UK titles in Manchester for Rowden, Norman and Ofili

A chilly and breezy Manchester hosted the British Championships on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon. With the 2020 outdoor season having been heavily affected by Covid and the restrictions to both competition and training for athletes, this end of season meeting gave athletes the opportunity to test themselves domestically at a high level. Several Woodford athletes were in action and performances were led by Dan Rowden’s superb win over 800m which was adjudged the best performance of the Saturday. There were also British titles for Phil Norman and Cindy Ofili, with silver medals also picked up by Cameron Fillery, Will Grimsey and Shanara Hibbert.

Rowden British Champ 1

Dan Rowden who has been in great form over the last few weeks lined up in the 800m final as the fastest man in the field this season but he was up against Jake Wightman, currently 3rd ranked third in the world over 1500m and who boasts a marginally faster 800m personal best than Dan. After a decently quick first lap Wightman made the first move, but over the last 100m Dan comfortably moved away, holding his form well to win in 1m45.94 secs.

See Dan’s race here from the BBC

Phil Norman has also been in great recent form and his win was also on Saturday and in a good paced 3000m s/ch Phil finished strongly to also win comfortably in 8m32.51 secs.

See Phil's race here

Phil Norman British Champ 3

Cindy Ofili’s win was over 100mH on the Friday evening. After a heat win in 13.23 secs (0.6), Cindy, the Rio Olympics 4th placer, won a tighter final with 13.16 secs (+1.5). In the men’s equivalent sprint hurdles over 110m Cameron Fillery repeated his 2nd place from last season as, finishing strongly, he recorded 13.83 secs (+0.2). There were also silver medals in two of the jumps. In the men’s high jump and in his first outdoor competition of the season, Will Grimsey cleared 2.15m, whilst in the women’s triple jump Shanara Hibbert continued her fine form as she jumped 12.86m (0.0) for her silver medal.

Jack Lawrie comfortably made it through to the 400mH final after placing 2nd in his heat with 51.18 secs, but despite being in contention coming into the final 100m Jack struggled over the final hurdle and slipped back to finish 5th in 51.55 secs. In the women’s 400mH Anna Nelson and Jasmine Mitchell both contested the heats, recording times of 62.52 secs and 63.50 sesc respectively, but neither progressed. In the men’s 400m Ellis Greatrex was 4th in his heat with 48.13 secs but he too did not progress. In the women’s hammer Lucy Marshall was 6th with 58.91m and in the men’s event Ciaran Wright, in his first competition since March, was 5th with 62.61m, with Craig Charlton a little below his recent fine form placing 7th in the shot with 14.82m. HCA member Jamie Crowe showed good form as he placed 8th in the 5000m and recorded a personal best of 13m58.91 secs.

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