11 July 2009
To view live start lists and results please follow this link
On the second day of the Aviva World Trials and UK Championships, there were a number of surprise winners, a UK record and a world class 10,000m to keep spectators happy at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium.
Simeon Williamson (Highgate) was a popular winner of blue riband event, when he took 100m gold in 10.05 into a 1.8m/s headwind. It was a world class run in the conditions and too much for Dwain Chambers (Belgrave Harriers) with 10.22 and Tyrone Edgar (Newham & Essex) 10.28 - in second and third.
Earlier in the day, in the first of the three semi finals, Williamson had thrown down the gauntlet with an impressive 10.14. But no-one could have predicted the way in which he ruled the final and secured a 100m slot at the World Championships.
Williamson said: “I feel I would have liked to have run sub-10 today. I know I am in shape, I’ve got to go and do it now. It’s the equivalent of a sub-10 but it’s not sub-10. I mean that’s the next step for me. That’s the next goal.
“I like running rounds, because I don’t really perform well in one-off races. My season’s best performance is 10.09 and you have to book your space.” Looking ahead to Berlin, he said: “Hopefully if I make the final, anything is possible, people can get disqualified. I’m looking to put a really good performance in.”
In the women’s 100m final, the athletes were still somewhat hampered by the headwind that had flattened times earlier on in the semi finals. As it was Joice Maduaka (Woodford Green EL) took the win and her sixth title ahead of Kadi-Ann Thomas (Milton K) and Montell Douglas (Blackheath).
In one of the day’s most enthralling races, Charlene Thomas demonstrated the benefits of slipping under the radar as the pre-event hype for the women’s 1500m focussed on Steph Twell (AFD) and Hannah England (Oxford City).
Yet Thomas, who has clocked an impressive 4.05.06 this year, an A standard for the World Championships, ran a classy race allowing Twell to open out a lead at 500m, but subsequently caught and passing her on the home straight. Hannah England took bronze.
The bubbly Wakefield athlete was the most excited winner during the day’s events, bouncing up and down during her post race interview with Katharine Merry.
“I could have ‘em I knew it, I just wanted it bad. At one point I thought I’d let Steph go too far in front, but I kicked as hard as I could. I’m just so pleased. I knew I had the A standard but to come here and do it is great.”
Twell was gracious in defeat: “I came here to have a go today and that’s what I did. Charlene finished well. All three of us ran well today so I hope we will be selected.”
With shades of Yelena Isinbayeva, Kate Dennison (Sale) swooped nonchalantly into the women’s pole vault competition approximately an hour after it had started and cleared her opening height of 4.05m with so much room to spare, it was merely a question of how high she would want to take the bar once the opposition had fallen away.
As it was she rewarded spectators with a new UK record of 4.57m and then continued on to attempt a truly world-class 4.70m. Despite missing out, she had two strong attempts and the likelihood of her reaching that high this season looked very good.
“The crowd support was key in helping me to 4.57m today, and nearly getting 4.70m, so thank you very much guys!” said Dennison on receiving her $5000 cheque for breaking the UK record.
In the eagerly awaited women’s 400m final, Christine Ohuruogu (NEB) did as expected in taking the win in 51.26, but was certainly pushed on in the latter stages by the boundless energy of hurdles specialist Perri Shakes Drayton. Shakes Drayton, whose previous best for 400m was 52.98, removed more than a second in taking silver in 51.81, and revealed soon after she may well move to the flat 400m one day.
“I nearly got her, one day I will you know, one day – when I get a bit older and stronger. I just don’t know what my limits are and I just keep pushing myself and improving,” she said.
On the infield, Germaine Mason took his first ever UK title in the men’s high jump competition clearing 2.24m ahead of Samson Oni and Tom Parsons. The Beijing Olympic silver medallist had a close effort at 2.31m but settled for first place on a muggy afternoon in centre-stadium.
“I had an operation so I have missed a lot of my winter,” said Mason. “I hope by the time I get to the Aviva London Grand Prix it will all come together and you will see me jump higher.”
In the men’s 110m hurdles final, Andy Turner (Sale) battled against a strong headwind of +1.9m/s to take a fourth consecutive UK title in 13.47 although he was pushed all the way by training partner Callum Priestly (Woodford Green with Essex Ladies) in a PB of 13.69.
“I came here to win and get the qualifying time – it’s nice to book my place on the plane,” he said. “Callum’s pushing me all the way and I’m glad he’s got a PB today.”
Zoe Derham (Birchfield) took the hammer title with 67.94m, whilst clubmate Eden Francis took a deserved win in the shot with her putt of 16.33m, but eyes were also on the performance of Kelly Sotherton, whose comeback from injury was confirmed with a solid mark of 14.51m in finishing eighth. Francis later returned to take silver in the discus, behind Phillipa Roles (Swansea) who won with 57.57m.
Nusrat Ceesay (Woodford Green EL) took the women’s 400m hurdles title in the absence of the UK’s top three ranked athletes, but ran a solid race to finish in a PB of 57.13 ahead of Hannah Douglas, who also recorded a lifetime best of 57.50.
The women’s long jump was a comprehensive victory for Phyllis Agbo with two leaps of 6.42m, however a strong following wind in excess of +4.0ms at some points meant the marks set throughout the competition won’t count for record purposes including that of junior Abigail Irozuru (Sale) in third with 6.28m.
Finally, in the day’s last track event, Olympic 5000m champion Meseret Defar, put on a demonstration of world class endurance running whilst guesting in the women’s 10,000m. Blasting away the final lap to clock 29.59.20, the fifth fastest time ever, the Birmingham crowd were treated to an historic endurance moment. Taking the UK title Claire Hallissey benefitted from the occasion and recorded a lifetime best of 33.10.73, ahead of Gemma Miles and Hatti Dean to compete the championship positions.
Qualifying for Sunday
In the men’s 400m hurdles, Euro team championship winner Dai Greene (Swansea) looked relaxed in winning his heat in 51.37 to progress to Sunday’s final. Ben Sumner (Enfield), European medallist Rhys Williams (Cardiff), and Dale Garland (Channel Islands) were the other heat winners in the first track event of the day.
The 800m semi finals took place for both men and women. In the men’s event, there was further progression for Sam Ellis (Sheffield) and Mike Rimmer (Liverpool PS), whilst Marilyn Okoro (Shaftesbury Barnett), Jenny Meadows (Wigan) and Jemma Simpson (Newquay) all progressed as expected, Okoro leading the way impressively with 2.00.65 in her semi final.
The men’s 400m semi finals saw Rob Tobin (Basingstoke), Michael Bingham and Conrad Williams (Kent) qualify with ease for Sunday’s final.
The men’s 1500m heats were fiercely contested with only the top four guaranteed the final slots in each heat. Lee Emanuel (Sheffield), Colin McCourt (Dundee Hawkhill), Nick McCormick (Morpeth), Simon Horsfield (East Cheshire)and Ross Murray (Gateshead) all progressed safely to set up an intriguing final.