Kristal Awuah wins double gold as she qualifies for European U23 Championship

BY GEOFF JERWOOD

Kristal Awuah won two gold medals at the England Athletics U20 and U23 Championship at Bedford last weekend.

It also doubled up as trials for the upcoming European age group championships.

Harriers’ top female sprinter Awuah completed a golden double of national titles in the U23 age group and has booked her place on the Great Britain team for the European U23 championship in Sweden next month.

On Saturday Awuah comfortably won her 100m heat in 11.74, her semi-final in 11.67 and then claimed a strong victory in the final with 11.61, the latter two races being against a fairly stiff breeze that slowed the sprint times through the afternoon.

The second part of the U23 sprint gold medal double on Sunday saw Awuah again dominate as she broke her own Herne Hill senior women’s club 200m record in the final with 23.24 after winning her heat in 23.62. Once again both runs were against a headwind, albeit lighter than for the shorter sprint races the day before.

Buzzing from her clear wins, Awuah will go to Sweden with confidence after an excellent weekend of racing and her times would have been a lot quicker had the winds blown in her favour or died altogether.

In the U20 women’s age group Ore Adamson produced by far her best long jump to date as she leapt 6.23m in the opening round to lay down the gauntlet to the opposition.

Although she was eventually overhauled by two competitors to leave her with a national bronze medal – only  one centremetre behind the silver medallist – Adamson’s performance was a strong breakthrough and sees her move to fourth in the national U20 rankings.

The middle distance races saw Alexandra Brown finish an excellent fourth place in the under U20 women’s 1,500m with 4:32.33 in a messy tactical race in which her very unlucky Harriers club-mate Saskia Millard got up from a fall on the last lap to still finish ninth in a very creditable 4:36.96.

Millard had looked good when winning her heat the day before in 4:33.27, with Brown qualifying from the faster run second heat in 4:31.16.

Millard races in the European U20 women’s 3,000m trial race at the Watford BMC Grand Prix meeting on Saturday, where Brown will have a rare outing at 800m.

Dante Clarke placed third in the South East regional round of the English Schools AA Combined Events championships on Saturday with a PB total of 2,629 points. This performance qualifies him for the ESAA Final in September.

Off the track in road race action, one of Herne Hill’s top Masters athletes Jonathan Ratcliffe ran well at the Harry Hawkes 10 miles race clocking 60.19 to finish 10th overall and took home the award for the first M50 age category runner.

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