Monday, 23 January 2012


James Ellington ended an amazing week on Sunday with four top class runs as he opened his brief indoor campaign at Lee Valley Athletics Centre, London.
James with his South of England bronze medal at Lee Valley
Competing in the South Of England Championships, he posted four performances underlining that, even at this early stage in 2012, he is in the form of his life.  In the semi-finals he ran 6.69s - equal to his lifetime fastest over 60 metres - before going on to cement that with 6.70s in the final to take joint third and a bronze medal.

The competition opened with a first round win in 7.03s run in a style so relaxed that both athlete and his coach John Powell drew breath at the ease with which he decimated the rest of the field.  The second round was significantly faster with a 6.77s run winning that race too, with the series amounting to the best opening to an indoor season of his life.

Earlier in the week, James had been celebrating landing sponsor King of Shaves after the publicity around his attempt at attracting support through E-Bay stalled, and had again been the centre of significant worldwide media attention.

"James has had one hell of a week," said John Powell after the Lee Valley event.  "His interviews have been beamed all over the globe after a totally innovative approach to getting support through E-Bay.  He now has his sponsor and he is already justifying their support in showing world class potential at Lee valley.

"The guys he was running against had mostly been running indoors already and had already been posting some impressive times.  this was James's first outing, and to be rubbing shoulders with his personal best first time out is simply astounding."

Training colleagues of James in his Trackspeed1 squad were mostly all in action at the same meeting with mixed fortunes.  Outstanding individual of the day though was 19-year-old Kieran Daley, who ran a lifetime's best 60m of 6.96s - shaving over a tenth of a second off his best time of the 2011 indoor campaign.

Andrew Matthews enjoyed an encouraging opening to his season with first and second round 6.95s and  6.87s runs, but earned a roasting from his coach as he pulled up in the last 10 metres of the semi as he slipped out of the top two qualifying places!

Another athlete who was given the benefit of his coach's advice was David Bolarinwa, whose heat performance of 6.91s looked very impressive indeed.  But in the second round, he false started and was immediately disqualified.

"There were aspects of his heat performance which, combined with a false start, which is unacceptable from an experienced international, that I felt were learning opportunities.  He's competing again at the same venue on Sunday in the London Indoor games, and I suspect things will be rather different there!"

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