Short and sweet this weekend with news of a silver medal for Andrew Pozzi at the UK Athletics Senior Indoor Championships in Birmingham at the weekend only losing out to Dave King’s new stadium record, a record had been held for 29 years by Colin Jackson.
At the same event there was a 4th place finish for Emily Madden Forman, the UK’s 4th ranked indoor high jumper but there was disappointment for Lewis Byng in the shot put. Lewis incurred a hamstring injury in the warm up but despite this he still managed to secure 4th place. Literally, just as I was about to press send on this newsletter, Paul Bearman informed me that Lewis has been selected as the UK’s sole U23 shot putter in next month’s European Throwing Cup in Portugal. A well deserved honour. Many congratulations Lewis
At the British Masters Indoor Championships at the Sheffield Indoor Arena, Paula Williams came away with 2 golds and a silver medal. She also broke the W50 UK indoor shot put record, as a result of which she stands at number 1 in the all time list. Well done Paula.
I had hoped for a report on last weekend’s final Winter Series race at Ilmington. Maybe next week.
Finally we have some lovely photos of some of our juniors taking part in impromptu Pancake Day relays during training on Tuesday. If they don’t put a smile on your face I fear nothing will.
Good luck to those members competing in the BUCS Indoor Championships and also the England Masters Athletics Indoor Inter-Area T&F Challenge at the weekend and also to Andrew Pozzi, who lines up alongside 60m hurdles world record holder Grant Holloway and 2023 world number two Daniel Roberts (USA) in the World Indoor Tour Final at the Utilita Arena in Birmingham. Andrew will then be concentrating on preparing for the outdoor season.
As ever, good luck to all of you competing anywhere. If you are competing please let me have a report.
I’d like to round off this week’s editorial by wishing all the very best to Craig Gibbons who will be leaving his post as Sports Editor at the Stratford Herald this week for pastures new. We have enjoyed a wonderful relationship with Craig during his tenure and Craig, for his part, has been hugely supportive of the club and our activities. Many thanks Craig.
The passing of a metaphorical baton? Seb Hillard, star of tomorrow, holds star of today Andrew Pozzi’s, number. Go Seb.
Andrew being watched over by a brace of Hillards – Niamh and Seb
2023 UK Athletics Senior Indoor Championships.
Utilita Arena Birmingham
Report – Paul Bearman.
Many of the UK’s top track and field athletes were at the Utilita Arena in Birmingham at the weekend for the 2023 UK Athletics senior Indoor Championships. To be invited to compete, the athletes have to be in the top echelon of the national rankings and 3 Stratford upon Avon AC athletes fell into that bracket.
After a winter’s training disrupted with niggling injuries Andrew Pozzi was keen to get his first race under his belt “and put the Stratford vest on again”.
He lined up in his heat against long term domestic rival David King who is in the form of his life and who duly won the heat in 7.65s with Pozzi in second in 7.80s to qualify for the final.
The final was a rerun of the heat with King taking the title in a new stadium record of 7.62 held by Colin Jackson for 29 years. Pozzi finished second in 7.81s to come away with the silver.
Emily Madden Forman, competing in the High Jump and in the unfamiliar Trafford AC vest while she’s at Manchester Met University, has been in fine form after recently setting a new PB and sitting 4th in the UK rankings. Heading the field was the new UK record holder Morgan Lake who claimed yet another women’s UK high jump title.
Emily started cautiously opening at 1.68 and then cleared the next few heights first time up to 1.77 before failing at 1.81, finishing 4th.
Afterwards Emily said “it was a good competition and I’m pleased with 4th but it was bitter sweet I think, because I’m annoyed that I didn’t get that 1.81, although I think I got too nervous at that point. I’ve got more in me and now I’m looking forward to the British University Champs this weekend”.
Lewis Byng was relishing the chance to win a senior Shot medal but that was scuppered by a hamstring injury in the warm up.
Throwing the Shot starts from a low bending position and despite not being able to bend his leg, Lewis carried on competing with standing throws and still managed a decent series of throws over 17 metres with his best of 17.31m was only 8 centimetres short of the bronze medal.
A reflective Lewis said afterwards “I’m really disappointed but these things happen and I just need to concentrate on my training to make sure I’m in good shape to try and get the qualifying standard for the Euros”.
Paula Williams proudly displaying her 3 medals, which included a gold for when she broke the W50 British indoor record in the shot put to go number one on the all-time list.
You may be mistaken for thinking this is Paula Williams’ medal haul from the Championships but the eagle eyed of you will see that there are bronze medals in the photo and you should know that Paula wouldn’t get out of bed for a mere bronze.
A photo of me and Paula for no reason other than the fact I like it and I get to choose what photos are featured, so there.
I may well put this on display at home and friends and family will say “wow, do you really know Paula Williams? ” and I will proudly proclaim that yes I do.
Me on the start line of the 800m
British Masters Athletic Federation T&F Indoor Championships
Sheffield Indoor Arena
18th and 19th February 2023
Report – David Jones
These championships attracted over 500 Masters athletes last weekend to the splendid Indoor Arena in Sheffield.
Myself and Paula Williams were competing, with Paula enjoying a hugely successful couple of days.
She won a silver medal in the 60m with a time of 8.52. In the shot put, with the aim of trying to clear 13 metres, she broke the British Indoor record with a throw of 13.05, some 42 cms ahead of the second placed thrower on the all-time list and over 3 metres ahead of her next competitor on the day.
Not content with, that she then went on to win another gold medal, this time in the 60m hurdles, recording a time of 9.71 seconds, which places her 3rd on the all-time list, .09 of a second off the top slot.
Paula managed all of this with a seriously swollen ankle.
I competed in both the 800m and 1500m, coming a distant 4th in both. I was reasonably happy with my time of 3:02.52 in the 800m, although it was a couple of seconds slower than my time at Cardiff earlier in the year. With the first 3 runners being in a different league, I decided early on to try and claim 4th place, as a result of which I sat on the shoulder of the 4th placed runner for too long so I may have been able to run a bit quicker
I was less pleased with my time in the 1500m the following day. Despite it being my 1st competitive 1500m for 2 1/2 years I was hoping to get close to a time of 6 minutes. Sadly I ran 6:33.53. I’ve obviously lost a lot of stamina and need to do some pretty hard work to try and get it back.
Slightly in my defence, the same 3 runners beat me on both days and they had all been part of an M70 4 x 800m relay team who the previous Tuesday and broken the world M70 record!
Pancake Relay Races at Tuesday’s training session.
Should they ever include pancake tossing as an Olympic sport then, judging by these photos, I predict many a podium place for our club members.
Sometimes putting together the newsletter can be a bit of a chore but when I get sent photos like this they really do put a smile on my face and all seems well with the world.
Many thanks to Carolyne Johnston and Lucy Edwards for the photos.
Just look at the concentration from Callum Linforth and Toby Ledgard
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