Morse hits World Champs ‘A’ standard

Lifetime best for Brett Morse on a weekend that also saw BMC action in Watford and Brits in action in Dublin, Mannheim and Tallinn

Brett Morse (Mark Shearman)

London 2012 Olympian Brett Morse has taken a big step towards securing selection for this year’s IAAF World Championships in Moscow having bettered the ‘A’ standard thanks to a discus lifetime best of 66.84m at the Welsh Senior Championships in Cardiff on Sunday.

The mark, which places him behind recent NFL convert Lawrence Okoye on the UK all-time list, betters his own Welsh record and moves him to eighth in the world this year.

Having met the standard is a big relief, admitted the 24-year-old, who says he knew making the distance wasn’t far away.

“It’s not a surprise to me because I’ve felt a big throw has been coming but hopefully I have booked my ticket to Moscow now,” said Morse, who was left disappointed with his London 2012 performance, having left the competition in the qualifying rounds with only one legal throw.

“I should have thrown the ‘A’ standard of 66m a few times before now,” he continued. “I’ve been throwing it in training almost every day but this is a massive relief and hopefully I can push on from here now the pressure is off.

“Last year was disappointing for me so I’m happy to be back on track.”

Morse had already comfortably met Wales’ Commonwealth Games ‘A’ qualifying standard of 60m this season and has now set his sights on Moscow, Glasgow and also bettering the British record.

“To be in the world’s top 10 is huge for me, I’m not expecting to win the win the World Championships but if I could finish top eight that would be great and looking ahead to Glasgow next year I’d love to win gold there.

“Maybe after Moscow I will look to go somewhere with good conditions to try and break the British record but at the moment I’m just concentrating on the World Championships.”

Elsewhere at the championships, Ryan Spencer-Jones moved to fourth on the 2013 outdoor shot rankings with his winning throw of 18.03m, his second Commonwealth Games ‘B’ standard, while hammer thrower Matthew Richards picked up his fourth Commonwealth Games ‘B’ standard of the season on his way to winning the Welsh title with a best of 63.74m.

» For full results click here

European Cup Combined Events Super League

Over in Tallinn and the Great Britain team finished sixth in the eight-team event, France eventually crowned European Cup Combined Events Super League champions thanks to their 41,421 points.

Individually, in a competition where the joint scores of the top three in each team from the men’s decathlon and women’s heptathlon are added together, Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Grace Clements came out as top Brit thanks to her season’s best 5817 points.

Jo Rowland, who set a heptathlon personal best of 5702 in Spain at the beginning of the month, couldn’t quite meet that same mark in Estonia but her 5643 was enough for 14th.

Recently crowned England Athletics senior champion Jess Tappin and Karla Drew, the training partner of Jess Ennis-Hill who had been due to make her season debut in Tallinn had she recovered in time from her ankle injury, finished 16th and 17th with 5544 and 5535 (PB) points respectively.

A promising result for Drew, she voiced her satisfaction with the weekend’s work on Twitter: ”Finished the European cup with a big PB of 5535. Lots of PB’s, 13.39 In hurdles :D very pleased, team stayed up in the super league!”

John lane set a personal best in finishing top Brit in the decathlon with 7468, placing him 14th ahead of Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Martin Brockman (7310, 17th) and England Athletics senior silver medallist Francis Baker (6871, 23rd) as Roger Skedd was forced to drop out of the competition with a foot injury.

» You can find full results here

BMC Grand Prix – Watford

At the BMC Grand Prix in Watford, Stephanie Twell saw off the likes of her Aldershot, Farnham & District colleague Emelia Gorecka and marathon specialists Sonia Samuels and Alyson Dixon to finish second behind Poland’s Dominika Nowakowska over 5000m on Sunday.

Her 15:30.88 clocking boosts her to second in the UK rankings as she missed the top-ranked spot by just 0.06. Samuels set a season’s best 15:53.25 for eighth ahead of Dixon who broke the 16 minute barrier for the first time with her 15:53.46.

World Junior Championships bronze medallist Emelia Gorecka, fresh from winning a huge scrap for second place to gain vital points for GB at last weekend’s European Team Championships, finished fourth with 15:40.53 behind Laura Whittle with 15:35.24 who goes third in the rankings.

Simon Horsfield came out on top in the men’s race, the only athlete to go under the sub-14:00 mark with his personal best 13:59.30 clocking.

Jake Wightman won the 800m in a PB 1:48.45 to go second in the under-20 rankings and better the European Junior standard of 1:49.00 while Kyle Langford’s PB 1:49.02 for second again bettered the world youth standard of 1:51.00.

» Click here for full results

Bauhaus Juniorengala

Over in Mannheim, Germany, and Dina Asher-Smith clocked 11.38 over 100m for a personal best mark that is again well inside the European Junior standard of 11.75. The 17-year-old goes top of the junior rankings and lies fifth in the overall women’s rankings, narrowly missing the World Championships ‘B’ standard of 11.36.

Both British 4x100m relay teams ended up on top, with the men recording 40.62 and the women 44.37.

Top-ranked under-20 400m hurdler Hayley Mclean also set a PB with 57.38 to take half a second off her previous best mark and again finish well inside the European junior standard of 59.80, while number one junior high jumper Chris Kandu won his event with 2.15m to again surpass the European junior standard of 2.14m. Daniel Gardner equalled his outdoor pole vault PB with a jump of 5.10m which betters the European junior standard of 5.00m and is the best outdoor mark by a junior this year.

» For full results see here

Dublin Grand Prix of Race Walking

In a race that was won by Spain’s Maria Jose Poves in 1:29:58, Bethan Davies set a Welsh record over the 20km walk with a time of 1:41:44 to go top of the rankings.

In the men’s race, won by Erick Barrondo in 1:20:25, Alex Wright clocked 1:25:23 for fifth to add a UK ‘B’ standard for the World Championships to his ‘A’ standard claimed back in March.

» For full results see here

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