Decathlon and Heptathlon titles were award at Bedford as athletes also made the most of open events held alongside the event to post impressive performances.
While some of the titles saw athletes who had held an overnight lead go on to claim the gold medals there were also some gripping twists and turns before other medals were finally decided.
Senior Men’s Decathlon
It came down to the last event of the day for the Senior Men’s title and medals to be decided. Coming off the penultimate event five athletes lay on between 6117 and 6312 points with four between 6117 and 6194.
Overnight leader Peter Moreno (Club: Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow AC, Coach: Neil Dodson) was quickest of them all in the first event of Day Two clocking 14.69 (887) as Aiden Davies (Club: Doncaster AC, Coach: Bruce Bewley) retained second placed with 16.53 (674pts) and Lewis Church (Club: Tonbridge AC, Coach: David Hull) moved back into the medal positions courtesy of his 15.23 (822pts) at the expense of Michael Bowler (Enniscorthy AC, 15.43/ 798pts).
The discus saw Moreno holding his lead but a best throw of 27.28 (411pts) meant that his pursuers all made in roads – Davies with 37.59 (616pts), Church with 37.98 (624pts), and Bowler with 33.59 (536pts). James Wright (Rugby & Northampton, Grant Brown) moved fourth with 37.56 (615pts) and Max Hall (Dartford) also closed with a 37.68 (618).
The key contenders started to pull away in the pole vault with relatively small points differentials between them. Moreno still led (4.40/ 731pts) as Davies retained second and Church third (both 4.30 / 702pts). Bowler was now fourth with a 4.20 (673pts) clearance and Hall fifth with a 4.40 (731pts).
The javelin ensured that all was tight going into the 1500m as Moreno threw 39.97 (442pts), Hall jumped to second with 52.31 (623pts) just three points ahead of Church (41.75/ 468pts) and Davies (36.84/ 397) a mere further two points back.
But Davies’ performance in the 1500m would take him to gold as Moreno dropped from the medals and down to fifth place. Davies clocked the fastest of the whole field with 4:32.94 and 725 points taking him to a total of 6914. Church was next quickest to take silver with a 4:37.23 (698pts / 6889 total) ahead of Bowler 4:39.08 (686pts / 6803 total) who took bronze. Hall scored 6774 for fourth (4:56.52/ 580) as Moreno came home in 5:27.64 (411 pts) for 6723.
Davies commented, “It’s been a great championships, a great day and thanks to the officials for everything.”
Davies and Church were also the 1-2 in the Under 23 age group with James Wright taking third with 6502 points.
Senior Women’s Heptathlon
Jessica Taylor (Club: Sale Harriers Manchester, Coach: Mike Holmes) retained her Day One lead and came home as champion in a score higher than her Glasgow Commonwealth Games bronze medal winning performance.
A 6.18 long jump (905pts) was the best of the bunch and saw her off to a strong start on Day Two. Katie Stainton (Club: Birchfield Harriers, Coach: Kelly Sotherton) who had been second overnight was next best with 5.96 (837pts) as the hunt for the medals began to hot up. Having been third overnight Marilyn Nwawulor (Club: Harrow AC, Coach: Lloyd Cowan) did not start Day Two and it was Niamh Bailey (Corby, John Anderson) who capitalised with a 5.77 (780pts) putting her third.
The best performance in the javelin came from Kiara Reddingius (Bedford & County, Aus) with a 42.47 (715pts) that moved her up into a medal position. Stainton edged closer to Taylor (38.45 / 638 pts to 37.28/ 615pts) at the top of the leaderboard but it was the Sale athlete leading by 82pts going into the 800m.
A 2:15.62 (884pts) 800m saw Taylor extend that margin and take gold as Stainton was second quickest with 2:19.50 (830pts) and Reddingius’ 2:23.57 (776pts) was enough to move her to a 152pt margin in the bronze medal position.
Taylor commented, “I was incredibly happy, I never expected to do so well this early in the season.”
Stainton was the top Under 23 with Bailey second (5208) and Emma Nwofur (Newham & Essex Beagles, Laura Turner-Alleyne, 5017) third.
Under 20 Women’s Heptathlon
With overnight leader Elizabeth Morland (Club: Cushinstown AC) not contesting the second day of competition the question was how many other changes to the top order there would be.
Michelle Hughes (Havering, Lloyd Cowan) had been second overnight and a 5.68 (753pts) long jump meant that she was going to take over the top spot after the first event of day two. Emma Canning (Club: Whitemoss AAC, Coach: Iain McEwan) jumped further with 5.78 (783pts) to close the gap on her rival as Katie Garland (Club: Loughborough Students AC, Coach: Julia Machin) now held bronze medal position after a 5.46 (688pts).
The javelin saw Hughes throw 26.55 (411pts) which extended her lead over Canning (24.18/ 367pts) to 71pts. But it was Ellen Barber (Yeovil, Peter Grosjean) who used the event to propel herself from fifth place to third, within 11 points of Canning, by virtue of her 37.14 (613pts) throw.
In the 800m Canning was quickest of them all with 2:19.31 (833pts) to not only ensure silver but also to move within 26 points of gold. But Hughes’ 2:22.65 (788pts) was the second fastest time of the day and enough to secure the title as Barber ran the third quickest (2:25.69/748pts) to make the bronze hers.
Under 20 Men’s Decathlon
Having led overnight Howard Bell (Edinburgh, Iain McEwan) got his second day off to a good start with a 15.02 (847pts) 110m hurdles. Quickest was Ryan Long (Poole AC) whose 14.81 (873pts) moved him up into a medal position behind second placed Dylan Carlsson-Smith (Shaftesbury Barnet, Ian Grant, 15.42/ 799pts).
The discus saw the Shaftesbury athlete move into top position with a throw of 39.47 (654pts) to Bell’s 27.95 (424pts) as Long held third place (38.85 / 641pts) and Harry Lord (Club: Sale Harriers Manchester, Coach: Christopher Bartram, 29.95/ 463pts) continued in fourth position.
The pole vault is often a critical event and so it proved. While the impact was not yet fully clear Carlsson-Smith recorded a height of 4.40 (731pts) which was 40cm higher than anyone else. Lord’s 4.00 (617pts) kept him fourth but closed the gap to the medals as Bell recorded 3.60 (509pts) to stay second and Long 3.70 (535pts) to move just one point behind in third.
With Bell not recording a distance in the javelin his medal hopes were all but ended. Lord capitalised with a 59.36 (728pts) to jump into second as Carlsson-Smith stayed in pole position with a 53.96 (647pts) and Long was retaining the bronze medal position with 39.50 (435pts).
While the 1500m saw the top three have finishing times that were ranked in reverse order of their position going into the event – Carlsson-Smith 4:52.86 (601pts), Lord 4:48.62 (627pts) and Long 4:47.77 (632pts) – the close spread of times and points meant the differences were not sufficient to impact the final standings and Carlsson-Smith secured the title.
Under 18 Men’s Decathlon
Sam Talbot (Club: Exeter Harriers, Coach: Eldon Lake) carried his strong form of Day One into the second day of this event and was rewarded with a 7000 points plus total and the European Youth’s qualifying standard.
First up in the 110m hurdles he clocked a 14.21 (948pts) and he followed this with a 41.09 (687pts) discus. AJ Bennetts (Club: Belgrave, Coach: David Lucas) took second place after the first event of the day with a 15.74 (762pts) ahead of Scott Connal (Club: Whitemoss, Coach: Iain McEwan) 16.21 (709pts). He followed this with a 33.40 (532pts) discus to Connal’s 30.14 (467pts).
The pole vault saw Talbot clear 3.90 for 590 points and while Bennetts went over at 2.50 (242pts) Connal was not able to record a height.
A 4:50.65 (615pts) 1500m took Talbot to 7035 with Bennetts ensuring second with 4:46.80 (597pts) and Connal running 4:53.70 (597pts).
Under 18 Women’s Heptathlon
Niamh Emerson (Club: Amber Valley & Erewash AC, Coach: David Feeney) was another taking not only a title but also a European Youth’s qualifying standard. Having led overnight she extended her lead with a 5.70 (759pts) long jump as Ada'ora Chigbo (North Somerset AC, Ken Holmes, ) retained second with a 5.01 (562pt) but saw both third placed Isabel Wakefield (Club: North Devon AC, Coach: Garry Gahan, Ryan Norman, 5.33/ 651pts) and Grace Bower (Sale, Matt Cullen, 5.39/ 668) closing the gap.
In the javelin Emerson pulled further ahead with a throw of 33.32 (540 points) furthest of all and Wakefield’s 32.37 (522pts) taking her into second ahead of Chigbo (28.49/ 448pts).
A 2:16.69 800m for 869 points took Emerson to a 5540 total as Wakefield came close to the 5000 point mark with a 2:22.76 (786pts) leaving her on 4996 and Chigbo running 2:32.49 for 662 points and a 4833 total.
Wheelchair and seated throws events
Day two saw further impressive performances in the open disability events. These included personal best performances from Richard Chiassaro (Harlow, Jennifer Banks, T54) in both the 200m with 25.30 and 800m(1:35.58).
More to follow.
Under 18 Open events
Saturday’s Under 18 Hammer event saw performances of 76.56 and 68.66 for Jake Norris and Bayley Campbell (both Club: Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow, Coach: Paul Dickenson) both of which exceeded the standard of 68m for the European Youths. Ethan Akanni (Club: Bexley) went below the 13.90 standard in the 110m hurdles with a 13.63.
Alex Knibbs (Club: Amber Valley, Coach: Julie Feeney) was another to hit the standard for Georgia with 53.20 in the 400m hurdles, inside the 53.50 standard.