Kristal Awuah blasts into the UK senior sprint ranks with Berlin win

Kristal Awuah had an extremely successful 2018, winning World Junior Championship bronze medals at both 100m and 4 x 100m and a series of club senior and under 20 records for which she was honoured at the Herne Hill Harriers Annual Presentation Awards evening on Saturday evening.

But Awuah was elsewhere last weekend, busily kick starting 2019, a year which sees her enter the senior ranks and rather than politely knocking on the door, she is kicking it down with a very strong entrance.

After setting a new Harriers senior women’s 60m record of 7.30 seconds a week earlier at the PSD-Bank Indoor Meeting in Dortmund, Awuah returned to Germany on Friday to the ISTAF Meet in Berlin and smashed this time with a fabulous race victory in a big PB of 7.19 seconds.

This time is not only a Herne Hill women’s indoor record but catapults her to joint sixth on the U.K. women’s all-time list for 60m! Although this is her first year as a senior, Awuah is still only 19 years of age. The only British teenager ever to run faster than her for 60m is the current European senior women’s 100m and 200m champion Dina Asher-Smith. The trials for the European Indoor championship are at the British champs in Birmingham this coming weekend, where Awuah will be looking to go even faster. One to watch!!

In road race action on Sunday, two Herne Hill athletes ran huge PB times for 10km. Fiona de Mauny is better known for her 800m exploits and latterly also some good 400m and 1500m racing at the World Masters Championship in Malaga last September. But on her 36th birthday she shattered her PB at the Chichester 10km where she took 89 seconds off her best time to not only go sub 38 minutes for the first time, but substantially under 37, with her 13th women’s placing in 36.42.

Jordan Foster was also under 37 minutes for the first time with a very good 41 seconds PB of 36.51 as she placed third woman at the Regent’s Park London Winter Run 10km for a great breakthrough. Steph McCall was on the Isle of Wight and incorporated the Ryde 10 mile road race into her long Sunday session as she prepares for this year’s London Marathon. Her time of around 61.51 on a very hilly course that was actually 10.2 miles equates to 6.06 min per mile and won her first woman award at the race.

On Saturday the British students BUCS Cross Country Championship took place at Bicton College in Devon. In the women’s race Ella Newton and Kate Brown both ran very well in the usual exceptionally strong fields to place 57th and 71st respectively.

In the main men’s race Jack Dickenson placed 136th, Constantinos Timinis was 152nd, Ed Olsen 195th and Jasper Johnson 256th, while in the men’s B race Merhawi Tesfaldet was 44th and Lewis Laylee placed 84th.

Saturday also saw the Herne Hill Harriers Tooting parkrun Takeover, where club members organised the event for the morning, providing course marshals, finish funnel, recording and timekeeping management and pacemakers for parkrunners aiming at towards a range of different target finishing times.

Seven red and black Harriers vests in the first ten finishers plus the first three or more women was also a demonstration of takeover, albeit it is about much more than that and everyone enjoyed their runs on an extremely cold morning on Tooting Common.

Geoff Jerwood