31 May 2009
When BIG startlists revealed that Mark Lewis-Francis (Birchfield Harriers) was to make a competative comeback at the highly popular Bedford based event, after two years worth of injury woes, an excited whisper travelled through the athletics community.
Lewis-Francis took to the track on the sunny but windy afternoon and ran a comfortable 100m B race in 10.60 (-0.2m/s). Following a successful, injury free winter training, the Olympic 4x100m gold medallist was happy with his first outing.
He said: "Today was just to see how winter training has gone. I wanted to come out and leave injury free; get back in the blocks and competative enviroment.I was very nervous.
"Training has been going really well. Me and my coach have said today is just a start. 10.6 with wind- I can't complain. I'm leaving with a smile on my face."
Another top athlete using the high quality fields at BIG on her comeback journey is Jessica Ennis (City of Sheffield). Returning from injury in the 2009 indoors season, her 2009 campaign so far has included heptathlon personal bests and solid performances throughout her disciplines.
Ennis came close to her personal best of 1.95m in the high jump, narrowly missing 1.93m. She cleared 1.89m, a new BIG meeting record, and was happy with that performance.
She said: "I came close at 1.93m and was nearly there. Taking into account the wind etc I'm happy. I haven't been well and didn't know if I was going to come here to compete.
"I'm looking forward to the Javelin (later that day), I want to check my run up and see how that is."
Other top performances from BIG, Bedford to follow.