Sainsbury's British Championsips Day 2
On the hottest day of the year, James Dasaolu (coach: Steve Fudge) became the second fastest man in British 100m history at the Sainsbury’s British Championships.
A scorching time of 9.91 – a personal best, stadium record and the fourth quickest in the world this year - brought the Alexander Stadium’s bumper crowd to its feet. Linford Christie’s 20-year old record of 9.87 from 1993 is the only remaining national mark in the Croydon Harrier’s way.
Dasaolu’s sensational semi-final was his last outing of the afternoon as the 25-year-old did not compete in the final after experiencing cramp following the race.
With just 28 days to go until the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, there is no doubt Dasalou’s performance at the Sainsbury’s British Championships will have the athletics world taking note of the Briton.
“I finally got that sub-10 clocking and I didn’t just dip under 10,” he said. “I was so happy that I went 9.91, almost challenging the 9.80s.
“I knew if conditions were ok and if I executed my race I would run a personal best. I think I’ve run a personal best in my last three races, so I’m an athlete on the up and I’m really happy.”
Meanwhile, Dwain Chambers (Rana Reider) took the British title for the seventh time in his career in a season’s best time of 10.04. Silver medallist Harry Aikines-Aryeetey (Rana Reider) ran a personal best of 10.08 and Andrew Robertson (Daniel Cossins) achieved a life time best of 10.14 to finish third.
In the women’s 100m it was a day to remember for Asha Philip (Christine Bowmaker). A personal best of 11.20 - an A standard - earned the former world youth champion a guaranteed place in the GB & NI team.
An understandably delighted Philip said: “An A standard, personal best and a win, I don’t know what more I could ask. Everything was perfect, my family was here, it was just amazing.
“I’ve been out for so long, so to come back injury free and run personal bests, it’s like the heavens have opened for me today.”
With one eye on the future, youngster Desiree Henry (Stanley Madiri) finished in bronze medal position to earn a life time best of 11.51.
The battle of Wales in the men’s 400m hurdles went to Dai Greene (Malcolm Arnold). The 2011 World champion, who automatically receives a bye into the forthcoming World Championships, ran a season’s best of 48.66. It was one of the most eagerly awaited clashes of the championships and didn’t disappoint with Rhys Williams (Adrian Thomas) running him close for the title.
Greene said: “It was nice to come out here and take the victory. I’m really really pleased. I’ve had a tough few weeks by my high standards so nice to run a season’s best.
“I’d like to think I can push on in the next few races against the top guys and really show my worth ahead of Moscow.”
Williams confirmed his automatic place on the team with a personal best of 48.85, finishing in second place.
“I’d be happy if I had won, but it’s a tough task, I’m up against a World champion here, but those are the high standards I set myself,” conceded Williams. “
“I do feel a bit disappointed, but now I know where I am. A personal best so things are going in the right direction. I just need to get a bit quicker now and bring it to the World Championships.”
Tiffany Porter (Rana Reider) displayed good form going into the IAAF World Championships to reclaim her British 100m hurdles title she last won in 2011.
Teenage sensation Jessica Judd (Rob Denmark) was beaten by the experienced Marilyn Okoro (Johnny Gray) to claim the British title. Both have the A standard having ducked under the two minute barrier this season, but the Shaftesbury Barnet athlete powered home with 100m to go.
“New British Champion, halleluiah!” enthused Okoro. “It feels fantastic. I just had to reverse last year, so I am really pleased.
“It was just about execution today, I’m healthy and I had a great challenger in Jess [Judd] and I had to get her back for a couple of weeks ago and I am just so glad to have booked my place to Moscow.”
Olympic silver medallist Christine Ohuruogu (Lloyd Cowan) secured the 400m national title with a comprehensive victory in 50.98.
“It feels nice to win domestically, now I can go tackle the guys abroad,” she said.
“It is always a good field and sometimes when you’re so used to running the global events sometimes you can view the domestic events less highly but you always have to work hard regardless and never let your guard down.”
The first Sainsbury’s British Championships title of the afternoon went to Jade Lally (Andrew Neal) in the women’s discus. The Shaftesbury Barnet athlete threw a season’s best and a UKA B standard distance of 60.23.
“Season’s best, British champion, it’s a complete turnaround from last year. I had a shocker last year but this year has been much better.”
There was disappointment for Yamile Aldama (Frank Attoh) in the women’s triple jump as the 2012 World indoor champion pulled out of the competition after four jumps with a hamstring problem. The British title went to Laura Samuel (Aston Moore) with a winning distance of 13.75m.
“It happened last week after Gateshead, my hamstring,” revealed Aldama. “After Gateshead I was training really well.
“I’m ready to go. I’m in good shape, but with a hamstring there’s nothing you can do.”
Birthday boy James Wilkinson (Phil Townsend) did his best to claim for a seat on the Moscow plane with first place in the 3000m steeplechase. The 22-year-old is already in possession of a B standard.
“I’m obviously delighted with the win - that was the aim all along,” he said.
Chris Tomlinson (Rana Reider) secured the British long jump title for the fifth time in his career, but could not get the all important A standard distance of 8.25m - 8.03m was the Middlesbrough man’s best effort.
A personal best of 5.65m for Luke Cutts (Trevor Fox) in the pole vault pipped Steve Lewis (Dan Pfaff) to the national title.
The women’s high jump title went to Emma Nuttall, who jumped a personal best of 1.87m. There were also wins for Chris O’Hare (Steve Gulley) in the 1500m, Andy Frost (Alan Bertram) in the hammer and Rachel Wallader (Geoff Capes) in the shot put. For the third consecutive year Lee Doran (Dave Parker) won the javelin with a distance of 70.77m.
There was no upsets in the men’s 400m semi-finals. Michael Bingham (George Harrison), Richard Strachan (Linford Christie), Nigel Levine (Linford Christie) and Conrad Williams (Linford Christie), who are all chasing the A standard of 45.28, are all safely through to Sunday’s final.
Birmingham crowd favourite Hannah England (Bud Baldaro) and fellow 1500m compatriots Lisa Dobriskey (self) and Laura Weightman (Steve Cram) all qualified for tomorrow’s showdown.
The last event of the day was the 800m heats – pre-race favourites Gareth Warburton (Darrell Maynard), Mukhtar Mohammed (Mustafa Mohammed), Joe Thomas and Michael Rimmer (Norman Poole) all ensured their passage through to the next round.