28.May.12 The heat is on at a second exciting day of Combined Events
Athletes, coaches, officials and spectators were back at the Bedford International Stadium for the second day of the England Athletics Senior and U20 Combined Events Champs (incorporating the Midland Counties, the Northern Athletics & Welsh Champs). Click here to read about Day 1.
The question was - would it be as hot as Saturday? Well the answer was yes, for both the weather and the competition; in fact it got hotter.
The Men started with the hurdles and the blistering pace saw half the field gaining new Personal Bests - and the trend was to continue with 6 PBs in the following Junior Men's event.
9 of the finishers in the senior men's decathlon gained new overall points Personal Bests, a highlight being Ed Dunford (pictured right) throwing a best ever distance in an exciting discus where four of the men threw over 40 metres. The Birchfield Harriers' athlete - coming back from injury - collected another Combined Events title to his collection with a score of 7443. Positions changed among the top five after almost every event and note should be made of Osman Muskwe (Radley AC) who had a good high jump and 400 and finished with a great 1500m place 4th overall and increasing his best from 5846 to 6780 points.
The junior men were not to be outdone and this probably the best competition of the weekend, won by David Hall (pictured left)(Dartford Harriers AC) who held on to first place from start to finish with an overall best ever score of 6498 points.
It is worth noting that Medway and Maidstone's Thomas Howlet recorded 11 Personal Bests in the U20 competition a under 20 comp where all but one finishers got a best ever overall score. Howlett matched Hall's High jump height for height, both clearing 1m95 and pulling him from 10th to 3rd at that stage of the competition.
The women started day 2 with the long jump. Basingstoke's Emma Buckett (pictured right) took top spot in the U20 heptathlon after jumping over 6 metres for the first time in her life. In fact after a 4th in the 100m hurdles, Emma went to the top and stayed there. Six of the top ten junior women finished the day with their overall score a new personal best. After lying in 5th at the end of Day 1, Brogan Crowley from Sale Harriers Manchester had a great 5m95 long jump and 800m to finish in 2nd.
Lincoln Wellington AC's Hannah Dunderdale worked her way up the rankings to 5th in a close finish - only 40 points separating 2nd to 4th. Sadly Katy Marchant (Leeds City AC) who had been up in the medals throughout day 1 did not complete the event due to a foot injuring during the high jump. She stayed to enjoy watching the men completing their distance runs in the searing heat.
For the senior women, the story was similar; seven of the top 10 women also finished with their best ever scores. The second day brought strong performance from all three medallists; Jo Rowland (pictured left, photo by Roger Hance)(Crawley AC/Brunel University) who had worked her way up the placings on day one and maintained that lead right until the finish, 200 points clear of U23 Jessica Tappin.
The Loughborough Student moved up to second after the long jump, trailing Rowland by a single point but the latter's 40m+ javelin soon separated them again. Tappin left Bedford with a silver and as winner of the U23.
(pictured below: Tappin and Drew)
Senior Men Decathlon
Edward Dunford 7443
U20 Men Decathlon
David Hall 6498
Senior Women Heptathlon
Jo Rowland 5381
U20 Women Heptathlon
Emma Buckett 5199
Thanks to all the volunteers, officials and support staff who ensured the event ran smoothly and safely and was a fair competition for all. A great day for Combined Events athletes of both the future and today - not forgetting that Jessica Ennis also completed her Heptathlon with a number of personal bests and a best ever and a world record breaking overall score in Austria!
You can find full overall results and for each individual event at england.athletics-uk.org/260512.asp
Photos by John Bulpitt, except Jo Rowland - by Roger Hance.
Top pic of Danielle McGifford.
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