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.

July 2nd

15 year-old Hatch-End triathlete Lara Nyman achieved a personal best of 4 minutes 56.8 seconds in winning her Under-17 1500 metres race for Harrow Athletic Club in the Southern Premier Athletics League fixture at Barking on June 24th. In previous weeks she had achieved second place in the same event in both the Middlesex and the Hertfordshire schools championships.

July 9th

Speedy Israeli youngsters
London-based Israeli Sagie Benaim, 16, reduced his 1500 metres personal best to 4:02.68 in a British Milers Club meeting in Watford. Meanwhile in last week's Israeli Championships, 15-year-old Daniel Molaco finished 4th in the Senior 1500 metres in an Israeli Under-17 record of 3:58.11.

Israeli Championships

European pole vault champion Alex Averbukh, 32, achieved a season's best of 5.70 metres in winning last week's Israeli title in Tel Aviv. "I'm very pleased that I managed to clear 5.70m," Averbukh said. "I feel that in my current form I can even clear 5.90m and I hope to do so in the World Championships in Osaka."

In the high jump event, 20-year-old Niki Palli retained his title with a height of 2.25 metres. He commented "I'm pleased with the result, but I'm not happy if I fail to match my personal best," referring to his all-time best of 2.30m. "I've got two more months until the World Championships in Osaka and plenty of time to improve. My aim was to clear 2.20m today and I managed that, so I'm happy."

Michael Ayalin won the 110m hurdles in 13.95 seconds and a gained a further Israeli title in the 200 metres.

In the womens' pole vault, Ola Dor set an Israeli record of 4.03m. "I felt like I could clear 4.10m, but I think I failed because I wanted it too much," Dor said. "I can jump much better, I think I'll be able to clear 4.20m in the near future."

July 11th

Israeli European pole vault champion Alex Averbukh matched his season's best of 5.70 metres in coming 5th in the Lausanne Grand Prix.

July 15th

Jo Ankier, who has been struggling to regain full fitness after injury sustained last year, came 7th in the 3000m steeplechase event at the Norwich Union British Grand Prix at Sheffield, recording a time of 10:18.54. Korene Hinds of Jamaica won the event in 9:34.83.

July 22nd

Edgware schoolboy James Grant, 16, overcame wet conditions to come 10th in the pole vault in the English Schools Championships at Birmingham, recording a height of 3.65m.

July 29th

Itai Magidi of Israel achieved a World Championships qualifying time of 8:30 in the 3000m steeplechase in the KBC Night of Athletics, in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium, on Sunday, 29 July, 2007.