There were plenty of top performances from local athletes at the British Indoor Championships at the EIS, Sheffield.
Luke Cutts (City of Sheffield and Dearne) won the pole vault on countback from Max Eves (Newham and Essex).
Both cleared 5.43 but Cutts cleared the previous height at his first attempt whereas his opponent needed three attempts. It was a satisfying win for Cutts although well short of the qualifying height for the European Championships.
Another City of Sheffield athlete Lee Emanuel won the 3000 metres in 7:55.91. Emanuel is now based in New Mexico. He already has the qualifying mark for the European indoor in Belgrade next month and so his selection is a formality. Emanuel was silver medallist in the European indoors two years ago in this event. The 3000 metres was a South Yorkshire carve-up with Hallamshire’s Andy Heyes taking the runner up spot in a personal best of 7:57.00.
There were bronze medals for City of Sheffield duo Lee Thompson and Daniel Gardiner. Thompson ran a superb race to clock an indoor best of 47.87 in the 400 metres whilst Gardiner did 7.70 in the long jump. He would have wanted more, for his season’s best would have given him gold which went to Dan Bramble (Shaftsbury Barnet) with 7.80.
City of Sheffield sprinter Imranur Rahman did well to reach the final of the 60 metres sprint finishing sixth in a personal best of 6.68whilst his Sheffield team mate Grant Plenderleith successfully negotiated heat and semi final of the 200 metres to finished fourth in the final in 21.53. Ana Garcia was sixth in the 3000 metres in a personal best of 14:26.43 whilst Doncaster’s Chloe Bradley ran her best time of 4:26.91 in placing seventh in the final of the 1500 metres.
Katarina Johnson-Thompson, heir apparent to Jessica Ennis-Hill in the heptathlon, Katarina Johnson-Thompson insists she is back on track after her coaching switch.
The 24-year-old finished second in the long jump to book her spot in the British Athletics team for next month’s European Indoors Championships.
Johnson-Thompson is now coached by Jean-Yves Cochand, who is based in Montpellier, after splitting from Mike Holmes following last year’s Olympics.
She finished sixth in the heptathlon, breaking the British high jump record, at the Games last summer having been fourth after the first day.
And, after her first competition since Rio, Johnson-Thompson believes she is enjoying herself again having become frustrated with her fitness and form: “I set really high expectations of myself and when I don’t reach those expectations it’s really hard for me to face. With the heptathlon, just because you can do a 1.98metres high jump, doesn’t mean you’re going to win a gold medal,” she said.