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As the curtain came down on the Olympics and Paralympics, Blackheath & Bromley’s athletes showed the legacy torch is burning brightly as they produced a remarkable set of performances at the
National Junior Athletics League Final at Derby. Although the combined men and womens team had to settle for third place in the team contest on the day, they produced 2 National records, 1 UK age
best, 6 League records, and 7 Club Records. In addition, when the men and womens’ results were scored separately the women were the best of the 8 teams on the day and so qualify to represent the UK
in the European Champion Clubs Cup for Juniors in 2013.
The team had their own Olympian on show in World Junior Champion Adam Gemili and he enjoyed a memorable afternoon in his last competition in the under 20 age group. He ran the fastest time by a Briton for three years when he won the 200 metres in 20.38, over a second clear of the field. This also bettered his own UK age 18 best set in last months Samsung Diamond League meeting in Birmingham, and broke the League record which had stood since 2003. It also improved his own Club Record.
It means that in Adam and James Alaka, the Club has the top two fastest 200 metre runners in the country this year.
Set in 1993, the 100 metre League record had stood for most of the League’s existence, but this fell too as Adam won by over half a second in 10.21.
Teaming up with Reuben Fakoya Brooks, Ishmael Smith John and Oliver Newport, he won his third gold of the day in the 4x100 metres; and there followed a rare outing in the 4x400 metres relay. He, Oliver, Craig Morten and Jonathan Osbourne had to settle for second place in 3.20.48 with Adam contributing a 48.3 split.
Dina Asher Smith was in similarly devastating form. Like Adam she represented Great Britain at the World Junior Championships in July, yet she is still only an under 17, and has a further two years in the under 20 age group.
She also set two new League records. Not only this, her time of 23.49 in winning the 200 metres was a Club Under 17, Under 20 and Senior record. Her time of 11.65 for her victory in the 100 metres equalled the existing League record.
To the relays and the Club fielded an under 17 team in the 4x100. Dina was joined by twins Cheriece and Shannon Hylton and Vivien Olatunji and the quartet swept to victory in a time of 46.35. Not only did they win by over two seconds, their time is a new UK Club under 17 and under 20 record. It is also, of course, a Blackheath & Bromley Club record in these age groups as well.
A perfect haul of medals was completed for Dina with a fourth gold in the 4x400 along with Rachel Dickens, Amara Lalemi Jacobs and Krystal Galley in 3.49.78.
The aforementioned Oliver Newport provided the 6th League record of the day with his 7.53 wind assisted leap in the long jump. As well as his relay efforts he also produced a useful 1.80 leap in the high jump.
To put these League records in perspective, in 2011 only two new records were set all season. Before the Final, five records had been set in four rounds of Area matches this year. For one Club to produce six in one day is quite exceptional. It may be that these records last forever as it seems likely the League will be replaced by a new competition in 2013.
Pippa Woolven was one of those five athletes who broke a League record earlier in the season. She did this in the 1500 steeplechase but the World Junior representative did not compete in this event in Derby. Instead she won the 3000 metres and was fourth in the 1500 metres.
Emilie Blackwell and Helena Coleman won both strings of the pole vault, both with leaps of 3.05. Similarly to Helena, Shannon Hylton’s winning time of 24.01 in the B string 200 metres would have won the A string but for Dina Asher Smith’s effort, and she also won the B string 100 in an impressive 11.95, a new personal best and her first time under 12 seconds.
There were many other fine performances including A string runners up spots for Rachel Dickens (400) and Lauren Stevens (long jump) and third places for Louis Mascarenhas (discus), Craig Morten (400 hurdles), Rhiannon Jones (100 hurdles), Tom Parker (hammer), and Robyn Pettit (high jump); plus a B string win for Sian Duffy Smart in the 100 hurdles.
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