A team of 9 athletes, 4 coaches and physio (Lucy Eggleton) travelled to Hustopece, Czech Republic on Friday 26th January 2018 to compete in the High Jump Gala in the Sport Halle. Lillie Franks, Kate Anson, Laura Armorgie, Rebecca Hawkins and Akin Coward all gained their first senior England vest.
Of the 5 competitions on the day, England athletes competed with distinction in 4 of them;
The Woman’s B competition kicked off proceedings with Emily Borthwick (Club: Wigan & District / Liverpool John Moores Uni, Coach: Fuzz Caan) taking the senior title after a jump off, clearing 1.78m. In the same competition, Kate Anson (Club: Liverpool Harrers, Coach: Michael Sweeney) jumped a season’s best 1.75m to finish 3rd. Both Laura Armorgie (Club: Herts Phoenix, Coach: Roger Armorgie) and Camellia Hayes (Club: Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow / Royal Holloway Uni of London, Coach: Fuzz Caan) cleared 1.70m. The junior event saw Rebecca Hawkins (Club: Bexley, Coach: John Bancroft) finish 2nd with a season’s best of 1.75m, and Lillie Franks (Club: Crawley AC, Coach: Sarah Hewitt) finished 3rd clearing 1.70m.
The next event saw a high quality Men’s B competition with Ryan Webb (Club: Birchfield Harriers / Wimborne, Coach: Fuzz Caan) and Will Grimsey ((Club: Woodford Green Essex Ladies / Loughborough Students, Coach: Carol Jackson) just missing out on podium places, clearing season’s bests of 2.12m and Akin Coward (Club: Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers / Birmingham Uni, Coach: Carol Jackson) clearing 1.95m.
The England-funded athletes were then treated to two displays of World Class high jumping:
In the woman’s Elite Competition, Morgan Lake (Coach: Fuzz Caan) opened her season with a best of 1.90m for third place. Bethan Partridge (Club: Birchfield Harriers / Birmingham Uni, Coach: Fuzz Caan) cleared a season’s best of 1.84m. It should also be noted that Scottish athlete Nikki Manson (Coach: Ken Allan) cleared a personal best of 1.87m, which is above the Scottish Commonwealth Games qualifying mark.
In the men’s elite competition, there were three English athletes. Tom Gale (Coach: Denis Doyle), Chris Baker (Coach: Graham Ravencroft) and Chris Kandu (Coach: Denis Doyle and John Herbert) who all cleared 2.20m. The competition was won by Danil Lysenko in a world lead of 2.37m.
After an opportunity to network with the Elite athletes and their coaches, all returned home suitably inspired for the forthcoming season.