9 February 2008
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Day two at the Norwich Union World Trials and UK Championships at the EIS Sheffield saw a number of promising performances and qualifiers for the World Indoors. The key moments were:
A strong high jump performance from local darling Jess Ennis (Sheffield) who cleared 1.92m ahead of second placed Steph Pywell (Sale) whose personal best of 1.85m kept her ahead of Kelly Sotherton who cleared 1.79m for bronze.
In the 60m, Dwain Chambers (Belgrave) took the UK title in 6.56 ahead of Simeon Williamson (Highgate) and Rikki Fifton (Victoria Park). Pre race favourite Craig Pickering (Marshal Milton Keynes) finished in 5th in 6.70. Whilst in the women’s race, despite the withdrawal of both Joice Maduaka and Jeanette Kwakye from the final line up, Laura Turner (Harrow) still had to put in a quality run to narrowly beat Anyika Onoura (Liverpool). Turner took the gold with 7.32 to Onoura’s 7.33.
Chris Tomlinson (Newham & Essex) won a close tussle against Jonathan Moore in the long jump. Tomlinson’s 7.80m was enough to keep the young Birchfield Harrier in silver with his second round leap of 7.71m.
Sarah Claxton (Woodford Green) won the high class 60mh final in 8.09, overtaking Sara McGreavy (Sale) over the last flight of hurdles. Jessica Ennis (Sheffield) won the battle of the heptathletes taking bronze ahead of Kelly Sotherton (Birchfield) in fourth spot.
Meghan Beesley (Tamworth) took a surprise but well deserved 400m title after an uneven race where the 200m break saw the runners come together messily. Pre race favourite Mel Purkiss (Southampton) was one of the athletes to be disadvantaged in the jostling, but 18 year old Beesley ran a strong race and surged away from the field over the last 100m to take her first senior title. The men’s race was more straightforward as Richard Buck (York) deservingly took the gold ahead of Steve Green (Newham EB) with a PB 46.53.
In the battle of the women’s 800m, Marilyn Okoro (Shaftesbury Barnet) did all she could to control the race from the front, but the relentless Jenny Meadows (Wigan) challenged for the lead in the final 100m and despite taking the wider angle round the top bend was able to come away for the gold with 2.01.97.
Richard Hill (Notts) took the indoor title he had just missed out on during the last two years in a strong 800m final. Taking the lead with 300m to go, Hill was followed by Sam Ellis (Sheffield), but managed to hold off his challenge and that of Damien Moss (Rugby) who took silver. In the women’s 1500m, Jemma Simpson (Newquay) put on a powerful display to run away from Susan Scott and Katrina Wootton. Birthday girl Simpson finished in 4.13.99 to take the title.
The men’s 1500m saw 800m specialists dominate as James McIlroy (Windsor SEH) took gold in 3.44.90 ahead of the quickly improving Michael East. Last year’s 800m winner James Brewer (Cheltenham) took bronze.
Philips Idowu (Belgrave) was an easy triple jump victor when his first round leap of 17.24m took gold ahead of Nathan Douglas (Oxford) whilst there was an equally comprehensive victory for Kate Dennison (Sale) in the pole vault with a first time clearance over 4.25m.
The women’s 3000m title went to Helen Clitheroe after a sprint finish with Lisa Dobriskey The race was led out by Clitheroe (Preston), with Dobriskey, Tina Brown (Coventry Godiva) and Jo Ankier (Shaftesbury) in hot pursuit. Whilst Dobriskey took on the pace with 700m to go, Clitheroe hung on and outsprinted her younger rival in the final 30m.
For more news, start lists and timetable for this weekend’s events please visit the Norwich Union World Trials
Day One Report
Day one of the Norwich Union World Trials and UK Championships had a series of impressive performances at the EIS in Sheffield. Highlights included:
In the men’s high jump, despite the majority of athletes exiting the competition at 2.19m, Samson Oni (Belgrave) put in a superb solo display to clear 2.30m and take not only the title but also a World Indoor and Beijing Olympic qualifier away from the weekend action.
Nadia Williams took the first of the weekend’s titles with 13.39m to win the triple jump title. The Shaftesbury athlete beat Woodford Green’s Stephanie Aneto (13.01m) and Shaftesbury clubmate Noni Mordi (12.95m) to walk away with the first magnum of Heidsieck and Co Monopole champagne of the day.
Steve Lewis (Newham & Essex) was the toast of the pole vault with a 5.61m victory. Lewis, who recently made another huge breakthrough in his career clearing 5.70m in France last weekend, took both the indoor title and spot for the World Indoors, and had a decent third attempt at 5.75m.
Allan Scott (Shaftesbury Barnet) put the disappointment of a false start disqualification from Glasgow behind him with a comprehensive 60mh title ahead of David Hughes (Trafford) and Richard Alleyne (Woodford Green). The Scot managed an impressive 7.61 to touch upon the form that saw him run an early season 7.52.
Kelly Sotherton (Birchfield Harriers) won her sixth indoor title and 12th indoor medal with the long jump gold by leaping 6.41m. Nick McCormick (Morpeth) won the 3000m title in 8.16.73;
Joice Maduaka (Woodford Green) proved age is no barrier to performance as she joined those athletes setting PBs with 23.43 over the 200m to take yet another national title. Youngster Chris Clarke (Marshall Milton Keynes) was an impressive victor of the 200m in a strong PB of 20.98
Shaftesbury’s impressive American Garrett Johnson won the shot put with an impressive 20.66 ahead of Emeka Udechuku (Woodford Green) in second. Eden Francis (Birchfield) threw a PB of 16.11 to win the women’s event in fine style.
Amongst those qualifying for Sunday’s finals included an impressive looking Sam Ellis (Sheffield) and Richard Hill (Notts AC) in the 800m. Both won their respective heats with relative ease. Likewise, in the women’s 800m, pre race favourites Jennifer Meadows (Wigan) and Marilyn Okoro (Shaftesbury) won their heats in differing fashion – Meadows content to run away in the last 100m, whilst Okoro led from the gun in a quality solo effort.
In the men’s 1500m, James McIlroy (WSEH) and James Brewer (Cheltenham) impressed in the first heat to advance towards the final as did Michael East (Newham & Essex) in the second heat. In the women’s event, Katrina Wootton (Bedford) controlled the first heat impressively to make the final, and Jemma Simpson (Newquay) looked in strong form in the second. Meanwhile in the women’s 400m Mel Purkiss (Southampton) was the pick of the bunch for the final as was Richard Buck (York) and Steve Green (Newham & Essex) in the men’s event.