With strong representation in the 400 metre finals on the third day of these championships, it should be no surprise that there was major success for the British team.
However, with plenty of medals on offer elsewhere, including some very chilly conditions in the long throws, there were podium spots for British athletes in almost all disciplines on offer today.
60m – Men
The centre of the track saw much of the day’s action, as all but the eldest competitors looked to seal qualification for tomorrow’s 60 metres finals.
In the M80s, Allan Long and Anthony Treacher raced to 9.65 and 10.03 respectively, delivering two heat wins and the two fastest qualifying performances.
Pat Logan again delivered in the second M60 semi-final, his 7.83 placing him third-fastest going into Wednesday, before Joe Appiah qualified as sixth-fastest M50.
Appiah’s 7.49 is a marked improvement on his heat time, and anything could happen in an age group where less than 0.2 seconds cover the fastest six athletes.
Three British athletes will feature in the M45 final, as Dominic Bradley (7.20Q, 3rd), Mensah Elliott (7.28q, 4th), and Joshua Wood (7.42q, 7th) all made it through.
There were also very nearly multiple Brits in the M40s, with Seriashe Childs taking the last qualifying spot in 7.30, and Marvin Edwards ninth-fastest in 7.32, before Duayne Bovell’s 7.09 saw him through as fourth-fastest M35 in the final men’s sprint action of the day.
60m – Women
The adjacent W70 and W65 age groups saw six athletes into tomorrow’s finals during an impressive spell in early afternoon.
The trio of Caroline Marler (10.21Q, 3rd), Anne Nelson (10.26Q, 4th), and Jean Fail (11.01q, 8th) all qualified for tomorrow’s W70 conclusion, while Jane Horder (9.20Q, 1st), Caroline Powell (9.38Q, 3rd), and Joan Trimble (9.62Q, 5th) progressed in the W65s, notably each athlete winning their heat.
After her medal-winning efforts in the long jump (see below), Melanie Garland sealed her place in the W60 final with 9.30, placing her fifth-fastest, while Juliet Sidney made it into the W55 equivalent, her 8.88 granting her the final qualifying spot.
Michelle Thomas and Fiona Davidson each qualified for the W50 final from the morning’s heats, Thomas winning hers in 8.50 while Davidson produced 8.73 to progress as a non-automatic qualifier.
Britain’s W45 athletes had the busiest day of all, however, as the only age group to face two rounds of qualification in one day. Yvette Henry crossed the line first in both her races (8.11, 8.12) to qualify third-fastest for the final, with Karen Burles fourth-fastest qualifier, having been only one-hundredth behind Henry in both rounds.
Lisa Boland’s British W40 indoor record stood at 7.83 before today, but the Epsom and Ewell athlete looks to have lowered it in winning her 60 metre heat, 7.82 making her the second-fastest qualifier going into Wednesday.
Most impressive of all, however, is the composition of tomorrow’s W35 final. Half of the eight athletes on the Polish start line will be British, after Shereen Charles (7.93Q, 4th), Stacey Downie (8.01Q, 5th), Joanne Ryan (8.16q, 6th), and Michelle Watson (8.45q, 8th) all qualified, including a heat win for Downie.
400m Finals – Women
The first two-lap final of the day, in the oldest women’s age group, saw Elizabeth Finlay cross the line in 3:22.92 for silver and what could very well be a British record, the current list showing the W85 category as vacant.
Completing a full set of medals in the opening two races, W80 world record holder Kathleen Stewart and compatriot Iris Hornsey secured gold and bronze respectively, Stewart recording 96.30 to Hornsey’s 1:51.52.
Two races on and again a Brit occupied the second podium spot as Caroline Marler continued her prolific championships. 82.71 saw the Northern Masters athlete take silver behind a talented Italian.
British record holder Caroline Powell bested not one or two but three Swedes in taking the W65 400 metres title, the clock stopping at 70.55 for the South West Vet.
A race later, Virginia Mitchell produced the British performance of the day. Chasing Powell’s W60 world record of 64.76, the Vets AC sprinter set a new world record of 64.55, one of four global marks set on the day.
The final British women’s medallists of the day both broke 60 seconds. Susie McLoughlin raced to 59.91 for W45 bronze, while Stacey Downie’s 58.66 placed her a step higher on the podium, claiming W35 silver.
400m Finals – Men
In the first men’s race with British involvement, Anthony Treacher added yet more silverware to his championships collection in the M80 final, 84.17 seeing him take bronze.
Simon Barrett (66.08) and Adrian Essex (69.67) unfortunately missed out on the M70 medals, placing fourth and sixth respectively, but the M65 final saw Tennyson James claim a bronze medal in 60.29.
The strongest men’s showing by far came in the M60s, with John Wright and Michael Vassiliou securing a British 1-2.
Vassiliou’s 59.24 saw off the French athlete in third place, but it was Wright’s 55.65 that stole the show. An agonising three-hundredths away from the world record mark set 20 years ago tomorrow, the Northern Masters athlete improved on his British record mark by over a second.
Final British medallists on the day were Gavin Stephens and Rick Beardsell. Stephens raced nearly a second clear of silver in his race to take the M45 title in 51.30, while Beardsell’s 52.01 gave him M40 silver.
Carolyn Derbyshire and Dash Newington were the sole British representatives in the women’s walks, and both placed well in competitive fields.
Derbyshire was sixth W45 home in 16:44.71, while Newington was just outside the medals, fourth in 17:42.97.
A mention should go to Newington as surely the most prolific of those in this year’s British team, having entered in twelve separate events at these championships, including the pentathlon.
Sunday saw a British medal in the opening track event, Monday in the opening cross country race, and so on Tuesday it was the turn of the opening field event.
Starting at 8:25, Iris Holder posted a 2.49 jump in the second round of a W80 competition that took just 25 minutes to complete, securing a bronze medal.
Shortly afterwards in the W70s, Emily McMahon posted a remarkably consistent series to finish sixth, with five valid jumps between 3.00 and 3.07.
Dropping down further to the W65s, Carole Filer was close to her 4.01 British indoor record with a final round leap of 3.97, taking home the bronze but missing out on silver by just three centimetres.
The youngest age group on show was the W60s, and all but one of Melanie Garland’s five valid jumps would have seen off her nearest challenger, the Midland Master posting a best of 4.44.
With three men’s triple jump competitions on the day, only the M60 contest featured British interest, but there was medal success nonetheless.
Julien Gittens leapt to a season’s best of 11.22 in the penultimate round, the distance placing him in the silver medal position briefly, before being knocked down to bronze by a strong American effort.
With high jump bed being handed over to the pentathletes tomorrow, it was the youngest men who made up the final day of individual competition.
In the M40s, Martin Lloyd entered the competition at 1.90 and cleared on his first attempt to secure a medal. After the other three remaining athletes failed at 1.95, the Bexley athlete produced a clear card up to 2.04 to produce his best jump in over a decade, and take the gold in style.
Tom Nichols also produced a clear card in his M35 competition, and topping out at 2.00 gave the Harrow athlete his best jump as a master, and a silver medal to boot.
Craig Charlton had not competed this year before taking on the M35 shot put competition in Toruń. Whilst the Woodford Green athlete was comfortably in second place after a third round put of 15.79, his final round effort of 16.25 sealed the silver medal, and ranks him tenth in the overall UK rankings this year.
Contesting a strong W75 field in the weight throw, Rosemary Hutton was a strong fourth place. The South West Vets athlete improved on her 8.86 personal best, set winning the BMAF Winter Throws Championships earlier this month, with her fourth round throw of 9.05.
In the javelin, there were two strong British performances as the younger women’s age groups took their their turns on the runway.
The W50 category saw Paula Williams take a stellar gold, a best of 35.25 in the fourth round seeing her overhaul the early German leader.
The result gives the Midland Master a medal in both of the field events she entered at these championships, having secured a bronze in the W50 category on the opening day.
Laurensa Britane was a creditable fourth in the W35 contest, her best of 36.13 a short distance from the podium. The Thames Valley Harrier will have another medal chance in the discus on Friday, an event she won bronze in at last year’s world outdoor championships.
Guy Dirkin is the British M70 record holder in the discus (43.92), but it was another throws discipline display today, as the older age groups finished off the men’s hammer competition.
The Florida-based Brit threw 42.26 with the four kilogramme implement to place fourth.
An age group below, Ian Cooley’s 37.11 saw him secure sixth in the M65s, with John Moreland (41.27) and Allan Leiper (38.87) finishing next to each other in the M60s in ninth and tenth, narrowly missing the cut.
Whilst those still in the UK could be forgiven for thinking we’re now well into springtime, there were no such illusions for the intrepid British throwers who faced conditions as cold as 2°C.
Tomorrow sees the opening day of the pentathlon for men over 55, as well as the finals of the 60 metres for men and women. The circular track will see the opening round of the 800 metres for many, whilst in the field there will be triple jump and pole vault competitions, as well as weight, javelin, and discus in the throws.
As always, if you are in Torun and have photos of British athletes that you’re happy to share, feel free to send them in to email@example.com.