London Inter Clubs Challenge, Lee Valley 1st & 2nd August 2020
The Covid-affected local athletics season finally kicked off at the weekend for club athletes as almost 20 sprinters and hurdlers contested the first round of the LICC meeting at Lee Valley.
With timed entry and exit times, races limited to four athletes in adjacent lanes and group marshalling in place, it was not athletics as we knew it but athletes were pleased to get back on track, albeit four months later than planned.
The two-day event, organised by Shaftesbury Barnet AC, saw Under 15s & Under 17s take part on Saturday and Under 20s and seniors on Sunday.
Sam Sanusi kicked off proceedings with a win in the first race, the U17 men’s 100m hurdles and Jacob Blanc took the second heat in his U17 outdoor a debut with an even faster time, with James With edged into second in the third heat. Paige Robinson made her U17 debut with a win in her 80m hurdles heat and indoor medallist Paris King was a good second to Croydon’s top-ranked Lia Bonsu in the Under 15 75m hurdles.
Karis Thomas’s 100m PB was the second fastest by an U17 woman and there were good season openers in the 100m for Under 15s Rhys Cole, Amyna Willock (PB) & Cassie Campbell.
For the boys Denzel Achi posted the fastest club time in the U17 men’s 100m, with Ridwan Salaam and younger brother Al-Ameen both setting new marks and Thomas Bird having his first run since joining. Olivia Boachie and Ruby Tilson rounded off Saturday’s action in the 300m races.
Five Under 20s and senior contested Sunday’s event. Chloe Williams was first up and was pleased with her first outdoor race for two years after her maternity break and Emma Ramsden was just outside her best in her U20 100m outdoor debut.
Matthew Agnimel set a good new 400m career mark in her first outdoor race as a senior, with Akeem Akintokun almost as fast. Kimathi Christie missed out on one of the limited 400m places but contested the triple jump instead
Club Chairman Tony Benton said “With all league and championship action cancelled this year, outdoor events are at a premium. Due to Covid restrictions few middle distance races are available and none are longer than 800m, to the frustration of endurance athletes. But it was good to see those able to compete making the most of the opportunities available after their recent return to training at Hornchurch Stadium.”
Round 2 of this series is at Lee Valley on 15th/16 August.