Perfect 10 for Fearon as carnival atmosphere comes to Manchester

Joel Fearon ran 10.00 in the men’s 100m as great performances from the England, Scotland, Wales, Ulster & Northern Ireland, Great Britain & NI Juniors, UK Armed Forces and combined British Athletics League/ UK Women’s League teams made for a great evening in Manchester.

The inaugural Manchester International saw the crowd enthusing over the action on the track and in the field as many athletes made the most of the opportunity to post impressive end of season performances.

Joel Fearon (England, Birchfield Harriers, Michael Khmel) made an eagerly anticipated appearance following his 9.96 at the England Championships. He did not disappoint. Having got the engine running with a 10.13 (+1.0) in the 100m guest race the sub-10sec man blasted from the blocks in the match event and pulled away from the field to storm through the line in 10.00 (+1.8) taking a clear win. Also sprinting well was Reece Prescod (Guest, Enfield & Haringey, Jonas Tawiah Doddoo) who took the 200 in a sharp, PB equalling,20.57 (+0.4).

Joel commented, "I’m really happy. I’m really happy to run well again, it’s a lot of pressure after running well and then trying to do it again. It’s a very nice day to run so I’m very chuffed."

He said that the crowds had been very good and he was deighted to be able to represent his country, "It’s the biggest event that I’ve done so I’ve really enjoyed it. It's very much a privilege and a I'm glad I got the chance so I'm just trying to enjoy it right now."

The women’s 100m was also a great competitive spectacle with Rebecca Campsall (England, City Of York, Lewis Samuel) edging it with a 11.68 (+0.8) from Rachel Miller (BAL/UKWL Harrow, Gary Telfer) who clocked 11.69.

In the curtain raising event Britain’s World Junior Champion Callum Wilkinson (Great Britain & NI Juniors, Coach: Mick Graham, Club: Enfield & Haringey) set a hot pace from the off to get his team off to a winning start in the 3K walk. Wilkinson, who is second only to Olympic sixth placer Tom Bosworth (Tonbridge, Andi Drake) on the U20 all-time list for the distance, came home in 11:49.85 from Guy Thomas (Tonbridge, Martin Rush). The women’s event was won by Bethan Davies (Club: Cardiff/Leeds Uni, Coach: Andi Drake) in 13:04.28.

The women’s mile saw a high quality field including Jessica Judd (England, Chelmsford AC, George Gandy/Mick Judd), Emily Dudgeon (Scotland, Edinburgh AC/Cambridge Uni, Stuart Hogg), Katie Kirk (Ulster & NI, Lagan Valley, Mark Kirk), Julia Cooke (Club: Birchfield H/ Birmingham Uni, Coach: Bud Baldaro,) and Erin Wallace (Coach: Dudley Walker, Club: Giffnock North) lining up with many also having significant pedigree over 800m.

It was Judd who ran a commanding race to front run her way to a clear win in 4:39.49 with Cooke leading the chase for much of the race. However, a strong finish by Kirk took her to second in 4:44.85 with Wallace just failing to catch Cooke on the line 4:47.08 to 4:47.29.

Jess commented, “I am really happy to have won. I normally run the BMC here so it was nice to do a major event here. There was lots of cheering and atmosphere - we need more events like this.”
She was one of the athlete to comment on the fact that the England vests were personalised with the athletes’ names.

Big thanks to @EnglandAthletic for such a great two days! Very happy to win at #MancInt2016 and have @JennyMeadows800 presenting the medals??
— Jess Judd (@jessjuddxx) August 17, 2016

In a tough 3000m Bobby Clay (Great Britain & NI Juniors, Club: Invicta East Kent, Coach: Rob Denmark) made the running early on with some aggressive front running performance before 1500 specialist Melissa Courtney (Wales, Shaftesbury Barnet/ Poole AC, Mark Pauley) attack approaching the bell before Claire Duck (Leeds City AC, Mike Baxter) then launched her kick for home down the back straight and came away to win in 9:11.26 as Kate Hulls (BAL/ UKWL,Bristol & West, Christopher Frapwell) took second in 9:18.84.

Happy to end the season with a win at Manchester International!Thanks @EnglandAthletic and you for the fab support!
— Claire Duck (@Claireduckybear) August 17, 2016

In the men’s 3000m Richard Weir (England, Derby, Spencer Duval) led for large parts of the race before Adam Hickey (Gust, Southend, Eamonn Martin) showed with around 900 to go only for Paulos Surafel (Great Britain & NI Juniors, Enfield & Haringey Craig Winrow) to sweep past with two laps to go. However with just less than 600 to go Hickey accelerated again before Weir pushed into the lead passing the bell in 7:16.24 and pulled away with a 56sec last lap to take a win in 8:12.68.

Perfect end to the season against tough opposition, it's been a good one. @EnglandAthletic @DerbyshireIS
— Richard Weir (@FearTheWeir) August 17, 2016

There was a display of 800m running that was mature beyond her year’s as Under 17 athlete Katy-Ann McDonald (England, Blackheath & Bromley Harriers & AC, Phillip Kissi) attacked down the backstraight of the last lap to claim the win and lower her 800m PB from 2:06.35 to 2:05.03 to also move top of the Under 17 rankings.

Tommy Horton (Hallamshire Harriers, Bashir Hussain) front ran his way to a win and third place on the UK 2000m steeplechase rankings for the year with 5:36.25 less than a second off the year’s fastest.
Jo Blair (England, Luton AC / Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers, David Burrell) was close to her best to win the javelin with a throw of 53.83, a mark only Goldie Sayers (Belgrave, Mark Roberson) has surpassed this year.

Among the other winners in the field were Taylor Campbell (England, Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow, John Pearson) who threw out to 71.60 to take the hammer with his second furthest throw ever.

71.60m here in Manchester to take the win for @EnglandAthletic. Pleased to now end my season after a rocky year!
— Taylor Campbell (@TaylorLC1996) August 17, 2016

Zane Duquemin (BAL / UKWL, Shaftesbury Barnet, John Hillier) was a clear winner of the discus with 61.86. Allan Smith (Scotland, Shaftesbury Barnet, Bryan Roy) cleared 2.18 to take the high jump and Adam Hague (Great Britain & NI Juniors, Sheffield & Dearne, Trevor Fox) secured the pole vault with a first time clearance 5.25.

Many of the youngsters who had been in activities during the day took the opportunity to watch the international athletes in action afterwards.

Stepping on the track during the evening were also young athletes from the area who were given the opportunity to race in 4 x 100 relay events put on specifically for them in the middle of the main programme.