Abdul Buhari throws 63.32m to win intense men’s discus competition, while Tom Bosworth sets a UK 5000m walk record
The men’s discus final at the UK Trials and Championships in Birmingham proved to be as competitive as expected with Abdul Buhari coming out on top, but of the four British men in possession of the ‘A’ standard, the one who missed out on a podium place was British record-holder Lawrence Okoye.
19-year-old Okoye opened with 58.67m – some nine metres down on the 67.63m UK record he set earlier this year – but as the pressure increased his distances decreased and that remained his best effort of the day, finishing fifth.
Buhari, meanwhile, kept his cool and on a day where conditions were not particularly conducive to discus throwing, the Newham & Essex Beagle threw 63.32m in round four to take a clear lead. Until that point Carl Myerscough had been leading with 61.63m, and he ended the competition in second place, before going on to win the shot with 18.57m.
“I’m ecstatic. It’s been a long journey and my coach and I have made a number of changes during the winter period and it’s all paying off now,” said Buhari, who has recently switched coaches to Mark Wiseman. “I’ve never won this title so it’s nice to be the bride as opposed to being the bridesmaid. It’s nice to have the English and British titles. Hopefully I can have the world title next.
“It was a strong field so there was a lot of tension with four guys holding the A standard. It was always going to be one of those competitions were it could go well or be an anti-climax and thankfully it went well.”
Brett Morse produced three throws in excess of 60 metres with his best, 61.57m, coming in round four. Despite it being farther than his 61.45m winning mark from last year, Morse finished third.
With Buhari and Myerscough guaranteed their place on the team for Daegu, the selectors now face a difficult decision as to who gets the third spot – UK record-holder Okoye, or the consistent Morse.
“I’m very disappointed as I had a poor competition today but it happens in a career and sometimes you have to take a few steps back to move forward,” said Okoye. “I’ve got another chance to throw well at Crystal Palace next week and show my worth.”
European 400m hurdles bronze medallist Perri Shakes-Drayton made history by becoming the first woman to win both one-lap titles in the flat and over the barriers at the UK Championships. After winning the 400m yesterday, Shakes-Drayton won her specialist event today in 55.52, almost a full second ahead of domestic rival Eilidh Child (56.48).
Double European champion Mo Farah was an easy winner of a tactical 5000m. He bided his time for much of the race and settled in the pack, but with 300m to go he kicked past Andy Vernon and won in 14:00.72.
After running his fastest 100m clocking for 10 years yesterday and missing out on a top-three spot, Christian Malcolm returned today to win the 200m. Running into a -1.6m/s headwind in his fifth race of the weekend, Malcolm clocked 20.85 to hold off James Ellington (20.91).
World bronze medallist Jenny Meadows won her first UK outdoor title in the 800m, running a strong final 100m in a tactical race. After an opening lap of 63 by Marilyn Okoro, Meadows ran negative splits to wrap up the title in 2:02.28 with Emma Jackson coming through for the silver just 0.20 behind.
In the men’s two-lap race, Michael Rimmer’s run of victories at the UK Championships came to an end. The European silver medallist was beaten convincingly by European indoor finalist Andrew Osagie, who won in 1:46.84.
After the brutal heats yesterday, Martyn Rooney came away a clear winner of the men’s 400m. The European bronze medallist ran a season’s best of 45.44 to hold off Chris Clarke, who clocked a season’s best of 45.61. European 400m hurdles champion Dai Greene ran a PB of 45.82 in third, just 0.03 ahead of Richard Strachan. European silver medallist Michael Bingham was beaten in the B final by European under-23 champion Nigel Levine, both clocking 45.91.
Former Anguillan Shara Proctor became the third new British recruit to win this weekend, following victories yesterday from Julian Reid in the long jump and Tiffany Porter in the 100m hurdles. In a high-quality competition, Proctor jumped 6.65m to win from Lorraine Ugen, whose 6.54m is the best leap by a British 19-year-old for 12 years. Jessica Ennis jumped a season’s best of 6.44m – her second-best wind-legal jump ever – to finish third.
Ennis went on to throw 42.93m in the javelin, a distance she was slightly disappointed with. UK record-holder Goldie Sayers won her ninth national title by almost nine metres with a throw of 60.57m.
Competing in front of a home crowd, Tom Parsons won the high jump with a leap of 2.28m, but he did not have it easy as Martyn Bernard and Robbie Grabarz also joined him at that height, finishing second and third respectively on countback. Olympic silver medallist Germaine Mason made his first competitive appearance for two years and finished fifth with 2.12m.
A British record was set in the first event of the day. Tom Bosworth clocked 19:29.87 in the men’s 5000m walk to break Darrell Stone’s 19:35.0 set 22 years ago (although Martin Rush walked 19:22.29 indoors in 1992). Commonwealth champion Johanna Jackson was an easy winner of the women’s race with 21:42.32.
James Shane took another great leap forward in the 1500m in what is turning out to be a superb breakthrough year for the youngster. Nick McCormick took the race out hard, going through 400m in 56.38 and 800m in 1:55.48. Shane took up the running in the closing stages and kicked away to win in 3:36.22 – the fastest winning time at the UK Championships since 1986. Andy Baddeley was off the pace and finished a distant second in 3:39.44.
In one of the closest finishes of the day, European under-23 bronze medallist Lawrence Clarke won the 110m hurdles by a whisker from Gianni Frankis. Clarke equalled the 13.58 PB he set in the heats earlier in the day as Frankis clocked 13.59. World championships fourth-placer William Sharman was third in 13.77.
Anyika Onuora added to her 100m silver with a victory in the women’s 200m, winning in 23.26. Luke Gunn won the men’s steeplechase in 8:40.16, while Lennie Waite took the women’s race in 10:03.18. Veteran Larry Achike won the triple jump with a leap of 16.83m, just two centimetres off the ‘B’ standard for Daegu, while UK record-holder Holly Bleasdale once again beat Kate Dennison in the pole vault, winning with 4.56m.
Julia Bleasdale, competing in her first track race for six years, won the women’s 5000m in impressive fashion. She made a decisive move with a few laps to go and maintained her lead through to the end, clocking a PB of 15:49.02.