National title for Olympic hopeful

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JOEY Duck has an outside chance of pulling on a Great Britain vest for the 2012 London Olympics next year, and did those chances the world of good by picking up the English U23 200m title.

The Marshall Milton Keynes AC sprinter was competing at the England Athletics Championships at Bedford’s International Athletic Stadium where she won her heat in a time of 24.92s before improving to 24.82s to take the win. Guest runner Niamh Whelan of Ireland actually won the final in 24.47s, but as top English girl, Joey took the title.

Also competing at the Championships were F20 Katie James who was 7th in her 400m heat taking 60.29s, Sophie Wilkins who was 5th in her F23 400m heat with a time of 58.69s, and Chloe Whalley whose time of 15.17s was good enough for 6th in the 100m hurdles.

For the MK AC’s men, M20 Ben Sturgess progressed from the 400m heats with his 49.87s run but 51.37s in the semi-final was not sufficient for him to make the final. And in the hammer it was 9th for Sam Ridgway with a throw of 56.50m.

For the M23 squad Sam Deathe was 10th in his 1500m heat with a time of 3m 59.28s and Matt Willmott was also 10th in his in 4m 02.40s. And in the M23 javelin, Michael Cox was 5th by throwing 61.95m and Jonathan Constantinou took 7th spot with his 56.54m.

It was also a great weekend for the city club at the British Masters Track and Field Championships in Birmingham where two gold, three silver and four bronze medals were won and four club records smashed.

The golds came as Jack Kee (M70) threw the weight out to 17.35m and John Browne (M55) ran a magnificent 100m – not only to take the title, but to set a new club M55 record of 12.08s.

In a busy meeting, Jack added two silver medals to his haul by throwing the discus 32.74m and then the hammer 47.27m, while M60 John Skelton continued his excellent form by setting a new club M60 record in the 5000m to earn a silver medal in a time of 18m 24.54s.

Not content with that, John grabbed a bronze and another club record taking 4m 56.54s for the 1500m, while Ivars Licietis (M55) did likewise in the 400m by taking bronze and the club record in 57.87s. And Ivars then picked up another bronze in the 200m by finishing in 26.74s against a stiff headwind.

The third bronze came courtesy of Paul Canning (M45) who set a new personal best of 10.25m in the triple jump, before he also finished 3rd in the B200m final by running a time of 25.39s. He narrowly missed out on a medal in the 400m final after recording a PB time of 57.22s to finish 4th, and finished 5th in his 100m heat in 12.71s. Ivars also came 4th in the 800m final with a new club M55 record of 2m 22.65s.

There was a PB in the M45 1500m final for Malcolm Down who crossed the line in 4m 39.23s for 8th place. While for the M50 group, Mike Burling was 10th in the 800m final in 2m 26.89s, 9th in the hammer with 28.96m and 8th in the weight (11.00m). It was sixth in the discus for M55 John Turner with 29.65m, and F50 Jan Hardcastle was 5th in the high jump after clearing 1.24m.

In the multi-terrain Greensand Ridge Relay, the club’s Men’s team finished 5th and the Women 3rd.

Meanwhile at an open meeting event in Birmingham, Charlton Kerr ran 2m 11.58s in the 800m while Edward Wilson (M17) and James Wilson both contested the long jump and javelin with results of 4.88m, 49.94m, 4.86m and 41.25m respectively.

At the British Miler’s Club Meeting in Eltham, Lara Bromilow kept up her good form with 4m 43.4s in the 1500m.