Balham Herne Hill Harrier bags ninth in Diamond League final in Zurich

Balham middle-distance star Katie Snowden ran to a courageous ninth in the Diamond League women’s 1500m final in Zurich on Thursday evening.In her last race of the season, and the last big set-piece of the athletics campaign, the 27-year-old geography graduate recorded 4:06.46, which is closer to her best than most of her competitors ran in this race.

The Herne Hill Harrier held on to the leading pack through most of the first three laps but could not stay with them in a blistering last lap. Kenyan Faith Kipyegon held off a strong challenge from Siffan Hassan, from the Netherlands, who looked like she might be able to overhaul the Kenyan. But the double Olympic gold medallist held on for victory. Josette Norris, from the USA, was third.

Having reached the Tokyo Olympics semi-final and qualified on merit for the next biggest race of 2021 in Zurich, Snowden has now signed off for this summer before beginning her preparation for a big 2022 which could hopefully include at least one of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, the European Athletics Championship in Munich and the World Athletics Championship in Oregon.

The future of Harriers middle distance racing continues in good hands, as Snowden’s first coach James McDonald guided his newest star Keeran Sriskadarajah to a superb club under 15 boys 1500m record at the South London Harriers open meeting at Coulsdon  on Thursday evening. Sriskandarajah’s time of 4:11.18 broke an long standing mark which dates back to 1973.

Mcdonald’s training group were out in force with more PB’s, including Jack McLennan (U13) 4:54.02, Sophia Sahai( U15) 4:54.81, Lucy Wright 4:57.82, India Blakey 5:03.86 Lucas Heath 5:10.79 and Alfie Bryan 5:12.18.
Then over the weekend Harriers athletes were busy winning county medals at the Surrey Combined Events Championship at Carshalton on Saturday and Sunday.  

Sriskadarajah demonstrated his versatility after his club 1500m record by claiming gold in the under 15 boys pentathlon, including an 800m run timed at 2:01.90. Dante Clarke is a more established all rounder and was the gold medal winner in the under 17 men’s combined event and Solomon Moodley claimed a bronze medal in the under 13 boys pentathlon.

In the county sprint relays events held in conjunction, Herne Hill’s U15 girls were fourth in the  4 x 100m, but the team produced an excellent win in the 4 x 300m, recording a championship best performance and a club record to go to the top of the UK rankings.  

The U13 girls were winners of the 4 x 100m and fourth in the  4 x 200m, the U17 women won the 4 x 100m and also bronze medals in that race, while the 4 x 300m team were also winners. The U20 women won gold medals in the 4 x 100m with a  CBP.

The Harriers boys were not outdone, as the U13 boys won the 4 x 100m and were silver medallists in the 4x 200m. The U15 boys won bronze in the 4 x 100m  and silver in the 4 x 200m, the latter being the second fastest in the country and only 0.3 seconds outside the outside club record. The U17 men were second in the 4 x 400m and the U20 men claimed team gold medals in the 4 x 100m to complete an excellent set of results.

Geoff Jerwood