Following a superb day in Vienna, Austria on Saturday, Sunday saw a second set of England team athletes take on other European athletes in nearby Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia.
Their results we no less impressive and included a number of PBs and new Briitish records in the Senior and the U20 men's walk events.
The indoor Walks were at the beginning of the day and proved a great start and boost for the team as Tom Bosworth (Club: Tonbridge/ Leeds Beckett Uni, Coach: Andi Drake) clocked a new 5000m record, also going sub-19 minutes (18:54.18) in the process and beating Martin Rush's previous record that had held for 24 years. He won the event, beating two previous world champions. Training partner Callum Wilkinson (Club: Enfield & Haringey, Coach: Mick Graham) also bettered the British U20 record wth 19:39.69 and Emma Achurch (Club: Leicester WC, Coach: Steve Arnold) got a Season's Best to dip just below 14 minutes.
Tom told us, "It's always great to be part of a full athletics team, as walking is so often out on its own. It’s even better to set a National record and win an international event against a world class field. Two of the greatest walkers ever were behind me today I knew if I was close to them I could walk under 19 minutes, and I did, smashing the British record. Just shows my training is going to plan."
In the women's Triple Jump, outdoor British champion Sineade Gutzmore (Club: Birchfield Harriers, Coach: Aston Moore) took 2nd - with another record falling as England U20 outdoor champion Naomi Ogbeta (Club: Trafford, Coach: Tom Cullen) jumped 12m99 for a new British Junior Record. Nathan Fox (Club: Shaftesbury Barnet/ Brunel Uni, Coach: Frank Attoh) took 2nd in the men's event in his first competition since September.
The rest of the England team were on the track; Michael Wilsmore (Club: Bristol & West/ Plymouth Uni/ Tamar, Coach: Graeme Riley) won his 1500m race to take a decisive victory in his best time for 4 years, with team mate Canaan Solomon (Club: Woodford Green Essex Ladies/ Harlow AC, Coach: Richard Thurston) taking 5th place and a new Personal Best. Sarah McDonald (Club: Birchfield Harriers/ Birmingham Uni, Coach: Bud Baldaro) and Louise Webb (Club: Southampton/ Lamar Uni, Coach: Bud Baldaro) made it a one-two for England in the women's event.
Dominic Walton (Club: Rossendale/ Sheffield Hallam Uni, Coach: John Wood) was our only representative in the men's 800m, beating a large field to finish 2nd, less than a second behind Turkey and clocking a SB from already having competed 4 times this year. Leah Barrow (Club: Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow/ Birmingham Uni, Coach: Trevor Painter) won the women's event with a fantastic 7 second lead over the closest next athlete.
The sprinters and sprint hurdlers had the opportunity to compete in two races each over the day, with their fastest time counting towards the result. Zara Hohn (Club: Sheffield & Dearne/ East London Uni, Coach: Paul Hohn) easily won both her 60m hurdles races to top the podium, with Gabriel Obujobi (Club: Sale Harriers Manchester/ Leeds Uni, Coach: Tony Jarrett) and Jake Porter (Club: Birchfield Harriers/ Wolverhampton Uni, Coach: Andy Paul) making it another one-two on the podium for England in the men's hurdles result.
Obujobi then went on to race two flat sprints, taking 1st and 2nd in them and finishing an impressive 4th out of 35th overall and a new PB! Team mate Elliott Hurley (Club: Sheffield & Dearne/ Leeds Beckett Uni, Coach: Matt Barton) in his England debut took top spot overall in the 60m sprints. He told us, "This was my first International and two PBs in one day to win the 60m means I am very happy with the result. Thanks to England Athletics and all the team for the experience, it is one I would love to do again."
These events are excellent development opportunities for both athletes and team management alike; the Endurance team coach David Lowes noted, "It was a fantastic weekend with a great bunch of athletes and coaches. For many this will be a vital part of their future development. I am looking forward to further meetings and seeing England Athletics athletes and coaches further their ‘hands on’ experience."
Team Manager Graham Pilkington added, "It was great to be part of an excellent team that travelled to Bratislava for the Elan Intrernational meeting. The mix of experience and youth meant that we all gained massively from the experience and the results reflected a real team effort."
Tom Bosworth concluded, "Massive thanks to the team staff too who were brilliant, as well as the awesome England team! Big well done to such a successful team."