Weekend’s action sees Greg Rutherford and Steve Lewis victorious at Perth Track Classic, Matt Shirling dominate in Derbyshire and success in Spain for Mark Dry
GB athletes were in action across the globe this weekend as Olympic long jump champion Greg Rutherford and pole vaulter Steve Lewis competed in Perth and cross country and road race action took place back in the UK.
Rutherford dominated in what was his first competition of 2013, with 7.89m enough to take victory ahead of London 2012 silver medallist Mitchell Watt at the Perth Track Classic on Saturday.
Unfortunately calf cramp saw Australian Watt pull out after running through his first jump, meaning Rutherford was free to go on and see Ghana’s Ignisious Gaisah off to silver.
The Track Classic saw further victory for British athletes as Steve Lewis saw off former World and Olympic champion Steve Hooker competing on home soil and former World champion Brad Walker from the USA to record 5.60m in the pole vault.
Also away from home Mark Dry won the ’B’ hammer competition at the European Winter Throwing Cup in Castellon, Spain, for the second year in a row. A throw of 73.22m was more than enough to secure him victory and added 3.62m to his winning throw from last year.
Sophie Hitchon unfortunately couldn’t replicate that success in Spain, but threw 66.69m for tenth place in the women’s hammer competition.
Throws elsewhere saw Jade Lally go top of the UK discus rankings with her 55.08m enough for second place at the World Indoor Throwing in Växjö, Sweden, while back on home soil Callum Brown went top of the UK under 20 hammer rankings with his 70.18m victory at the Cambridgeshire Open Throws.
The weekend’s cross country action saw Matt Shirling and Rebecca Murray win the senior titles at a muddy English Schools Cross Country Championships in Derbyshire (for which a more detailed report can be found here).
Shirling was among the runners who had competed at the Inter-Counties competition the week before and he improved on his second place there after taking the lead with 500m to go. The UK under-17 1500m record-holder showed he had strength as well as pace as he went away from Charlie Joslin-Allen (second) and Alex Carter (third).
Meanwhile, improving on her silver medal from last year’s English Schools 3000m on the track was Murray. She finished four seconds ahead of Victoria Kenny, as last year’s Inter-Counties under-17 champion, Amy Griffiths, was third.
From muddy cross country to the road and the NYC Half Marathon which saw British runners Susan Partridge and Freya Ross finish 16th in 72:20 and 21st in 74:54 respectively The Scottish pair, who have recently teamed up under the same coach, Steve Jones, were using the event as a warm up ahead of next month’s Virgin London Marathon. You can read more about the marathoners joining forces here.
Kenya’s Caroline Rotich recaptured the women’s title in New York, crossing the line in 69:09 while her compatriot Wilson Kipsang took the men’s title in 61:02. Bernard Lagat, on his half marathon debut, finished 12th in 62:33.
Half marathon action back in the UK saw Andrew Lesuuda cross the line first at the Mizuno Reading Half-marathon to take the win in 64:14 while Emily Biwott was the first female to finish, clocking 72:14.
Dave Webb was the first British runner over the line (65:14) in an event which also kicked off the RunBritain grand prix.