Weekend News Report - 15th/16th June 2019

Church Selected for Great Britain

Lewis Church has been selected to represent Great Britain for the first time at senior level. He will compete in the Decathlon at the European Combined Events Team Championships, to be held in the Ukraine on 6th and 7th July. Further details of the selections appeared here.

West Breaks 1500 Metre Record

James West set a new 1500 metres Club record, on Saturday, when competing in the USA, at the Brooks PR Invitational meeting. His time of 3.35.74 improved on Olympian Andy Graffin's previous time, set in 2001 and was inside the World Championships qualifying time.

The race was in Seattle and won by Scotland's Josh Kerr, who recorded 3.33.60 to break Steve Cram's British under 23 age group record, with another Brit, Neil Gourley, a fraction behind West in fifth. The time will put Kerr and West top on the current 2019 UK rankings and inside the World's top fifteen.

West has bounced back to top form after a difficult few months, with an achilles injury, struggling at the end of the indoor season and then getting disqualified for a false start at the outdoor Regional Championships. However, getting the qualifying time for the Doha World Championships, to be held at the end of September, might be the easiest part of the selection process, as Great Britain is currently blessed with 1500 metre runners, who challenge on the World stage. The likes of Chris O'Hare, Jake Wightman and Charlie Grice can be added into the mix with those who raced on Saturday, when the British trials come along at the end of August. The British team can include three for any event, with the first two at the trials gaining automatic selection, provided that they have achieved the necessary standard.

Also on Saturday the Tonbridge men's and women's squads travelled to Ipswich for the third match in the Southern Athletics League Division 2. Tonbridge had been equal top of the sixteen-club division, after the first two rounds, but with a weakened team on this occasion, finished third of the four.

Highlights included a triple win in the throws from Kirsty-Anne Ebbage, with a Shot Putt of 10.21m, a Discus of 35.76m and most notably a new personal best and women's club record of 41.02m in the Hammer. Lewis Church was also busy in winning the men's A-string High Jump in 1.95m, Javelin with 50.93m, Pole Vault with 4.30m and Long Jump with 6.49m

On the track there were wins for Michael Ellis (800m, 1.59.6), Jamie Bryant (1500m, 4.06.1) and the men's 4x400m squad.  Steve Tester also broke the club's over 35 men's 200 metres record with 23.4.

Some of the club's middle-distance runners were in action at the British Milers Club Grand Prix meeting, at Loughborough and performances included 800m – Ben Murphy 1.51.11, 1500m Dom Brown 3.45.86, George Duggan 3.46.53, Sean Molloy 3.51.06 and Ryan Driscoll 3.51.36. Earlier in the week, at Watford, Cameron Payas ran 1500m in 3.52.87, to set a personal best, whilst Lily Slack just missed the club under 13 record over 800 metres with 2.20.99. Toby Emm set a pb over 800m of 1.58.25.

Off the track Max Nicholls finished third in the Salomon Trail Marathon, in Wales on Saturday, finishing in 3.03.27, whilst last Wednesday Ben Cole won the Lethbridge 10km road race, near Swindon, in 32.41.