It’s been an incredibly busy day for the British team out in Torun, and with plenty more medals to add to yesterday’s tally.
The bulk of the track races on the second day in Toruń were the heats of the men’s 60 metres, and plenty of Brits punched their tickets into tomorrow’s semi-finals.
Simon Barrett, had a more difficult prospect in the M70 category however, with only the eight fastest athletes going straight to a final on Wednesday. Last year’s European M65 bronze medallist over the distance won his heat in 8.71 to qualify fourth fastest for the final.
In the M65s, Clement Leon was the final non-automatic qualifier through to tomorrow’s semi-finals, 8.89 getting him through to the next round.
Another age group down, Pat Logan’s 7.81 made him the third-fastest qualifier in what looks like a tight M60 category, with the lead men separated by just six-hundredths of a second.
Hurdle star Joe Appiah proved he can do it on the flat as well, qualifying automatically for the M50 semi-finals in a time of 7.68.
No age group had quite so significant British dominance as the M45s, however, as five of 16 qualifiers for tomorrow’s semi-finals came from these hallowed isles.
Stuart Channon (7.54q), Joshua Wood (7.58Q), and Ciaran Harvey (7.63q) will be in the lower half of the draw, but at the top end, Mensah Elliott’s 7.34 places him fourth-fastest qualifier.
Unsurprisingly, top of the M45 seeding lists going into Tuesday’s races is Dominic Bradley. The Midland Master’s 7.24 will guarantee a good lane draw, as the 2022 M45 100 metres world champion chases another global title.
There will be a trio of Brits in both the M40 and M35 semi-finals, after some strong heat performances earlier today.
Sylvester Juwe (7.31Q), Marvin Edwards (7.33Q), and Seriashe Childs (7.36q) will go in the older of the two categories, while Duayne Bovell (7.18Q), Michael Dickens (7.23q), and Michael Louise (7.40q) are the youngsters into the next round.
400m Heats – Women
Caroline Powell progressed comfortably into the W65 400 metres final with a 71.67 heat win, but was only second-fastest athlete on the day.
On her 70th birthday, Canadian Karla del Grande posted a time of 71.34 to break the W70 world record for the distance, competition rules forcing her to compete in the younger W65 age group for the duration of the championships.
Virginia Mitchell also qualified with ease in the W60s, 68.94 giving her a heat win ahead of Christine Anthony, whose 73.57 also saw her qualify.
In the younger age groups, Claire Spurway was a time qualifier in the W40s, 64.43 seeing her drawn in lane one for tomorrow’s final, with Stacey Downie the final British woman to qualify, and second-fastest W35 going into the final round after winning her heat in a time of 59.40.
400m Heats and Semi-finals – Men
Having already won a medal on the day (see long jump section below), Anthony Treacher booked his place in the M80 400 metre final, with an 89.13 heat win.
John Wright and Michael Vassiliou sealed qualification with ease in the opening semi-final of the M60s, Wright winning in 57.10 from Vassiliou’s 58.12 to qualify as the two fastest athletes.
Wole Odele (58.35) and Adrian Haines (58.55) were seventh- and eighth-fastest M55s respectively, narrowly missing out on progressing.
M45 Gavin Stephens again produced the fastest time of the round, his 52.06 guaranteeing an outside lane for tomorrow’s final.
Finally, in the last race of the day, taking place 8:36 local time, Craig Cox came home in 50.95 in the second two-lap semi-final for the M35s to rank seventh-fastest overall, just 0.16 seconds from qualifying.
Taking the briefest of breaks from team management duties, Ian Richards took a stellar bronze in the M70 race walk, an event in which he still holds the world record from these championships — again in Toruń — four years ago.
Just over two weeks away from his 75th birthday, the 1980 Olympian’s 17:00.10 clocking would have seen him take gold in the M75s by over 80 seconds.
An equally impressive performance came from David Annetts in the M55 category, winning silver in a time of 13:26.75.
Though the Vets AC athlete missed out on gold by an agonising 0.44 seconds, he will come home the owner of a new British indoor record, having taken over half a minute from Nick Silvester’s previous leading mark.
6K Cross Country
Outside of the confines of the stadium, today saw the entirety of the men’s and women’s cross country competitions.
Those 70 or older tackled a six kilometre course, and there was significant British success in the earliest race of the day.
Norman Baillie was M75 victor by over a minute, his 29:25 clocking leading home a talented British squad that included Alan Appleby, Geoff Newton, and John Exley in fourth, fifth, and seventh respectively.
Appleby’s 31:44 and Newton’s 31:53 contributed to the British showing in the M75 team competition as well, and they took the gold from home nation Poland in an aggregate time of 1:33:03.
Betty Stracey’s second early morning in as many days also produced her second bronze medal, taking W80 bronze in 49:51.
In the team competition for the W70s, the British team took silver behind Germany in an aggregate time of 1:53:39.
Jane Georghiou (35:01) and Rosalind Tabor (35:52) were eighth and ninth in the W70 contest, with Susan James’ 42:43 in tenth bringing the team home.
8K Cross Country – Women
The step up to the longer distance did not stop British success, with the first race over 8K seeing the British W60 team take bronze in 2:02:50.
Susan Payne (40:25), Elke Hausler (40:36), and Sharyn Ramage (41:47) packed well to finish seventh, eighth, and ninth, just over two minutes behind the silver medal-winning Romanian team.
There was also individual success for Susan McDonald in the W55 race, her 34:27 granting her the third podium spot and a bronze medal.
Susan Ridley’s 35:31 for fourth, and Tracey Gibson’s 42:28 in 16th also meant that the Brits totalled 1:52:28, winning a second team gold, this time ahead of Germany.
The final women’s medals of the day came in the W40 age group, as Katherine Wellam (35:19, 8th), Madeleine Armstrong Plieth (35:20, 9th), and Rebecca Mills (38:28, 16th) totalled 1:49:08 for a team bronze.
8K Cross Country – Men
There were a series of strong placings early on in the men’s longer races, though they were unable to emulate the success of their female counterparts.
Steven Worsley (34:00, 15th) led home a British M60 team that was just 65 seconds away from a medal in fourth, and Chris Upson (30:09) and Ben Reynolds (30:14) occupied fifth and sixth in the M55 competition.
In the final race of the day, Richard Waldron was fifth M35 home in 28:14, just over ten seconds away from a spot on the podium.
In the final men’s long jump competition at the championships, Anthony Treacher placed third in the M80s with a leap of 3.53 in the first round.
Holder of five British indoor records, the Sweden-based Brit adds world bronze to the Swedish and British long jump titles he has already won this season.
In the first women’s long jump contest of the championships, Joanne Willoughby was knocked down to fourth in the W55’s final round, having spent the majority of the competition on the podium thanks to her second round leap of 4.68.
Fiona Davidson had an identical best of 4.68 one age group down, her final attempt good enough for fifth place in the W50s.
Caroline Marler is due to compete in six individual events at these championships, as well as tackling the pentathlon on the penultimate day, and the Northern Masters athlete came in eighth in her W70 shot competition with a best of 8.04.
Claire Cameron went one better in her W60 event, putting 9.37 for seventh overall.
Steve Langdon took gold earlier this year in the BMAF Winter Throws Championships, and he threw exactly four metres further this time round to place fifth in the M65 javelin.
A fourth round throw of 39.57 saw him just 70 centimetres away from a medal, and in the same fifth place he occupied four years ago — then in the M60s — when the championships last visited Toruń.
Sole islander in a field of European mainland athletes, Paul Derrien produced a PB of 46.40 to place sixth in the M50 hammer, his fourth round attempt the best of a strong series that saw three other throws over 45 metres.
The championships enter their third day tomorrow, again with 60 metres, 400 metres, and 3000 metre walks on the menu on the track, and with almost all field events in action (we need to wait another day yet for some pole vault, and discus is also on hiatus).
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