European Sprints Clean Sweep – Caroline Powell, Stephen Peters & John Wright, Jesolo – 12th September

Author: Bridget Cushen

Father and Son run in Finals

British sprinters dominated the 200m and short hurdle finals in 26° and glorious sunshine on 12 September. At last the women had some crowd support as their hurdles final were in the main stadium in Jesolo, however it was back to the second stadium in Caorle for their 200 finals in the afternoon.  Jane Horder retained her European W60 80mH title that she won two years ago in Aarhus in a then world record 12.90s with a decisive 13.02 win here.  Jean Fail won the W70 title. M80 Tony Bowman and W55 Julie Rodgers also struck gold.  The men’s 55 age group was dominated by Don Brown from Barrie Marsden, the Norwegian Frode Holt prevented a British clean sweep as he was just ahead of Neil Tunstall and Glenn Riddington.   James Tennyson had a great victory over Wieslaw Musial in the M60 100mH: the Pole went straight over to the long jump pit to win his second gold in a day.

After getting a PB earlier in the week in the 400mH heat, W45 Jo Wilding finishing just out of the medals in the 80mH final here before rushing off to Caorle to run in her 200m final.

It took a photo finish examination to decide the M70 80mH final and Tony Wells had to settle for the silver medal sharing the same time 14.09sec, as the Pole Marek Mielcarek. The popular M75 and hard working Official, Barry Ferguson, had to slow down a few flights out due to a protesting left knee, but he managed to finish.

It took a photo finish also to decide the W35 100mH title as Catriona Pennet was just nudged out by the Spaniard Emma Valencia in what look closer than their official time 14.94sec-15.10 would suggest.  “I beat her in the Indoor in Torun, so maybe it is payback time” the Scottish champion said afterwards.  On the second time of asking, the M35 got off to a nervous start and with two bronze medals already in the bag, SCVAC’s David Awde struck gold.  Joe Appiah made light work of the M45 110mH for yet another top international honour.

After taking the lion’s share in the 100m finals, our sprinters proved they are now the best in Europe. Conditions had cooled as the races got under way at 17.30; we got off to a golden start. Jonathan Browne raced to a resounding M35 victory in 21.70, His father, M65 John got 4th behind Steve Peters. Mike Coogan took the M45 title. Giuseppe Mintti the M50 race, Don Browne the M55, John Wright the M60 by a street, Steve Peters the M65 and Anthony Treacher the M80 final. There were many silver and bronze medals won and presented.

The distaff side, much fewer in number, made their present felt on the European stage with Caroline Powell breaking her second European record,  storming to a 30.55sec clocking, almost a clear second over her rivals after her convincing W65 100m win and European 400m record in a scintillating 68.67sec.  

Both men and women ran their steeplechase in the main stadium commencing at 14.15, the warmest time of day as the sun was directly overhead. 

The home nation got their first race, the W55-plus, when Patriza Passerini proved faster than the consistent Jane Pidgeon.  Marise Taylor was 4th.  Jane Edrington a steady 2nd W40 and British W50 record holder, Lisa Thomas VAC held off the early pace, making her bid for a clear win some metres out in the combined W50/45 race taking W45 Ana Romas-Villaverdie with her to a British double. Alex Swiecicki spread eagled the M70  2000k run with a gun to tape victory.  M55 Tony Killilea ran a season’s best, time, 12.00.38sec for 7th over the 3km.  Graham Moffitt finished 3rd M50 and Daniel Johnson came in 9th.  “I only started steeplechasing last year and I really enjoyed it here as those guys are so good” were Timothy White’s comments as he recovered from his 9th place in this Spanish dominated 10-strong M40 race. Only four of the unusually small field of five entered the M35 race, but it was certainly no walk-over as the Spaniard Die De La Fuente Ibanez set a cracking pace from the gun to win in 9.40.79sec. Lee Athersmith went with him but soon had to rein back as he reeled off laps of 73sec flying over the barriers in style. Lee was eventually overtake by the Frenchman, Riaux for 2nd getting the bronze medal from his GBR colleague Matthew Evans.       

British Walkers denied records in their 10km

Maybe it was due to the 08.00 start on 11th, but the 273 walkers setting off on their 10km road walk would have been concentrating on meeting the stiff technical rules of their discipline and trusting that all other requirements were in order, but that was not to be. It was later discovered that markers had been put in the wrong place and the course that they actually covered was some 700m short. The Official responsible has apologised profusely, the original course was properly measured and certified, whether it was due to a lack of communication or lack of volunteers, is not clear, but it was a great pity for the walkers as many rely heavily on good European competition.  British placings were; Noel Blatchford got the W70 title and it was another gold for Ian Richards by a huge margin.  Peter Boszko followed him home for the bronze medal, David Kates 16th in an excellent 25-strong M70 race.

W40 Carolyn Derbyshire was 5th, Penny Cummings 6th and there was a 10th and 12 place for W50 Wendy Kane and Julie BellfieldKath Duhig walker herself into 3rd place in the M60 walk as her partner Peter, helped Team Manage. Anne Wheeler came home 6th, Judy Howard 12th and Fiona Bishop 14th.     

Athletes report the newly laid track in Caorle as soft making it demanding on the legs whilst the track in Jesolo is described as hard, good in warm weather but not so appealing during the two wet afternoons we had. Generally facilities are good, buses run to time and travelling between stadiums is easy.   

Reports from Athletics Weekly:

  • Day 6 – Rest day
  • Day 7 – 11th Sep
  • Day 8 – 12th Sep

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