18 May 2008
At today’s Loughborough International Great Britain’s athletes began their outdoor season in good form, raising hopes for the forthcoming European Cup and World Junior Championships.
Martyn Rooney (Croydon Harriers) stunned crowds at the university’s High Performance Athletics Centre, achieving the Olympic qualifying mark with his incredible time of 45.46 in the men’s 400m match.
He said: “Loughborough is not the quickest track and it was windy out there today, so it bodes well for this year and I’m very excited. My aim is to make the Olympic final.”
Philippa Roles (Swansea Harriers) also achieved the Olympic qualifying mark with her impressive 61.10m throw in the women's discus. This performance will no doubt put her in contention for a place in the European Cup GB team.
Other highlights include:
World Indoor long jump Silver medallist Chris Tomlinson (Newham and Essex Beagles) came first in one of the 100m invitation races with a time of 10.84.
Tomlinson, who opted to work on his speed rather than compete in his usual event, said: “I really enjoy running 100m, its great for my preparation for the outdoor season.”
Harry Aikines- Aryeteey (Sutton & District/ Belgrave Harriers) ran strongly for his university team on home soil, with a comfortable win of 10.48 in the men’s 100m match. Aikines- Aryeteey will hope to be included in the European Cup GB team as he continues to prove his form following an outstanding comeback of 10.18 in Pavia, Italy.
He said: “I’m really pleased with that, I’m still getting used to it but its nice to be back, especially at Loughborough, they’ve done at lot for me.
“I’m back, ready to run and want to be taken seriously. I hope it’s enough to make the European team.”
GB hepathlete Jessica Ennis (City of Sheffield) continued her Olympic preparations, competing in three events for her club. Winning the women’s 100m hurdles in an impressive 13.72 and the long jump with 6.30m, she then focussed the javelin, throwing a new personal best of 43.08m.
Christian Malcolm (Cardiff AC) won the men’s invitational 150m show down in 15.79, despite stiff competition from England’s Mark Findlay and GB international Tyrone Edgar (Newham & Essex Beagles) who finished second and third respectively.
World Indoor 100m silver medallist Jeanette Kwakye (Woodford Green & Essex Ladies) continued her 2008 run of form with a secure win, for her university team of Loughborough, in the women’s 200m match in 23.37. GB and club teammate Joice Maduka followed in second place for England with 24.04.
In the men’s 800m match Great Britain’s Richard Hill (Notts AC) and James Brewer (Cheltenham & C Harriers) ran well finishing first and third respectively with 01:47:47 and 01:49:50.
Sarah Claxton (Woodford Green & Essex Ladies) won the 100m hurdles invitation comfortably with 13.49 and will now hope for a place in the GB team heading for the European Cup in June.
Junior GB Team Highlights
The International was hugely successful for the Junior GB team, with some promising victories and many athletes reaching qualifying marks for the World Junior Championships due to be held in Poland in July.
Jordan McGrath (Birchfield Harriers) ran extremely well in the men’s 400m match, achieving the World Junior Championships qualifying mark and shaving almost half a second off his personal best, with his 46.54 effort.
Finishing second to GB senior Martyn Rooney, who achieved the Olympic A standard of 45.5 in the same race, McGrath said: “I’m so pleased, I think my coach has seen it coming for a while but I didn’t expect to run this fast today.”
Other athletes who hit qualification marks and will be put forward for selection include:
Sophie Hitchon (Blackburn Harriers) hammer, Peter Smith (Kingston upon Hull /Goole AC) hammer, Brett Morse (Cardiff AC) discus, Ashlee Nelson (City of Stoke)100, Lynsey Sharp (Edinburgh AC) 800, Abigail Irozuru (Sale Harriers Manchester) long jump and Alison Leonard (Blackburn Harriers) 800.
Other highlights from the day:
Sixteen year old Laura Weightman (Morpeth Harriers) was first past the line in the women’s 1500m invitation with 04:25:69 showing real promise against a strong field.
Ashlee Nelson (City of Stoke) won the women’s 100m match comfortably. Although her 11.65 time didn’t come close to her recent personal best of 11.37, clocked in Italy while warm weather training this month, it will no doubt flag her name to the World Junior Championships team selectors.
Abigail Irozuru (Sale Harriers Manchester) came second in the women’s long jump behind guest and GB hepathlete Jessica Ennis. Her 6.18m jump may secure her a place at the forthcoming World Junior Championships in Poland.
Nonso Okolo (Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers) triumphed in the men’s triple jump match with his 15.81m effort. The under 20 athlete, currently ranked third in the under 20 UKA Power of Ten rankings, beat out tough opposition from England’s Julian Golley who jumped 15.12m.
Ross Millington (Stockport Harriers & AC) knocked more than two seconds off his personal best in the men’s 1500m invitation with his winning time of 03:47:64.