Weekend News Report - 10th/11th August 2019

West Does Great Britain Proud

James West pulled on the Great Britain vest for the first time at a senior track championship, on Sunday, when he competed in Bydgoszcz, Poland.

West was racing over 3000 metres, having been selected for the GB team, competing in the European Team Championships, which consists of the top twelve nations. Although he has competed in a cross country relay, plus an under 23 championships, this was his first experience with the full GB track and field team.

The race started relatively slowly with a first kilometre in 2.52, but then picked up, with the next covered in 2.42. The penultimate 400 metres lap was covered in 59.2, with four athletes breaking away from the pack, including West. He was unlucky to get a little boxed in off the final bend, but recovered well and was closing on the first two at the finish, running a 54.8 final lap to record 8.02.97, less than half a second behind the winner, Adel Mechaal, of Spain, who last year finish fifth in the World Indoor Championships.

West will be amongst a number of Tonbridge athletes competing at the British Championships, at Birmingham, on 24th and 25th August. He then aims to run the mile at the Tonbridge Twilight Invitational Meeting on the evening of Friday 30th August.

Another Tonbridge athlete showing good late season form has been Chris Olley, who is currently based in the USA. Olley travelled to Pennsylvania from his San Francisco base, on Thursday, to compete in. the West Chester Men’s Mile. Frustratingly the early race pace was not quite what was hoped for, with the first three laps all covered outside of 61 seconds. It picked up on the last lap, with Olley closing in 57.81, to finish a close up fourth in 4.02.48.

Other distance running performances, in the week, included Kieran Reilly running 3.47.62 for 1500m, Ben Cole 14.40.91 for 5000m and Lucy Reid 16.34.81 for 5000m, all just a little outside their bests for the season. Sean Molloy set a track record of 1.51.56 when winning the men’s 800 metres at the Newham open meeting, on Sunday.

Sprinter Lewis Collins won the 400 metres at the Invicta AC Open Meeting, on Thursday evening, in 48.72 and is another who will be racing at the Tonbridge Twilight Invitational, at the end of the month.