Aikines-Aryeetey back to defend title at BUCS, as young athletes also head west for BMC meet

AW looks ahead to some of the action taking place both in the UK and overseas this bank holiday weekend

Harry AA BUCS 2012

Harry Aikines-Aryeetey is one of the young stars in action at the BUCS Championships in Bedford, as the students’ national championships return to more familiar ground this weekend, with last year’s event having served as a test event at the Olympic Stadium.

The former world 100m junior champion will be defending his title in the short sprint after returning from training in Florida where he opened up his account with 10.27 and 21.34. Meanwhile, former world junior semi-finalist Deji Tobais will be trying to repeat his 200m win from last year at the event that spans three days from May 4-6.

Emelia Gorecka, the former European junior cross-country champion, is entered for both the 1500m and 5000m, while in the men’s 400m hurdles, Niall Flannery is seeking his fourth straight title and pole vaulter Sally Peake will be hoping to continue her indoor 4.40m form as she heads outdoors.

In the men’s pole vault Nick Cruchley and Mike Devereux will be favourites and also keenly awaited will be the appearance of Jazmin Sawyers, who won the world junior bronze in the long jump last year with 6.67m.

Other female field-eventers in action include 55-metre javelin specialist Isabelle Jeffs, 60-metre hammer throwers Abbi Carter and Myra Perkins and high jumper Emma Perkins.

The men’s javelin includes seven athletes who have thrown over 70 metres, including defending champion Joe Dunderdale, who has gone close to his PB already this year with 73.02m. Triple jumper Michael Puplampu, who won national indoor bronze this winter, should be favourite in his event, while discus thrower Zane Duquemin will be defending his title following a year in which he improved his PB to 63.46m. Aled Davies, the F42/44 Paralympic discus champion, headlines the many disability events on the programme.

Over in the West Country and another big entry is expected for the British Milers’ Club Young Athletes’ PB Classic at Millfield School on bank holiday Monday.

Among the top West runners already entered for the annual BMC opener is Team Bath AC’s Loren Bleaken, with the 17-year-old reigning British and English Schools champion planning to attack the European Under-20 Championships qualifying time of 2:06.

Coach Adrian Clover is working with the BMC to find a pacemaker to help Bleaken, who opened her season with a low-key 56.3 for 400m in the Avon League last weekend “We will do everything we can to try and help Loren get that time and any other girls who want to have a crack at it as well,” said Mike Down, one of the co-organisers from the BMC. “That is what these BMC meetings are all about.”

The meeting kicks off at 5.45pm with 800m races followed by 1500m and 3000m races for all ages.

Also in the West Country, the second event in the six-event runbritain Grand Prix series takes place in the form of the Bristol 10k on Sunday.

Bolt and Blake out, as Campbell-Brown and Felix clash over 100m in Kingston

Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake might be missing Saturday’s Jamaica International Invitational through injuries, but there are some exciting clashes set for the IAAF World Challenge meeting.

Six-time Olympic champion and world record holder Bolt has withdrawn because of slight hamstring strain and said: “I am disappointed to miss the Kingston meet as I love running in front of my home crowd in Jamaica.”

Bolt, who hopes to recover in time to race in the Cayman Invitational on May 8, added “I’m told it is only a Grade 1 strain so hopefully I will be OK soon.”

USA’s Allyson Felix will go up against Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica over 100m, while Trinidad and Tobago’s Kelly-Ann Baptiste and Ivory Coast’s Murielle Ahoure will also line-up in the event. US record holder Tyson Gay will race in the men’s event.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce will also be racing on home soil as she contests the 200m, while GB’s Christine Ohuruogu will run 400m in what will be her season debut over the individual distance, with Shana Cox also on the startlist. GB’s Andy Turner is also in action on the Caribbean island.

Lennon-Ford and Judd in action in Italy

Also competing overseas will be Luke Lennon-Ford, who is to run 400m in Pavia on Sunday.

Meghan Beesley, Laura Wake and Hayley Jones will all contest the women’s 400m at the meet, while Jess Judd will be in 1500m action.

» AW will be reporting from the BUCS Championships this weekend, look out for coverage online as well as an in-depth report in next week’s AW, out May 9

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