Pavey and O’Sullivan in road race action as Shaftesbury Barnet begin BAL defence

A round-up of weekend action which saw Olympians Jo Pavey and Sonia O’Sullivan run the Bupa Great Women’s 10k and the British Athletics League get underway at venues across the country

BUPA WOMENS 10K 2013 SONIA O'SULLIVAN NO 65

The weekend got off to an exciting start with the first of the season’s Diamond League meets kicking off in Doha on Friday. A total of 11 world-leading marks and seven meeting records were set at the Hamad Bin Suhaim Stadium, with world 400m champion Amantle Montsho of Botswana, world 800m record-holder David Rudisha and world junior cross country champion Hagos Gebrhiwet among those victorious in Qatar.

Find online event coverage here and look out for a report in this week’s AW, out May 16.

But the action in Doha was only the beginning, as the weekend also saw Shaftesbury Barnet begin BAL defence in Lee Valley as well as various road races take place.

Shaftesbury Barnet begin BAL defence

At the British Athletics League Premiership on Saturday, Shaftesbury Barnet began the defence of their 2012 league title by sending out a blend of youth and experience to see off an afternoon long challenge from previous champions, Sale Harriers Manchester and Newham & Essex Beagles.

On a blustery afternoon they had wins from 18-year-old Michael Callegari through to 41-year-old British veterans’ record holder Tony Whiteman as they won by more than 50 points.

Also impressive was 2011 World Championships discus finalist Brett Morse who took victory in Lee Valley with a throw of 64.97m. With that throw the Birchfield Harrier bettered the Welsh Athletics’ ‘A’ standard of 60m for the Commonwealth Games, as well as the IAAF World Championships ‘B’ standard. You can find further coverage of the meet here and also in the May 16 issue of AW.

Elsewhere, Cardiff won the opening match of Division 1 at home as Bristol won Division 3 at the same venue. Division 1 action saw Joe Thomas step up to the 1500m to score maximum points for Cardiff with 3:56.72 and Rhys Williams follow up his fast 400m hurdles midweek mark with a win in 50.03, while Liverpool Harrier Michael Bomba threw 68.76m in the hammer.

Blackheath and Bromley Harriers won the opening match of Division 3 at Norman Park, while Bedford & County came out on top in Division 4 in Yeovil.

Pavey and O’Sullivan in road race action

Road race action saw Olympians Jo Pavey and Sonia O’Sullivan (pictured above, 65) take part in the Bupa Great Women’s 10k in Glasgow which saw Kilbarchan AAC’s Elspeth Curran claim victory  in a personal best time of 34:59.

Elspeth, who has also been the first female to cross the line in the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run 10k for the past two years, was followed home by Sarah Benson of Edinburgh AC in 35:11 and Gemma Rankin of Kilbarchan AAC 35:56.

Four-time Olympian Pavey, who is five months pregnant, said: ”Today for me was about fun, not speed and what fun it was! I’m hoping to compete in Glasgow 2014 and then I will go for it.”

Meggan Dawson-Farrell finished first in the wheelchair race, her 37:21 enough to secure top spot ahead of fellow Red Star AC athlete Jane Egan who crossed in 37:54.

At the Sheffield Half Marathon, Blackburn Harrier Ben Fish came out on top to take the win in 66:51, while Wakefield Harrier Julie Briscoe crossed the line in 76:15 for victory in the women’s race.

Over in Leeds and Bingley Harrier Ben Marriott won the men’s race of the Leeds Half Marathon in 73:08 as Lisa Mawer won the women’s race in 84:43. Mohammad Aburezeq (68:07) and Amanda Crook (74:31) came out on top at the Chester Half Marathon - Crook shaving over 12 minutes off her previous personal best to record a new race record for the fastest female finisher, a record which hasn’t been broken since 1985.

“I’m so thrilled that I achieved a new PB today in Chester,” commented Crook. “I have a seven month old baby, and tried to maintain my running throughout my pregnancy, but I didn’t expect to do so well today, I’m absolutely overjoyed. This is only my second ever half marathon distance, and I hope to be back next year to get an even faster time.”

A little further afield and the Volkswagen Prague Marathon saw victory for Nicholas Kemboi who crossed the line in 2:08:51 to claim Qatar’s first ever victory in the race’s 19 year history. The women’s race was won by US-based Kenyan star Caroline Rotich in 2:27:00.

“I started to believe I was going to win eight kilometers before reaching the finish line,” commented Kemboi. “I was on my own with my rivals behind me. But it wasn’t until I passed the finish line that I truly believed it.”

Jodie Williams victorious over 250m in Montgeron

Over in Montgeron and former World Youth and junior champion Jodie Williams secured victory by more than two seconds (30.33) over an unusual distance of 250m in what was her first race of 2013 after an injury ravaged 2012, as Olympic sprinter Anyika Onuora won the 100m in 11.57/-0.5 after a 11.53/1.4 heat at the European Athletics Outdoor Area Permit Meeting.

IAAF Grand Prix action in Belem saw Abigail Irozuru finish third in the long jump with 6.38m/0.4, while in Charlottesville steeplechase prospect Zak Seddon again showed good 1500m speed as he finished 11th in a PB 3:45.47 to again better UKA’s European junior standard of 3:47.00.

» For further coverage and results from this week’s action pick up a copy of the May 16 issue of AW

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