City of Sheffield and Dearne athletes Lee Thompson and Adam Hague were in outstanding form at the British Indoor championships at Birmingham over the weekend winning the 400 metres and pole vault respective.
Northern champion Thompson headed the rankings coming into the championships and was fastest in heat and semi final, but his run in the final was a revelation. Drawn in the outside lane, he stormed into the lead from the gun and went through 200 metres in 22.04 with a substantial lead He was never going to maintain that pace but he continued strongly and never looked like being caught although Sudanese athlete Sadam Koumi was closing at the finish. If the manner of Thompson’s win was impressive, so was his time, 46.23. The was half a second inside the qualifying time for the World Indoor Championships to be held on the same Birmingham track, so Thompson, only 20 years old, booked his place.
Fourth was Thompson’s Sheffield team mate Grant Plenderleith with a personal best of 47.27.
Adam Hague was a class above the rest with a championship record of 5.65. It added 5 centimetres to his previous best set in 2015, and beat Harry Coppell (Wigan) and Charlie Myers (Middlesbrough) by no less than 30 centimetres with Hague’s Sheffield team mate Luke Cutts finishing fourth, unable to continue his impressive run of success in this meeting. Hague’s competition was flawless, clearing every height at his first attempt.
Cutts cleared 5.20 first time but opted to pass at 5.35 and was unable to clear 5.45.
Hague’s height, a European qualifier, was short of the very tough World qualifier but the host country can select one athlete regardless of the standard and it would make sense to name Hague when the team is announced tomorrow.
There was a third Sheffield win, this time by Hallamshire Harrier Andrew Heyes. His decision to concentrate on indoor competition rather than cross country paid off with a perfectly executed 3000 metres.
Heyes was quickly into a good position, handily in fourth place as the big field soon strung out into single file. Keeping out of trouble, he made no attempt to hit the front until 500 metres to go when his acceleration took him into a significant lead. The chasing group were unable to make an impact on the Hallamshire man who came home clear in 7:54.81. The top three all ran personal best times. Heyes was close to the World qualifier of 7:52 but, as with Adam Hague in the pole vault, the selectors have the option to include him.
A personal best of 26:51.73 gave Natalie Myers (City of Sheffield and Dearne) fifth place in the women’s 5000 metres walk.