Monday, 1 August 2011

Hannah’s Breathtaking Defence Highlights OCWK Presence at UK Champs and World Trials


Day one and two report:

Hannah England produced a super cool performance in sweltering conditions at the Aviva UK Championships and World trials this evening to retain her 1500m crown in scintillating style.

Elsewhere in the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham – after two sessions of the three-day competition – an impressive twelve OCWK athletes either featured or progressed to finals in their specialist events.

Women's 1500m:

Day three (Saturday) final results:

Proving herself to be a World Championship final contender for the global event in Daegu, South Korea in a months’ time, Hannah won an eye-catching sprint finish battle with 2009 World silver-medallist Lisa Dobriskey, clocking 4:07.05 to her elder rival’s 4:07.23.

The 24-year-old Oxford City AC runner – in only her sixth race of the season – ran a sensible metric mile, holding back from early and long-time leader Stacey Smith until the bell.

Guided by Bud Baldaro in Birmingham, Hannah recently ran a world-class 4:01.89 PB in Barcelona to re-establish her international credentials and after a 47.08 final 300m, she revealed:

“It was fantastic after training for this all winter - things have really turned around for me in the past couple of weeks and I’m totally surprised despite training really hard.”

Having also finished second in heat two in 4:21.88 the previous day, Hannah continued:

“After the Achilles injury holding me back, I know I haven’t peaked yet so I’m positive of doing really well and hopefully making the final in Daegu.”

Gateshead Harrier Stacey, 21, had a ten-metre lead from the gun, passed 400m in a swift 63.10 and enjoyed a fifteen-metre advantage at the 900m mark (after hitting 800m in 2:11.81 following a 68.71 lap) but paid the prize for her over-zealous pacing as she drifted back in the final 200m to finish only fourth after being passed by Barbara Parker (4: 12.19 to Stacey’s 4:13.47).

The Mick Woods-coached runner – who was only ninth in this race last year - explained:

“I just didn’t want it to be a slow-run race and I tried my hardest.”

Having placed third in heat one in 4:18.27 the day before, the European under23 Championship seventh-place finisher continued:

“I died a bit near the end but at least I made it a true-run race and now I’d really like to get the ‘A’ standard for the World’s or at least go to China for the World Student Games next month.”

Vale Royal AC’s Stevie Stockton was pleased to finish fifth in 4:15.71 after placing twelfth last year and finishing third in the European under23 5,000m Championship earlier this month.

The 21-year-old George Gandy-coached runner positioned herself in tenth place for much of the race before strongly surging through the pack on the final lap.

“It went alright as I’ve not had many opportunities to race over 1500m this year.”

Having won the second heat in 4:21.76, she continued:

“I had a cold last week and I felt quite lethargic but I held it together quite well and I’m really happy to finish fifth.”

Havering Mayesbrook’s 27-year-old Faye Fullerton finished in seventh with 4:22.31 after an injury-ravaged winter and summer.

Racing in around fourth position for the first half of the race, the Mick Woods-guided runner improved on tenth from the 2010 event and said afterwards:

“After an Achilles injury in the winter, then a back problem and a torn calf recently, I was glad to be in the final.”

Having placed fourth in heat two in 4:22.63, she continued:

“I’m just going to get my base sorted to hopefully have a strong winter to do well next year.”

Gemma Kersey enjoyed an encouraging senior championship debut when placing eighth in 4:22.66 after holding up the rear of the pack for much of the race.

The 19-year-old Basildon runner, who is coached by Eamonn Martin, scorched to an impressive 4:20.44 personal best in her heat and qualified for the final as a fastest loser.

A delighted Gemma explained afterwards:

“I’m really pleased to get to the final and run a PB yesterday. To back it up with a 4:22 shows I’m definitely in form but I want to gain on this experience next year.”

In the women’s 400m B final, Shelayna Oskan finished a fine third with a solid 54.21 clocking on day two (Saturday) of the competition.

The 21-year-old Windsor, Slough, Eton and Hounslow athlete led the field with 200m remaining but was passed down the home-straight by Mica Nottingham (53.85) and Gemma Nicol (53.91).

Guided by Ayo Falola, Oskan – who set a 53.61 PB when finishing runner-up in the English Championships earlier this month – ran 54.32 to finish fourth in heat one the previous day.

Women’s 800m:

Day one (Friday) heat results:

Emma Jackson led the way by winning heat three in a comfortable 2:09.35 to progress to Saturday evening’s semi-final stage.

Charlotte Best was another to progress with ease when placing runner-up in heat two in 2:08.43 whilst Tara Bird finished in second place in heat four with a 2:08.46 clocking.

Leigh Lennon continued the impressive number of OCWK athletes to impress when placing third in heat four with 2:09.64 and Rachael Thompson finished in the same position in heat three with 2:09.88.

Qualifying for the two-lap semi-finals as a fastest loser, Ejiro Okoro finished sixth in heat one in 2:10.27.

Of those unlucky to reach the next stage of the competition, Carolyn Plateau was the most unfortunate when placing a credible fourth in heat three with a 2:10.86 clocking, whilst Dani Christmas – in her first race of the season and on the comeback from injury - finished only fifth in heat four in 2:11.07.

Lucy Dowsett’s curious below-par form continued as she had to settle for fifth position in heat two in 2:11.16.

Day two (Saturday) semi-final results:

Emma Jackson continued her dominance with a swift semi-final two victory in 2:03.12.

Charlotte Best also progressed to tomorrow evening’s final when finishing third in semi-final one with a 2:04.02 clocking.

Just missing out on a place in the final by three-tenths of a second, Tara Bird finished fourth in semi-final one with 2:05.44.

Others to have their participation in the event curtailed were Leigh Lennon, who was sixth in semi-final one with 2:08.64, Rachael Thompson, who finished eighth in semi-final two in 2:10.30 and Ejiro Okoro who placed eighth in semi-final one in 2:11.60.

Men’s 800m:

Day one (Friday) heats results:

Andrew Osagie took control to win heat five with ease in 1:51.53 and Ed Aston finished third in heat one in 1:53.79.

Also progressing to the semi-final stage on Saturday afternoon was Chris Smith who placed fourth in heat one in 1:53.83.

Day two (Saturday) semi-final results:

Andrew Osagie asserted his intention to win the UK title tomorrow evening by taking heat two by the scruff of the neck from the outset to win in 1:48.26.

Ed Aston and Chris Smith, meanwhile, failed to further progress when placing third and sixth in heat one, with 1:49.36 and 1:50.69 respectively.

Men’s 1500m:

Day two (Saturday) heats results:

Mark Mitchell took the victory in heat one with a 3:47.27 clocking, whilst Kris Gauson and Phillip Hurst finished in second and third in heat three and two in times of 3:44.50 and 3:44.90, respectively to all qualify for tomorrow evening’s final.

James Brewer, meanwhile, qualified as a fastest loser after finishing fourth in heat two in 3:45.40.

Of those to miss out on progressing were David Forrester, who placed seventh in heat two in 3:46.95 and Robbie Farnham-Rose, who finished tenth in heat one with 3:57.60.

Day three finals tomorrow evening: women’s 800m, men’s 800m, women’s 1500m, men’s 1500m, women’s 5,000m and men’s 5,000m.

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