Awuah at the double with two National gold medals and a club record

The sun came out last weekend for the England Athletics under 20 and under 23 Championship at Bedford which also acted as the trials for the upcoming European age group championships.

Herne Hill Harriers’ top female sprinter Kristal Awuah completed a golden double of national titles in the under 23 age group and has consequently booked her place on the Great Britain team for the European under 23 championship in Sweden next month.

On Saturday Awuah comfortably won her 100m heat in 11.74, her semi-final in 11.67 and then claimed a strong victory in the final with 11.61, the latter two races being against a fairly stiff breeze that slowed the sprint times through the afternoon.

The second part of the U23 sprint gold medal double on Sunday saw Awuah again dominate as she broke her own Herne Hill senior women’s club 200m record in the final with 23.24 after winning her heat in 23.62. Once again both runs were against a headwind, albeit lighter than for the shorter sprint races the day before.

Buzzing from her clear wins, Awuah will go to Sweden to race 200m and the sprint relay with confidence after an excellent weekend of racing and her times would have been a lot quicker had the winds blown in her favour or died altogether.

In the under 20 women’s age group Ore Adamson produced by far her best long jump to date as she leapt out to 6.23m in the opening round to lay down the gauntlet to the opposition. Although she was eventually overhauled by two competitors to leave her with a national bronze medal – only 1cm behind the silver medallist – Adamson’s performance was a strong breakthrough and sees her move to fourth in the national under 20 rankings so far in 2018.

The middle distance races saw Alexandra Brown finish an excellent fourth place in the under 20 women’s 1500m with 4.32.33 in a messy tactical race in which her very unlucky Harriers club mate Saskia Millard got up from a fall on the last lap to still finish ninth in a very creditable 4.36.96 in the circumstances. Millard had looked good when winning her heat the day before in4.33.27, with Brown qualifying from the faster run second heat in 4.31.16.

Millard will this Saturday race in the European under 20 women’s 3000m trial race at the Watford BMC Grand Prix meeting where Brown will have a rare outing at 800m.

Elsewhere Dante Clarke placed a fabulous third in the South East regional round of the English Schools AA Combined Events championships on Saturday with an excellent PB total of 2629 points. This performance qualifies him for the ESAA Final in September.

Off the track in road race action, one of Herne Hill’s top Masters athletes Jonathan Ratcliffe ran well at the Harry Hawkes 10 miles race clocking 60.19 to finish in tenth place overall and took home the award for the first M50 age category runner.

Geoff Jerwood