June 24th 2007
Edgware all-rounder James Grant, 16, has improved his pole vault personal best to 3.81 metres in winning the Hertfordshire Schools Under-17 title. A fortnight previously, in the South of England Under-17 Championships, Grant had come third in the pole vault with 3.80 metres, and 5th in the 100m hurdles with a new personal best of 15.20 seconds. "It was good to get a result over the hurdles because I've only been training for the event in the last few months."
Grant also tackled the 400 metres hurdles for the first time at a Young Athletes League meeting in Hendon, achieving a time of 61 seconds. "It's a difficult event because you have to be able to lead into the hurdles off either leg, and I stuttered a bit out there. But my time was just a couple of seconds outside the English Schools' standard, and I am sure I can improve both my technique and my overall speed".
Israeli pole vaulter Aleksandr Averbukh, gold medallist at the last two European Championships, achieved a 5.50 metres clearance in winning the event at the International meeting in Lugano last weekend (June 16th).
2007 USA Outdoor Championships (21st to 24th June)
Two Jewish runners secured places in the United States team for this summer's World Athletics Championships in Osaka, through their performances in the national championships in Indianapolis.
Deena Kastor led from start to finish to win her fifth US 10,000 metre title in 31:57. The race was, to some extent, a time-trial for Kastor, as she needed to achieve a qualifying time of 32 minutes to be eligible for the World Championships team. Humid conditions made it a very demanding challenge, especially in the second half.
"I was running for the win out there, but I had my eye on the clock," Kastor reported. "The conditions were tough, but I never felt alone. I tried to pace myself off the other ladies. I want to go to Osaka to run the 10,000 metres."
Adam Goucher came third in a very close finish in the 5000 metres, finishing in 13:31, less than one second behind winner Bernard Lagat, a silver medallist at the last Olympics.
Jillian Schwartz tied for third place in the pole vault with 4.35 metres, and is in a strong position to be chosen for the national team.