today showed that.”
In arguably the most competitive event of the championship, Nigel Levine stamped his authority to comfortably win the 400m final in a 46.73 season’s best.
The 2012 winner and Olympic semi-finalist stormed clear of Richard Strachan (Linford Christie) and Michael Bingham (George Harrison), who registered 46.95 and 47.04 for silver and bronze, respectively.
Levine said: “I was just running. I don’t feel in that much kind of a shape but it is what it is. I’m happy to get another national title, my third time.”
Margaret Adeoye ran an impressive 23.22 in the 200m to finish in first place, ahead of Olympic 400m silver-medalist Christine Christine Ohuruogu (Lloyd Cowan), who honed her speed-work with a swift 23.58 season’s best in second place.
The 27-year-old said: “I’m happy, I’ve trained really hard this year after the Olympics so things are going well.
Scotland’s Eilidh Child captured her first UK indoor crown with a clocking 52.13 in the 400m to beat Olympic 400m semi-finalist Shana Cox (Lloyd Cowan), who recorded a 52.97 season’s best in second.
“I’m over the moon, I just wanted to win it. I’ve had so many silvers at UK Championships before so it’s great to finally get a gold,” said Child.
“It’s been a great weekend for me. I was a bit worried about how I’d run today after having a hard run last night. I’m happy that I’ve came out and done two solid races back to back.”
In the triple jump,Yamile Aldama (Frank Attoh) retained her national indoor crown with a 13.44m best effort.
The World Indoor Champion said: “It feels good to defend the title. Winning is always good. I wasn’t happy with the distance, but I’m coming back slowly after the surgery that I had at the end of September. Training is going really well though.
“I think I will be fully fit for Gothenburg. All that matters there is that you deliver on the day.”
Meanwhile, Laura Muir (Andy Young) cemented her place on the European squad by winning the 1500m final.
The 19-year-old strode clear of the field with 500m remaining to cross the line in 4:13.59, with Rosie Clarke (Michael Firth) and Melissa McCourtney, who both set personal bests of 4:17.09 and 4:17.57 in second and third, respectively.
Matthew Fayers (Stevan Dokic) marked his senior UK Championship debut with a 3:47.77 victory in the 1500m. The 18 year old secured a personal best with Lee Emmanuel (Ronnie Warhurst) and Charlie Grice (Jon Bigg) taking silver and bronze.
Last year’s four-lap champion, Joe Thomas (Arwyn Davies) won a tight battle to retain his 800m crown with European outdoor semi-finalist Mukhtar Mohammed (Mustafa Mohammed), with only a photo finish separating the two athletes.
In the pole vault Steve Lewis (Dan Pfaff) went one better than in 2012, securing the gold medal clearing 5.50m, with runner-up Luke Cutts (Trevor Fox) vaulting to a 5.35m season’s best.
Ireland’s Claire Tarplee (Bill Foster) edged nearer to the European standard with a 2:03.66 personal best to take victory in the 800m. Alison Leonard (Bud Baldaro) clocked a 2:03.88 in second place, as the first five finishers all registered lifetime best performances.
European outdoor finalist Chris Clarke (Steve Fudge) took the men’s equivalent with a fine 20.96 personal best ahead of Andre Wright (Harry King), who improved from fourth place last year to take the silver a day after finishing fifth in the 60m final.
Irish Olympic 100m hurdles semi-finalist Derval O’Rourke claimed the 60m hurdles win as a guest with an 8.11 season’s best ahead of Sarah Claxton(Martey Newman), who clocked 8.16 won the UK title.
Scott Rider (John Hillier) took his third consecutive shot put victory with an 18.59m personal best to equal the UK-leading mark of the season.
The 35-year-old was followed by 2012 runner-up Zane Duquemin (John Hillier) with an outright personal best of 18.50m.
Back on the track, Lauren Howarth (Peter Riley) set a personal best in the 3000m on her indoor debut with a fine 8:56.48 to win gold. The 22-year-old finished clear of Emily Stewart (Ian Whyte) and Jessica Judd (Rob Denmark), who finished in second and third.
Dominique Blaize (Julie Hollman) took the long jump win with a 6.29m season’s best ahead of Jade Surman (Femi Akinsanya), who leapt a 6.19m personal best.
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