Harriers impress at English Athletics Championships

By Dominique Stafford in Athletics

OJIE EDOBURUN smashed his personal best on his way to winning gold at the English under-20 and under-23 Athletics Championships in Bedford over the weekend.

Competing in the men’s under-23 100metres, the Shaftesbury Barnet Harrier produced a storming run to race to the line in 10.12seconds as he beat the qualifying mark required for the forthcoming World Athletics Championships.

And, having run so quickly, Edoburun has set his sights of trying to secure a spot in Team GB for the showpiece event in London by performing well at next month’s British Championships.

“You have to come into a race thinking that you’re going to win,” he said. “I did not feel like my rounds were that impressive – I had some issues with the false starts – and I saw Reuben Arthur ran very fast in the semis, so I knew I had to just focus on my lane and do what I had to do.

“I’ve been working on my start so much in training. It’s still yet to come together, but I’m really happy with how I’m finishing my race now and that showed. I’m confident in my top end speed and it prevailed, so I’m very pleased with myself.

“I’ve finally got a world standard, which I’ve been looking for since my first race of the season. I’ve had windy race after windy race, Loughborough, America, anywhere, you name it, so I’m very thankful that I finally got a legal wind. I’m looking forward to the trials and punching my ticket to London. It’s going to be a great race.”

Daryll Neita made it a double triumph for the Harriers in the 100m at under-23 level as she also set a personal best of 11.20secs on her way to winning the women’s race.

“It was perfect conditions,” she said. “I’ve had a bit of a rocky season so far, with an injury a few weeks ago, and I really wanted to run the qualifying for the worlds here. So I’m really happy that I got a personal best and the qualifying time and now it’s on to trials.”

George Evans also enjoyed a weekend to remember as he won both the discus (55.26m) and the shot (16.39m) at men’s under-20 level – but, despite this, he was not entirely satisfied with his performance in the discus.

“I’m not sure what happened,” he said. “I’ll have to go away and analyse it. I was over 60 metres in Portugal and strength work has been great. But I guess it was just one of those days – you can’t throw big every day.”

There were also victories for Phillip Crout in the men’s under-23 5,000m (14minutes 39.55secs) and Ade Adefolalu in the men’s under-23 long jump (6.61m), while silver medals were secured by George Groom in the men’s under-20 3,000m steeplechase (9mins 29.40secs), Akin Coward in the men’s under-23 high jump (2.09m) and Sabrina Bakare in the women’s under-23 400m (54.03secs).

Eavion Richardson won bronze in both the triple jump (12.48m) and long jump (6.00m) at women’s under-20 level, a result matched by Dominic Ashwell in the men’s under-20 100m (10.36secs), Sam Hazel in the men’s under-23 400m (46.98secs) and Ellie Baker in the women’s under-20 800m (2mins 6.96secs).

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