Herne Hill Harriers’ Funto Fabunmi-Alade has emerged as another 17 year old member who can win national titles and potentially challenge for places in Great Britain under 18 teams, as she claimed a fabulous win in the Senior Girls 200m at the English Schools Championship – often dubbed the “kids Olympics” – in the colours of Berkshire Schools in a hot sunny Gateshead. Having been fastest qualifier from her heat, Funto handled the expectation that she would win the final very well and ran her fastest electronic time to date of 24.35 with a comfortable enough margin of victory. Funto is a big race competitor, having in the past 3 years won a previous English Schools title in a younger age group, represented England Schools in the Schools Home International and won the UK School Games title. She is now ranked 8th in the UK U20 list (including a U17) and only two others in the top 10 were born in the same year as Funto, the others all being older athletes so she is well positioned for GB team consideration.
There were 3 more HHH athletes on top of the podium, as the winning London Schools Junior Boys 4x100m relay team contained Zanson Plummer, Fawwaz Okunola and Frederick Afrifa, while HHH athletes had a run on individual bronze medals over the 2 days of the championship. Zanson won bronze in the Junior Boys 100m in 11.11, with Fawwaz 7th, while Jermaine Graham was an excellent 3rd in the triple jump in the same age group with a PB leap of 12.64m. In the Intermediate Boys shot Louis Keen threw a PB of 15.88m in his final round effort to secure another bronze medal, the same colour as was also won by David Beckham’s selection as a London 2012 Olympic torch bearer, Gabriella Roseje in the Senior Girls shot with 11.33m, a season’s best, while the HHH set of bronze was completed by HCA member Shanice Harrison who placed an excellent 3rd in Funto’s race with a legal PB of 24.85.
Julien Allwood replicated his 4th from the England U20 Champs a week earlier with a jump of 14.83m in a high standard Senior Boys triple jump, the first time in the years he has competed at the English Schools that he has come home with no medal. Niclas Baker also missed out on a medal, but ran a PB in every round of the Inter Boys 100m hurdles, clocking 13.45 in his heat, trimming this to 13.44 in his semi final and then equalling this time in his final run to show admirable consistency that matches serious potential. Tosin Babajide threw a PB 10.85m to place a very good 5th in the Junior Girls shot, while Angharad Seaton placed 7th in the Senior Girls pole vault to complete the HHH group of top 8 finishers this year. It is sure that all who travelled up to the North East, whether winning medals, making finals, setting PBs or otherwise will have enjoyed the unique experience that this huge championship meeting provides to the best athletes in the schools.
Full results can be found at this link to the ESAA website: