With the imminent closing of another year we are bound to recognise the feats of our Athletes and applaud them for their achievements in 2016. What better than use the annual merit rankings compiled by top athletics statistician Peter Matthews (Editor of Athletics International) and published this week in Athletics Weekly.
Our Women are clearly ahead of their Male compatriots and feature in five events as well as also featuring one of our Higher Competition Athletes and an International Life Member.
Top of the tree is Emily DIAMOND who ranks second in the event that took her to the Olympic Games in 2016. Emily was UK Champion but was just pipped for first place after a late run by ex-Olympic Champion Christine Ohuruogu who topped this category for the thirteenth consecutive year. Never the less this is great recognition for Emily’s outstanding year.
Next we have Lucy BRYAN in third place with her outstanding Pole Vault exploits in 2016. After a season lost in 2015 Lucy came right back in the second half of 2016 to fulfill some of that great promise that she has shown in her younger years. Lucy still an Under-23 athlete is now off to University in the USA where we wish her well in her specialist event.
In fourth place in the 3k Steeplechase is an athlete who has remorselessly hauled herself into national prominence, Charlotte TAYLOR-GREEN. Although only UK eight on time Charlotte an aggressive performer merits her ranking on her exemplary win / loss record. Although she was of course fourth in the UK Championships (third in 2015). Charlotte was rewarded for her performances with an England Vest toward the end of the season and she always was a great supporter of the UK Women’s League team at every match last year. A great Club person.
In sixth place in the Hammer we have another great Club competitor Christina JONES. Christina is always a great Club supporter and always gives of her best over a number of events. It is a pity that her Coach Carys Parry should be in the same UK League as Bristol and consistently pip Christina to that first place. It should be noted that Christina was ranked fifth on performance with her 62.91 throw in early season. Another great Club person.
Sneaking in is twelfth placer Emily WRIGHT in the Long Jump. Emily, still very young, had a lower key year than that of 2015 where she burst on to the Long Jump scene but she still is held in high esteem by those who matter in UK Athletics circles.
Also ranked was Higher Competition Athlete Ada’ora CHIGBO who although mainly a multi-eventer was ranked ninth in the High Jump. Ada’ora is still very young to be ranked and of course in the Heptathlon she would be using different weight implements thus there is no way that she could be ranked in that event even though she has bettered times / distances achieved by Jessica Ennis-Hill on her way to the top.
Can we still claim honours achieved by our International Life Member Joanne Pavey. I think we should. Jo who has made five Olympic appearances was far and away the first ranked athlete in the 10,000m.
The only Male athlete to appear this year is that really outstanding Higher Competition Athlete Tom GALE In the High Jump in ninth place. Young Tom is destined for top honours in time and it is great to have him associated with B&W as we emerge as a national force.
It is interesting to see where our strengths lie and apart from Emily Diamond it is not on the track or at endurance level (counting the steeplechase as a technical event). Yes it is in Technical / Field Events. Food for thought.
Mike Strange – 17 December 2016