Sunday, 3 June 2012


A barmy weekend that saw Trackspeed1 sprinters competing in four different countries inside four days, produced potentially life-changing - and certainly world class - performances in Italy, Germany, Switzerland - and nearer home in the UK.

An Olympic qualifying standard, a world class Junior 200 metres, and a national senior title for an emerging junior athlete, combined to maintain the momentum of a sensational 2012 summer to date for the Crystal Palace-based training squad.

First, James Ellington seized an Olympic Games A-standard qualifying time in Geneva, clocking exactly the required 20.55 seconds that now means all he has to do is finish in the top two in the Olympic Trials in 3 weeks' time, and he is assured of a lane in the biggest show on earth!  But it didn't come without some drama.

Finishing second in the main international race at the annual gala meet, the 26-year-old was shown a non-finisher in the final result until coach John Powell lodged a protest to get things corrected! Wind speeds were almost consistently next to nothing, so it was always about the clock.
A relieved James Ellington and ecstatic coach John Powell give the
thumbs up in Geneva after the athlete's Olympic A-standard 200m
 effort that moves him one stage nearer the Games.
"I'm so relieved," said James, "It's all about the trials now and, although that will be far from easy, at least I'm not chasing times any more.  It's been difficult this year finding the right conditions to run well, and the last thing I need is to be going into that trials meeting still looking for a time.

Just two days earlier Ellington had impressed with a scintillating third leg for Great Britain in the 4 x 100m relay in the Diamond League, in Rome.  He handed over in the lead, but anchor man Levan Yearwood could not hold off a feisty Canadian quartet who pipped the Brits for second.

"James' leg was another class bend," enthused John Powell who had watched it on TV before flying out to join him in Geneva.  "James is again laying down his credentials for Olympic selection in the relay this year - it will take a world class athlete to pass him in the sort of form he's in right now!"

Meanwhile, 18-year-old David Bolarinwa had received a last minute call to represent Britain's senior international quartet in the 4x100m in the annual Regensberg meeting, in Germany, but it wasn't his faultless baton changing that set his day alight!

Competing in the 200 metres later in the meeting, he became the fastest British junior since 2005 as he clocked a wind legal 20.68 seconds - a lifetime best, and a mark that puts him right up with the world leaders just weeks before the World Junior Championships in Barcelona.
David Bolarinwa joined the leading performances in the world by a
 junior over 200m, in Regensberg, Germany, on Saturday

Closer to home, conditions hardly promoted top performances, and as John Powell and James Ellington landed back on home soil, and arrived in Birmingham on Saturday evening, day two of the England Championships on Sunday hardly provided attractive fodder.

Pouring rain and swirling winds affected the majority of performances - except that of another Trackspeed1 junior, Edmond Amaning.  Cruising through the heats, he recorded another lifetime best performance in the semi-final of 21.33 seconds over 200 metres, and lined up as the surprise favourite for the final.

Edmond's progression this year has been nothing short of spectacular having now sliced over half a second off his best 200m time, after a miserable 2011 that saw him spend most of the year on the sidelines injured.  Now he has even had an invitation to join one of the three national junior teams running in the 4x100m relay at the Bedford International Games next Sunday (10th June).

Leading performer in other events was defending 400m hurdles champion Ed Harrison.  Although deposed from his throne, a season's best 52.09s in fourth lace was no mean feat with hamstring problems bugging his final preparation.  In the 200m, Kieron Daly came close to his best in reaching the B final and finishing fifth, while Jason Hussain failed to come to grips with the conditions with heat semi and B-final runs that stopped well short of the excellent form he had shown thus far in 2012.  
Edmond Amaning lands his first major title - the England Senior 200 metres crown -
amid horrendous conditions in Birmingham on Sunday.
Edmond with his gold medal and England 200 metres trophy, which dates back to 1902

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