Sprinter Dwain Chambers claims fifth consecutive UK 100m title on final day of Sainsbury’s British Championships action in Birmingham
Experience prevailed in the men’s 100m as Dwain Chambers won his eighth UK title to beat the likes of Harry Aikines-Aryeetey, Chijindu Ujah and Richard Kilty at the Sainsbury’s British Championships in Birmingham on Sunday.
Having missed out on a spot for the individual event in the England team for the Commonwealth Games, the 36-year-old booked his place on the GB team for the European Championships in Zurich two weeks later, running a 10.12 season’s best to beat Aikines-Aryeetey with 10.14, Ujah with 10.18 and Kilty with 10.25.
With his second-place finish, Aikines-Aryeetey also secured a Euro spot, while selectors will have to decide between the likes of Chambers’ fellow sub-10 runners Ujah and James Dasaolu – who is yet to compete this season as he works to regain his fitness – for the final place on the team.
“That was tough,” said Chambers, who won European silver in Budapest back in 1998. “I wasn’t sure if I was going to get that one. But experience again paid off, which is something I have in abundance. For some reason I always succeed in Birmingham.
“I knew there was a lot of pressure on the youngsters next to me, so I thought ‘just get out’. If I got out then the pressure would be on them and I’d only have to run in a straight line. I ran as fast and hard as I could.”
Ujah later said his result wasn’t terrible as he’d suffered cramp in his hip flexor coming out the blocks.
Another athlete using experience to her advantage was Goldie Sayers who continues her return from big injury struggles of the past couple of years. She threw a season’s best of 62.75m to win her 11th national javelin title and go beyond the 60m mark for the second time this season. Izzy Jeffs secured silver with 54.53m as bronze went to Joanna Blair with 49.82m.
Asha Philip was another to retain her UK title as she clocked 11.11, albeit with a 3.6 m/s wind, to win the women’s 100m from Ashleigh Nelson and Jodie Williams, both with 11.15. Bianca Williams, who qualified as fourth quickest for the final, didn’t get the chance to prove what more she might have been capable of as she was disqualified for a false start.
There was an exciting battle for the line in the women’s 5000m as European 3000m champion Emelia Gorecka and four-time Olympian Jo Pavey strode away at the bell and arrived into the home straight level. Gorecka had the stronger kick with 40-year-old Pavey, who returned to the track earlier this year having had her second child in 2013, just not able to stick with her 20-year-old rival. With a 65.4 last lap, Gorecka clocked 15:40.65 to claim her first senior UK title as Pavey ran 15:40.90. Behind them, bronze went to Laura Whittle with 15:50.21.
The women’s 800m didn’t disappoint either and at first it seemed as though winner Lynsey Sharp had dipped under two minutes for the first time. The clock had stopped early, though, and her winning time was eventually confirmed at 2:01.40. After a modest start to the race, Sharp evidently still had plenty left to give and a strong surge on the final bend saw her claim victory and also book her place for Zurich to defend her title. Jessica Judd, who had looked the one to push the pace on the back straight, faded to fourth as Alison Leonard stayed strong for silver in 2:01.83 and Jenny Meadows ran 2:02.18 for third.
Charlie Grice managed to stay out of the way of trouble in the men’s 1500m, surging ahead on the back straight – where a couple of athletes took a tumble – to record a 53.74 last lap and secure victory. He finished more than a second clear of the rest of the field with 3:46.97, with silver going to William Paulson who clocked 3:48.16 and bronze to Richard Peters who ran 3:48.33.
There was a strong finish from Martyn Rooney for the men’s 400m title as he won a battle with Conrad Williams for the line. The man who ran a 45.03 season’s best in Ostrava earlier this month couldn’t again be pushed near to 44-second territory and clocked 45.78 to Williams’ 45.88, while Michael Bingham’s 46.32 bagged him bronze. Next racing in Paris and Glasgow, Rooney says getting some niggles sorted out is his priority.
Commonwealth Games-bound Kelly Massey held off pre-race favourite Shana Cox for victory in the women’s race as she ran 52.42 to Cox’s 52.51 for the British title. No one has yet managed the European 400m standard of 52.00 though there remains a couple of weeks to post the standard. Emily Diamond was third with 52.75.
Eilidh Child claimed her first UK title and with 400m hurdles victory booked her spot on the GB team for Zurich, as did Meghan Beesley with her second-place finish. Child eased over the line in 55.58 as Beesley clocked 56.12 and Hayley McLean, the European junior champion in 2013, ran a personal best of 56.43 for bronze.
Fresh from his 13.21 personal best at the European Team Championships the weekend before, William Sharman dominated the men’s 110m hurdles final, finishing almost half a second clear with his 13.18 to Lawrence Clarke’s 13.61.
There was a UK record for Tom Bosworth in the men’s 5000m race walk as he clocked 19:16.82 for the British title when finishing as runner up to Australia’s Dane Bird-Smith with 19:14.53. In the women’s race long-time leader Heather Lewis held on for victory, setting a 22:09.87 personal best, ahead of Alana Barber and Emma Achurch who both also recorded lifetime bests – 22:11.52 to 24:14.96.
Having secured high jump silver the day before, Katarina Johnson-Thompson went one better in the long jump on Sunday, leaping 6.81m to equal her indoor personal best. A consistent series of jumps from Jazmin Sawyers was rewarded with silver following her best of 6.49m as Sarah Warnock jumped a PB of 6.42m for bronze.
Sophie Hitchon was again dominant in the women’s hammer competition, successfully defending her British title with a best of 65.56m which came from one of only two valid throws from the UK record holder. This is a third national title in four years for Hitchon, who already possesses the European standard of 69.00m. Silver went to Carys Parry with 63.33m, while a personal best of 62.30m from Louisa James bagged her the bronze.
UK No.1 this season Zane Duquemin had to settle for second in the men’s shot put as a season’s best of 18.34m secured Scott Rider victory. Duquemin’s single valid throw of the competition came in the first round, as all five of Rider’s legal throws would have been enough for the UK title but no one came close to the tough 20.00m European standard. Ryan Spencer-Jones claimed bronze with 17.23m.
Duquemin returned to his winning ways in the discus, though, as he threw a best of 60.38m to take the UK title ahead of Brett Morse with 60.26m as the 63.00m Euro standard remains elusive. Finishing third was London 2012 Paralympics silver medallist Dan Greaves who was initially believed to have thrown 59.90m for a British F44 record but the mark didn’t stand. His next best mark of 59.34m still placed him third, but he was competing as a guest, so bronze went to European junior silver medallist Nick Percy with a 58.61m personal best.
Julian Reid won a men’s triple jump competition missing the likes of Phillips Idowu and Nathan Douglas, leaping a best of 16.82m as Ben Williams secured silver and Nathan Fox bagged bronze – 16.73m to 16.59m. The men’s pole vault was won by Steve Lewis who bounced back from having no-heighted at his last two outings. He cleared a best of 5.55m as Steve Walker did enough for silver and Andrew Sutcliffe claimed bronze, both with season’s bests of 5.35m. Allan Smith won the men’s high jump from Chris Baker, both athletes clearing 2.24m.
» The July 2 issue of Athletics Weekly will feature more than a dozen pages of reports, photographs and results from the British Championships