Kristal goes faster at Doha Diamond League finale

A week after racing to the top of the UK women’s 200m rankings for this year, Herne Hill Harriers record holding sprinter Kristal Awuah signed off her short, but speedy outdoor season with a superb fourth place in the women’s 100m at the final World Athletics Wanda Diamond League meeting in Doha on Friday. 

Racing athletes among the fastest in the world, Awuah’s strong finish almost saw her in a podium placing as she clocked her fastest time of the year with 11.27 seconds in hot and windless Qatar weather. She will doubtless have wished for the season to continue as her relentless improvement was unabated throughout September.

This latest performance elevates her to second in the national women’s 100m rankings and cements her position as one of the top Great Britain athletes this year as the season draws to a close.

Locally the South London Athletics Network hosted another open track and field meeting on Saturday at Tooting Bec in much cooler conditions than in Doha. The track races were mainly middle distances 800m and 1500m. In the 800m races Mike Cummings clocked a season’s best 1:58.80 ahead of rising Under 15 star Zac Crowther’s 2:02.77, the latter being just outside his recent best time. 

New M40 athlete David Phillips ran his first ever track race and won his 800m in 2:20.08 in a race where U13 youngsters Jon Goldston and Sophia Sahai ran PBs of 2:24.67 and 2:28.32 respectively. Other young athletes to produce best times were Malachi Balogun (U15) 2:21.91, Dylan Gillies (U13) 2:40.66, Sophie Wright (U11) 2:49.69 and Imogen Weller (U15) 2:52.95.

The 1500m races featured few PBs among the senior athletes in the worst of the wind and some rain, but Jack Dickenson, Jeff Cunningham and Sarah Grover ran creditable times of 4:16.47, 4:25.27 and 4:39.12. Under 20s Dylan Sweet and Phoebe Anderson were only just shy of their season’s bests with 4:14.62 and 4:38.34. Anderson was just ahead of Grover in a race won by Robin Bebbington (U15) who got his tactics just right recording 4:37.72. 

A long list of Harriers’ young athletes who ran their fastest times to date reads David Aisa-Miller (U17) 4:58.62, Caspian Holmes (U11) 5:02.11, Evan Cowell-New (U15) 4:52.42, Abbey Jeffcoat (U15) 4:59.76, Harry Bell (U15) 5:00.43, Alex Jack (U15) 5:02.44, Warren Wilson (U13) 5:00.08, Jack McLennan (U13) 5:07.88, Orla Wright (U13) 5:23.80, Claire Van Heel (U17) 5:44.33, Sophie Jack (U13) 5:37.38 and Oliver Berry (U13) 5:50.49.

On Sunday morning Carl Delaney and Angus Butler found it very blowy by the seaside as they raced the Folkestone Half Marathon with Delaney running an excellent time of 68:38, placing second with a big PB, with Butler tenth, not far outside his best in 72:32. Fraser Hagell also ran a PB for 10km at the Goodwood Running Grand Prix races with 38:05.

A number of Herne Hill athletes raced at the Milton Keynes 5km road races also on Sunday. Fastest of these was Nick Bester with 15:11, followed by Andrew Warburton 15:34. Next quickest was Marc Geraghty in 15:40 and Andrew Grigg 16:15. Matt Cartwright won his wave with a PB 16:14 ahead of Oli Walker 16:22 and Myles Preston 16:23, also PBs, while in a different wave Jack Brotchie ran 16:20.

Eriç Dol moved up from 400m at Tooting to 5km at MK as he ran 17:49, while Olivia Zeltner and Julia Wedmore were making welcome returns from recent injuries as they recorded 19:22 and 19:23 respectively, albeit running in different waves.

In Poland Robert Nagorski wore his red and back club colours at a very wet and windy Warsaw Marathon and clocked a very fine 3 hours 25 min 48 having put in some good training throughout his build up while driving trucks across Europe for a living during the past weeks.

Geoff Jerwood