During the recent period we had the Welsh Open Championships and then last weekend the circuit moved for the first time this year to the NIA for the Birmingham Games.
The outstanding performance for me was the great 23.92 200m clocking by Emily Diamond in her heat at Birmingham. What a start to the season and by far the fastest indoor 200m time ever run by a B&W athlete. Then the downside, whilst leading the field again by a long way in the semi-final Emily sustained a hamstring pull that will almost certainly finish her indoor season for 2011. We all hope your recovery is rapid Emily and does not impact too much on your outdoor season.
In the Women’s 60m there was another outstanding performance by Emma Heath who took time off from her Bobsleigh exploits to post a semi-final time of 7.87 (following a heat of 7.88). That is great running as well Emma and we hope it is an indication that you might be sprinting again for us this summer.
Scott Bajere almost got down to the illusive 6.xx mark for 60m with a fringe clocking of 7.00. So near yet so far Scott but hang in there it will happen for you. It is worth comparing this time with 2nd claim sprint expert Lloyd Rice who just managed to emulate Scott with a 6.99 clocking? Leon Reid showed that his 60m sprint times recently at Bath were not indicative of his form or potential when he created a new Senior Club Record of 22.09 for the 200m. Our Finnish International Gustav Klingstedt set out to do some under-distance speed work and posted times of 7.45 (60m) and 22.93 for 200m whilst youngster Kwame Fordwar clocked 23.55 for 200m.
Steve Mitchell, fresh back from altitude training, impressively won his 1,500m in 3:49.02 which sets him up well for his attempt to break into the top flight in 2011 and took him to sixth place in the 2011 UK Indoor Rankings at the distance.
At Cardiff the previous week Scott Bajere was again the performer to catch the eye with 7.01; 7.05 & 7.07 60m clockings. You can see why 7.00 at Birmingham was so frustrating. Scott was infact the 2nd U20 in this Senior Championship. Leon Reid in the U17 age group did a 200m series 23.15; 23.16 & 23.47 to show that great potential again. Andrew Dean-Young was close to his indoor PB with a 1:59.17 800m despite paying a price for trying to match the leaders early pace & James Preston had a fine 2nd round throw in the Shot to win a silver medal with 13.27m. Decathlete James Taylor attempted two alternative events this week with a 1.65 / 56.15, HJ & 400m double header.
The two competing Ladies excelled with Nicola Breaks becoming Welsh Open Champion in the Triple Jump with I believe her best ever mark for the Club (indoor or outdoor) of 11.54 and Lucy Bryan pitted against the Senior Pole Vaulters for the first time in a major competition with a vault of 3.90m that gained her a bronze medal.
In the USA Steph Barnes won a Mile race at Clemson with a very good time of 4:53.22 and David Bishop won an 800m race in Alberquerque (NM) in 1:51.59.
Next weekend will see the National Championships / European Trials at Sheffield as well as the Midland Championships at Birmingham (odd planning I feel but an opportunity for people in the Midlands to prosper while the big guns are away?)
For those with a history in the Club you might be interested to follow the exploits of our GB 400m representative at the World Junior Championships in 1994, Katharine Eustace (pb 54.91). She was one of that very impressive group of female sprinters coached by Life Member Pat Swinbank. Well Katharine is creating an impact now in Skeleton Bob racing. I just missed her on Eurosport this weekend in World Cup races in Italy where she finished 13th. If you follow Katharine’s blog on her web site www.skeleton-racer.com you will appreciate her rapid learning curve in this event and the success that she appears to be poised to achieve. On the w/e of 25/26th Feb she will be in the World Championships and we wish her well in her quest (races can be seen on Eurosport).
Footage of all the races is available on line at http://www.athleticos.org/coverage/238365-2011-Birmingham-Games.