Katie Snowden is new UK women’s 1,500m champion

Photo credit Noble Boutin
Photo credit James Rhodes
Photo credit Jerry Watson

Balham resident Katie Snowden pulled off one of the shocks at the UK Athletics Championships and World Trials meeting at SportCity in Manchester on Sunday to be crowned women’s 1,500m champion, writes Geoff Jerwood.

The 29-year-old won a hotly-contested final, edging out the strong favourite, Tokyo Olympic silver medallist Laura Muir in a thrilling sprint to the finish, clocking 4:09.86.

With the first two finishers being guaranteed selection for Team GB for the World Athletics Championships in Budapest next month – provided they have the qualifying time – this was looking on the cards on the last lap as Muir held a small lead ahead of Snowden around the final bend with a gap to third and fourth.

But going into the finishing straight the multiple global medallist from Scotland was stunned by the strength of Snowden’s final winning burst to the line.

Snowden was in full control when she won her heat on Saturday in 4:15.95. Sunday’s final was very cagey and slow during the first two laps.

The race came to life with 600m to run. Muir put in a very hard next 200m with Snowden reacting sufficiently to start to draw away from those behind, then gradually closing the gap Muir had created before producing the stronger finishing kick in the final 100m.

With the qualifying time having already been secured by both athletes earlier in the season, they can book their flights to the Hungarian capital to be there in good time for round one of the women’s 1,500m on August 19.

Kristal Awuah placed seventh in the women’s 200m final on Sunday with a season’s best of 23.32.

It was her fifth race in two days after winning her 200m heat earlier in the day (23.43). Awuah won her 100m heat on Saturday in 11.47, then placed third in her semi-final in 11.52, the fastest non-automatic qualifier for the final as the weather started to deteriorate.

The final was contested in incredibly wet conditions. Awuah placed fourth in 11.54.

Day one on Saturday featured six Herne Hill athletes, four in 100m races and two racing over 1,500m. In addition to Snowden, Saskia Millard raced in the first of the women’s 1,500m heats, finishing ninth with 4:25.34, a good effort while nursing a niggly hip.

In the men’s 100m heats, Myles Copeland-Naulty was fourth in 10.57, but with a 2.5-plus metres per second following wind, just over the legal limit for ranking times.

In the women’s 100m heats Saskia King was third in 11.95 and Niyah Costley fourth in the next one in 11.84, both legal wind speeds and the latter a PB.

Costley came eighth in 12.28 in the same semi-final as Awuah following a PB in her heat.

Herne Hill placed second in their Southern Athletics League fixture at Tooting Bec Athletics Track.

The men’s scoring track event winners included Amarie Angus (B 200m 23.3), Harvey Kande (B 400m 53.1), Alex Jack (A 1,500m 4:24.8), Ben Millar (B 3,000m 9:32.0) and Oliver Hector, both the A 110m hurdles (17.6) and A 400m hurdles (63.1). Dante Clarke won the A triple jump (11.24m), while the 4x400m relay team won in 3:34.7.

The women’s track event winners were Joyce Kalombo (12.4) and Jaydine Robinson (12.9) in the A and B 100m respectively, Robinson also took the B 200m (26.8), Grace O’Hanlon (B 1,500m 5:22.5), Grace Leyland (9:26.6) and Jenny Nandi (9:35.0) the A and B 3,000m  respectively and Izzy Perry the A 2,000m steeplechase (8:24.4). Female field event winners were Lily-Rose Brown (1.65m) and Alexandra Margenean (1.35) in the A and B high jump and Sky Odondem A triple jump (10.54m). Their women were 4x100m winners (49.9).

In road racing a number of Harriers raced in the ASICS London 10km on Sunday. The leading Herne Hill men were Morgan Roberts, placing a very good fifth overall in the huge field in 31:31, Ryan Willmott 53rd in 34:13, just ahead of 55th placed Seve Loudon 34:16, with Myles Prestom 86th in 35:11.

Leonie Biemolt was 14th female in 37:52, Sophie Gunning 17th in 38:08, Annie Dalton 22nd in 38:54, Laura Donnelly 41st in 40:16 and Charlotte Spencer 67th in a big PB of 41:40. 

Geoff Jerwood