Good results again at the Middlesex Road Relays and under 11 road races. One first place, two second places and one third place. The TVH young athletes once again started the winter season in good spirits.
Julia Ratcliffe was first up, representing New Zealand in the women’s hammer. Julia’s throw of 64.72 was below her best and not enough to qualify, but it will have given the 24-year old great experience for the future.
Our British 400m champion Zoey Clark surged through her heat, finishing third in in 51.88 on the first Sunday of the championships and putting her with an outside chance of reaching the final. A tough semi-final won by eventual champion Phyllis Francis proved just too much for Zoey but she improved her time to 51.81 to come in seventh.
Zoey then ran the lead off leg for a strong British 4x400m quartet which blazed through their heat, recording third fastest qualifying time behind the United States and Jamaica. They go in the final this Sunday so we will be cheering them on for a medal!
Our marathon star Tracy Barlow also ran on the first Sunday following her stint at the Font Romeu altitude training camp in the French Pyrenees, where GB’s long distance best hone themselves ahead of major championships. Tracy ran bravely on the big day and stuck to her task even though her time of 2:41 for 43rd place was down on her brilliant best.
TVH came out in force to cheer her on round the London streets and Tracy paid tribute to the backing the crowd gave her. “The atmosphere was amazing, it makes 100 per cent difference just having your name shouted out the whole way round. It’s nice having the support.” You can read Tracy’s blog about her build up to London on http://leftspikefanzine.com/tracyldn2017/
In the final itself she had a battle with her run-up, suffering two no jumps before an excellent leap of 6.72m won her three final jumps and preserved her chances of a medal. Two further no jumps and a final jump from well behind the board meant Lorraine finished in fifth place – a great finish in itself and promising even more for the future.
Many congratulations from all at the club to all four for giving TVH a world championships to remember.
Zoey Clark rounded off an amazing world championships with a silver medal for Great Britain and Northern Ireland in the 4 x 400 relay behind an outstanding American quartet. Running the first leg, Zoey paced her run superbly to set the team up for a second place battle with an excellent 51.5 second leg. Laviai Nielsen (51.0) then established the team in second place, and 400 hurdler Eilidh Doyle (51.5) maintained the position leaving Emily Diamond (51.0) to fend off the challengers on the last leg.
Zoey had an incredible championship looking at home amongst the world’s best quarter milers. A regular in the successful TVH UK women’s league team over the last few years, Zoey now finishes her season in the Diamond League in Birmingham this weekend. After a well earned rest, she will be targeting further medals in the Commonwealth Games in the Australian Gold Coast next April.
The long wait will be finally over this evening as this summer’s World Athletics Championships begins with the men’s 100m heats at 7pm. More than 2000 athletes will represent over 200 different nations in London and a total of four Thames Valley Harriers will be in action. Three will form part of the largest ever Great Britain team and one in the New Zealand team.
Julia Ratcliffe will be the first TVH athlete in action at these Championships in the hammer. Julia was a late IAAF invite after a big throw of 70.35m just before the cut-off date. Julia is currently the New Zealand record holder at 70.75m a distance set at TVH’s home Southern Athletics League match at Linford Christie Stadium last summer. Julia will be looking to go even further on Saturday morning in the 2012 Olympic stadium.
British 400m champion Zoey Clark will open her first World Championships campaign with the 400m heats on Sunday 6th at 11.55am and will hopefully make the semi-final the following day at 20:55 and an outside chance of the final on Wednesday 9th August. Zoey will hopefully also be part of the 4x400m team that are on the second weekend.
Tracy Barlow will compete in the women’s marathon at 2pm on Sunday 6th. It is Tracy’s first major championship and there should be great support for her around the streets of London where she secured her place this April when she was the 3rd Brit come in the London marathon.
British champion and European indoor silver medallist from earlier this year with her British Indoor long jump record 6.97m, Lorraine Ugen with the huge home crowd support will be contending for a place on the podium, she will first have to get through the long jump qualification on Wednesday evening. The long jump final is at 19.10 on Friday 11th August.
Good luck to everyone that is competing!
Summary of Athletes in action:
Julia Ratcliffe – Women’s Hammer: Qualification Saturday 5th August at 10.35am; Final Tuesday 7th August at 7.00pm
Zoey Clark – Women’s 400m: Heats Sunday 6th August 11.55am; Semi-final Monday 7th August at 8.55pm; Final Wednesday 9th August at 9.50pm
Tracy Barlow – Women’s Marathon: Sunday 6th August at 2.00pm
Lorraine Ugen – Women’s Long Jump: Wednesday 9th August at 7.10pm: Final Friday 11th August at 7.10pm
Zoey Clark Women’s 4x400m – Heats Saturday 12th August at 11.20am; Final Sunday 13th August at 8.55pm