19th May 2021


One European U20 record, four PBs and three first time Olympic qualifying standards were captured on a strong night for the British contingent at the Ostrava Golden Spike Meeting in the Czech Republic.

Max Burgin (Ian Burgin, Halifax Harriers), who celebrates his 19th birthday on Thursday, produced a phenomenal performance as he set a European U20 record and World Lead on his was to victory in the men’s 800m. The astonishing time of 1:44.14 was an improvement from his previous best of 1:44.75 set last August.

Burgin, who is supported by the British Athletics Futures Academy Programme, showed composure beyond his years as he produced a remarkable display of middle-distance running in the Czech Republic. The Halifax athlete tore off with the pacemaker in the early stages and attached himself to the fast pace, going through at the bell at 50.20, the only athlete in the field to do so.

As the margin at the front lengthened, his opponents had no response and he glided away to the impressive time which was also well inside the Olympic qualifying standard.

Jake Wightman (Geoff Wightman, Edinburgh) opened his season with a solid time of 1:45.47 for third place in the same race.

In the women’s 800m, Keely Hodgkinson (Trevor Painter) picked up where she left off during the indoor season as the European Indoor champion stormed to a PB and British U20 record with a time of 1:58.89.

The Leigh athlete bided her time as she positioned herself near the front of the pack until the 600m mark. At this point, she powered away from the field around the bend and the devastating kick made all the difference as she went on to set the best time of her young career which also doubled as an Olympic qualifying standard.

Phil Norman (Tomasz Plibersek) grabbed a qualifying mark for Tokyo in the men’s 3000m steeplechase in 8:20.12. It was the best run of the career to date and an improvement by over three seconds from his previous best set in 2020.

It was also a European leading time for the Woodford Green and Essex Ladies athlete as he crossed line in second behind Ethiopia’s Getney Wale. Norman will represent Great Britain and Northern Ireland for the first time at the European Athletics Team Championships at the end of the month.

There was a second PB in the space of a few days for Jessie Knight (Marina Armstrong, Windsor Slough Eton and Hounslow) as she ran 54.74 to win the women’s 400m hurdles. She controlled her race superbly, holding a narrow lead ahead of Ukraine’s Anna Ryzhykova and Denmark’s Sara Slott Petersen as she entered the home straight. In the closing stages she moved away to lower her best again taking 0.04s off her time from Sunday in Nuneaton.

In the men’s 400m hurdles, Dai Greene (Benke Blomkvist, Swansea) finished just ahead of compatriot Chris McAlister (Marina Armstrong, Thames Valley) in seventh position. Their times were 51.66 and 52.12 respectively.


Watch the whole World Athletics Continental Golden Tour meeting here