Vienna is well known for its fast track and has been a favourite venue of English athletes for many years. With a strong team selected to compete this year, expectations were high and our athletes delivered.
On the track…
The 1500m men were first up and with Archie Davis (Club: Brighton Phoenix, Coach: Joel Kidger) and Tom Keen (Club: Cambridge & Coleridge, Coach: Mark Vile) having already shown great early season form we knew we were in for strong performances. A fast-early pace was set by the pacemaker with Archie and Tom sitting back in 4th and 5th places respectively. With 400m to go the Cambridge and Coleridge junior and Home Countries Cross Country Champion moved into 2nd place making a bid for victory. Despite a great effort by both Englishmen they couldn’t catch the leader. Archie finished 2nd in 3:41.18 which places him number one it the country at this point. Tom finished 3rd in 3:41.44 which ranks him number 2 in the country, 1st under 20 athlete and in doing so Tom set a new British record for an under 20 man – huge congratulations to Tom and his coach Mark Vile. When asked about his record-breaking feat, Tom said, ‘it just goes to show you can combine cross country and track – definitely!’
Second up were the 800m men, Harry Russell (Club: Newbury/Sheffield Uni, Coach: Martin Cook) was in the first heat. Once again, a strong early pace was set by the pacemaker with the leaders passing the halfway point in around 51 seconds. The debutant from the Newbury club was holding 3rd place and looking strong as the race entered the final 300m. Sadly Harry had been ill earlier in the week with a cold which clearly took the edge off his finish. Despite this Harry was able to record a season’s best of 1:51.5.
Race two of the men’s 800m saw the City of York athlete, Alex Botterill (Club: City of York/Leeds Beckett Uni, Coach: Andrew Henderson) take to the stage. As the race entered the second of the four laps the pacemaker was passed as a new leader made his bid for glory. With Alex still holding a tight 3rd place approaching the 400m point the pacemaker suddenly moved out in an effort to get to the outside of the track, and in doing so almost caused Alex to fall. With good footwork and a sharp turn of speed Alex avoided potential disaster but lost precious meters on the leader. As the race entered the final lap it was clear that the earlier incident had fired Alex up as he closed down on the leaders and with less than 100m to go he kicked clear of the group to secure an excellent victory in 1:47.93.
Last but not least were our two 800m ladies. First to test herself was the Leigh athlete, Keely Hodgkinson (Club: Leigh, Coach: Trevor Painter). This was set to be a test for Keely as she wasn’t feeling her best being full of a cold, little did we know just how well she was going to run. The pacemaker moved to front from the gun, setting a pace that looked too hot to handle, as Keely was a little off the pace coming 3rd place. It soon became clear why Keely was off the pace as the leader passed 400m in 58 seconds (Keely ran 60 seconds). The leader dropped out at 500m leaving Keely to chase down the race leader for what seemed like an unlikely victory. As the two leaders reached the final 100m meters the gutsy junior raised her game and ran clear accelerating all the way to the line. The clock stopped on 2:01.16. Which to everyone’s amazement is not just a new British junior record but is also a new European record – what an incredible run!
Last up was Sale Harrier Stephanie Moss (Club: Sale Harriers Manchester, Coach: Trevor Painter). Once again, as in all the middle-distance races, the pacemaker cut out a fast-early pace. Stephanie sat back in 3rd place initially, before moving into 2nd place with 400m to run. At this point the leader made a strong move to win the race opening up a four to five meter gap. Stephanie continued to chase hard but as they entered the final 50m she tired and finished a creditable 4th place in a PB of 2:08.35.
The leading sprints performance of the day came from Andrew Morgan-Harrison (Club: Kingston upon Hull/Hull Uni, Coach: Alex O’Gorman) who won his 200m in a UK leading time of 20.91, to better both his indoor and outdoor PBs. Commenting on his win, Andrew said: ‘I’m pleased with how I executed the race. It’s a fast track, so I knew I had to control the bends but attack them at the same time. It was a good experience to get a run on that track and the time bodes well for the rest of the season at BUCS and the British Champs.’
Ama Pipi (Club: Enfield & Haringey) ran a commanding race to win the women’s 200m in another UK leading time of 23.33sec. Commenting on her win, Ama said: ‘I felt really good about the race. I’m happy with the way I executed it and I achieved what I came here to achieve.’
The women’s sprints saw strong performances from Ebony Carr (Club: Marshall Milton Keynes/Loughborough Students, Coach: Jonas Dodoo) in the 60m and Jessie Knight (Club: Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow/Loughborough Students, Coach: Marina Armstrong) in the 400m who won both their races in 7.43s and 53.36s respectively. Mary Abichi (Club: Enfield & Haringey/King’s College London) made a solid start to her 400m season with a 53.40 to win her race and finish 6th overall behind Jessie. Hannah Williams (Club: Herts Phoenix, Coach: Glyn Hawkes) also improved her season best time to 53.82s in the 400m. Diani Walker (Club: Birchfield H/Middlesex Uni, Coach: Lloyd Cowan) finished 2nd behind Ebony in the women’s 60m in another seasons best of 7.49s. Jessica Hunter (Club: Shaftesbury Barnet/Bedfordshire Uni, Coach: Scott Grace) put in two solid performances in the women’s 60m hurdles finishing 4th with a seasons best time of 8.35s. Anastacia Davies (Club: Blackheath & Bromley/Kingston Uni, Coach: John Blackie) ran a strong heat in the women’s 60m hurdles winning in 8.39, just 100th of a second off her seasons best. Jazmine Moss (Club: Gateshead/Northumbria Uni, Coach: Bruce Horsburgh) won her race and finished 6th overall in a seasons best time of 24.29s.
Eugene Amo-Dadzie (Club: Woodford Green Essex Ladies, Coach: Alan James) ran two personal best times in his England Athletics debut finishing 2nd in the men’s 60m with 6.72s behind Andy Robertson (Club: Sale Harriers Manchester). Andy dominated his heat and improved his time in the final, finishing with a seasons best time of 6.62s. He said, ‘to run 6.62 is the fastest I’ve run in 2 years and there’s much more to come, so a positive day.’
Elliott Powell (Club: Birchfield H/Loughborough Students, Coach: Tony Hadley) and Dan Putnam (Club: Blackheath & Bromley/Loughborough Students) both opened up their 400m seasons with first and second place performances running 48.36s and 48.24s respectively.
On the field…
The England shot putters dominated the competition at the Vienna with both men and women’s pairs taking 1st and 2nd place. After impressive warm-ups, Youcef Zatat (Club: Woodford Green Essex Ladies/East London U, Coach: Scott Rider) struggled to replicate the flow and consistency of performance but still delivered a first place with 17.85m. George Hyde (Club: West Cheshire/Loughborough Students, Coach: David McKay) in his first senior outing found the circle surface challenging but came through with 15.27m for a 2nd place.
In the women’s competition Serena Vincent (Club: City of Portsmouth, Coach: Bronwin Carter) rose above the field and her own PB (15.05m) with 14.99m to take the win. Good form for early in the season, Sophie Littlemore (Club: Gateshead, Coach: Nick Ridgeon) in her England debut also pushed close to her PB with 13.88m in the opening round to secure 2nd place.
Alice Hopkins (Club: Oxford City, Coach: Marcia Marriott) winner of the women’s long Jump with 6.13m equalling her indoor PB, said: ‘I’m very pleased with my performance today in my first England indoor vest, I hope to improve my PB in the nationals in a few weeks time.’
Alex Farquharson (Club: Coventry, Coach: Andy Vincent) won the men’s long jump with a leap of 7.64m. Sam Khogali (Club: Woodford Green Essex Ladies/Loughborough, Coach: Femi Akinsanya) jumping 6.95m and placing 2nd.
Commenting on his win, Alex said: ‘I’m very pleased with the consistency I showed in my first England international and winning with 7.64m, it felt easy. Next up is the nationals.’
Michael Puplampu (Club: Newham & Essex Beagles/Brunel Uni London, Coach: Tosin Oke) won the men’s triple jump in 15.72m, frustrated he couldn’t adjust his run up back – he had run out of space. He said: ‘Once I made it to the take-off board, I was able to accomplish a descent technique. I am pain free and looking forward to the rest of the season.’ Efe Uwaifo (Club: Harrow, Coach: John Herbert) jumped 15.53m a season’s best, finishing 3rd. He said: ‘For me it was a great experience, there are certain elements within my triple jump I will be working on.’
Team Manager, Andy Day, said: ‘It was really pleasing to witness a number of outstanding performances from so many athletes during a day of highly competitive athletics, and even more encouraging to note the positives that all the athletes seemed to take from their performances. I’d also like to thank a superb support team on the trip, who worked tirelessly in support of the athletes.’
Team Leader, Alison Potts, said: ‘I love coming to Vienna for this competition, as the standard of organisation reflects the standard of the athletics. The team this year were an absolute pleasure and this meet will remain one of my favourites.’
- Sprints Coach – Shani Palmer
- Endurance Coach – Keith Holt
- Throws Coach – Stuart Carlaw
- Jumps Coach – Frank Attoh
- Physios – Claire Lawrence and Wayne Kitchener