Jewish Athletics 2017: Text versions June to August

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June 2

Highgate Harrier Hannah Viner, 20, followed up a mid-week 1500m PB by improving her 5000m best three days later. Viner set a mark of 4:33.46 for the shorter distance at a British Milers Club (BMC) event at Eltham, then recorded 16:45.36 for 5000m at the BMC Grand Prix in Sportcity, Manchester.

Viner commented, "I'm very pleased with how the longer race went, considering the blustery conditions. I was running in a good group of four or five athletes for the first two kilometres but then the pace slowed a little. I wasn't comfortable with forging on alone because of the wind. But after three kilometres another girl came past me and we worked together for the rest of the race.   

“I'm extremely happy with how my season is going. I feel as though there is a lot more in the tank. It is just a matter of keeping up the training and racing.”

Shaftesbury Barnet Harrier Richard Goodman, 24, contested two mass participation events in London on successive days, finishing 19th in both. He recorded 4:11 in the Westminster Mile before returning the following day to complete the London 10,000 in 30:48. Goodman said, "I am looking for better results in my next races, as my training is definitely going better than those performances suggest."

Gilad Nachshen, 13, set an 800m PB of 2:09.18 in the Watford Open Graded Meeting while Biny Bloom, also 13, recorded 2:20.31. Nachshen improved again to 2:07.05 at the Cambridge Open Meeting at St Ives, and he is now the fastest of his age (Year 1 U15) in the country. Nachshen said, "It was an Under 20 race, won in under 2 minutes, and I tried my best to go with the leaders. I'm delighted with my time.”

JFS pupil David Stone,15, set a remarkable 3000m time of 9:05.28 when winning the event at the U17 Youth Development League in Bromley. It improved his personal best by 27 seconds. "I started off quite fast, to get a good position, and my first 200m took 33 seconds," Stone reported. "I stayed close to the front throughout then increased the pace and pulled away over the final two laps."

Sale Harriers pole vaulter Lucie Wolfenden, 15, improved her best to 2.85m at Sportcity Manchester. Wolfenden then raised the bar higher to clear 2.90m when winning the U17 Youth Development League at Trafford. "I am really happy with how the season is going," Wolfenden said, "and I am looking forward to competing in this summer’s Maccabiah”.

Rachel Ayrton, 17, also contested the Westminster Mile, setting a personal best of 6:10.

Anna Barnett, 18, set a season's best discus throw of 31.80m at the Blackheath & Bromley Open, while V55 multi-eventer Rosalind Zeffertt recorded 33.0 for 200m in the Barnet & District AC Club Championships.

June 9

Maayan Radus established herself as one of the country's top young runners in her first ever track race over 3000m. Fresh from celebrating her 13th birthday the previous day, Radus completed the distance in 10:32.74 at the Watford Open Graded Meeting. This raised her to sixth on the UK U15 list.

"As it was my first race over the distance I decided not to go off too fast," Radus said. "Then I gradually increased the pace as I grew more confident. I am now looking forward to tackling the distance again this weekend at the South of England Championships at Crystal Palace."

Brighton & Hove AC’s Adam Firsht, 14, improved his 800m time to 2:06.86 at a paced British Milers Club event at Brighton. Firsht will race the same event at the Independent Schools Association National Finals in Birmingham this month, having won the ISA Southern Region title in May.

Ellie Edwards, 20, gained a sprint double with victories over 100m and 200m in the Warrington Open. Her times of 12.4 and 25.6 were very close to her personal bests. Edwards commented, "My season is going well and I am running faster than at this stage last year. It augurs well for next month’s Maccabiah, where I am running the senior 100m and 200m." Edwards has been chosen as GB Maccabiah Track & Field captain.

Richard Goodman, 24, placed third in the 5000m at the British Athletics League Premiership match at Lee Valley. His time of 14:30.16 was his fastest for several years.

Rachel Ayrton, 17, recorded an 800m PB of 2:29.8 when placing fourth in a Southern League Division 1 match at Harrow.

Emma Taylor, 16, racked up multiple points for Shaftesbury Barnet by contesting discus, hammer and javelin in the Youth Development League at Bromley. Her recorded marks were 18.62m, 26.23m and 27.07m respectively.

June 16

Sophie Dowson, 18, placed fourth in the Welsh Senior pole vault championship with a clearance of 3.65m.

Ellie Edwards, 20, set a 100m personal best of 12.37 in her heat of the Northern Senior Championships at Sportcity, but took no further part in the competition.

Hannah Viner, 20, finished ninth in the South of England Senior 1500m championship in 4:40.90.

Adam Firsht, 14, took victory in the 800m in the Sussex U15 League at Eastbourne, recording 2:12.2.

June 23

Eden Davis, 18, produced a remarkable display of sprinting to finish fourth in the England U20 100m Championships at Bedford. In the course of contesting heats, semi-final and final, Davis successively reduced his PB from 10.60 to 10.46. The Herts Phoenix athlete now stands 7th in the UK U20 rankings. "I was visualising everything in the call room beforehand, and trying to stay relaxed", Davis commented. "The weather certainly helped, plus the fact that I had two of the fastest runners on either side of me".

Competing in the same championships as Davis, Blackheath & Bromley vaulter Sophie Dowson cleared 3.75m to earn the U20 pole vault bronze medal. "I was delighted to earn my first national medal", said Dowson, 18. "It was just frustrating to be so close at the next height, 3.90m. I cleared the bar but knocked it off as I came down".

Brighton & Hove AC’s Adam Firsht, 14, achieved an Under 15 800m England Schools Standard in the South Eastern Schools Inter-Counties Championships at Basingstoke. Firsht finished fifth in 2:04.92 and in the process reaffirmed his standing as the top young middle-distance runner in Sussex. "The hot weather made the conditions difficult, but running against such strong opposition helped me bring the most out of myself", he stated. "I have been working all season towards beating 2:05 so to achieve it is fantastic".

Richard Goodman improved a long-standing 5000m PB by 19 seconds, recording 14:03.20 to finish fourth in a British Milers Club Gold Standard race at Watford.

June 30

Highgate Harrier Hannah Viner, 20, gained a remarkable victory in the England U23 5000m Championship at Bedford. Three of the other four race entrants had posted faster times than Viner over the distance. "The air temperature was 30 degrees so we started conservatively, and I made a real push over the final lap”, commented Viner. The King’s College London student built up a 7 seconds lead over the final stages to finish in 17:05.96. James Bongart, now 21, took bronze in the U23 javelin with a throw of 60.81m.

Joshua Firsht, 16, gained a full set of medals at the Independent Schools Association National Championships in Birmingham. Firsht took gold in the U17 400m in 52.16, bronze in the 200m in 23.87 and silver in the sprint relay. "The hot conditions were perfect for racing", Firsht said. "But the last 100m in the 400 was the hardest of my life!" Younger brother Adam Firsht, 14, gained silver in the U15 800m in 2:08.25. Both athletes are pupils of Shoreham College, Sussex.

Highgate Harrier Idan Gal-Shohet, 17, placed second in the South of England U20 long jump championship at Crystal Palace, breaking the sand at 6.81m.

Richard Goodman, 24, cut his 5000m personal best to 14:02.46 with a close second place finish in the British Milers Club at Watford. David Stone, 15, reduced his 3000m best to 9:00.54 in the Youth Development League at Reading.

Ellie Edwards, 20, demonstrated exceptional form by setting a 100m PB of 12.28 at the Trafford AC Grand Prix at Stretford. Younger sister Allana Edwards, 17, placed second in the U20 400m hurdles in 77.69.

Roger Bruck, now 78, made a successful return to the Alexander Stadium Birmingham, 60 years after first competing there as a student. Contesting the British Masters Championships, Bruck won gold in the long jump (3.32m) and high jump (1.20m),  silver in the 200m (35.23) and bronze in the 100m (17.00).

July 7

Eden Davis enjoyed a successful international debut to place third in his 100m heat at the Mannheim Junior Gala. His time of 10.53 qualified him for the finals, but the Great Britain Team Manager withdrew the sprinters in order to concentrate on the relay. "The whole experience was amazing", Davis enthused. "To put the GB vest on is a dream come true, and it is driven me to work harder to earn that vest again". Davis has now travelled on to join the GB Maccabiah squad in Israel.

Highgate Harrier Hannah Viner, 20, was fastest lady in the 5000m at the Orion Harriers Open, setting a new PB of 16:37.5. This places her in the top 10 in the UK U23 rankings.

David Stone, 15, improved his 3000m best for the second time in four days to record 8:55.79 at the Watford Open Graded Meeting. This performance makes him the eighth fastest Under 16 runner in the country over this distance, which he will also contest in the Maccabiah. Gilad Nachshen, 13, recorded 4:27.47 for 1500m at the same Watford meeting, while Bini Bloom, also 13, was timed at 4:38.11. Both performances were personal bests. V55 athlete Rosalind Zeffertt produced a strong 100m performance of 15.59. At the previous Watford meeting, Adam Cahn, 15, improved his 800m time to 2:06.17. Cahn contested the 1500m for the first time in the London Inter Club Challenge at Hendon, placing third in 4:34.93.

Lucy Wolfenden, 15, cleared a personal best height of 3.00m to finish third in the U17 pole vault at the Mason Trophy Inter Counties Schools' Championships at Birmingham. Wolfenden, who won the corresponding U15 event last year, will compete in the Maccabiah next week.

Brighton-based Joshua Firsht, 16, gained a 400m victory in 52.8 in the Youth Development League at Bournemouth.

Shaftesbury Barnet Harrier Jessica Hurley, 17, entered the national rankings for the 1500m steeplechase on her first attempt at the event. She placed third in 5:51.05 in the Youth Development League at Reading.

Tal Pelmont, 17, amassed multiple points for Highgate Harriers by contesting the 400m, 800m and 1500m in the Southern Athletics League at Braintree. He set personal bests of 67.1 and 2:07.7 in the shorter events, recording 4:44.3 in the 1500m.

London Heathside youngster Jack Davis-Black, 12, set a personal best of 5:13.34 for a victory in the Middlesex Young Athletes League at Parliament Hill.

July 14

Sophie Dowson was delighted to earn the Senior Pole Vault bronze medal at the English Schools Championships at Birmingham. Dowson, 18, cleared 3.70m, matching the height that won her the silver medal in last year's event. It was a fourth successive English Schools Championships appearance for the Blackheath & Bromley Harrier. Dowson said, "It was a very long competition and I was really happy to earn my medal. My technique was holding up well. But as I have gained in strength this year, I now need to transition to a pole specified for a more powerful vaulter. The prospect is quite exciting."

Adam Firsht, 14, placed seventh in his heat of the Junior 800m in 2:06.03. "I was very happy with my performance. The heat and humidity meant that none of the competitors set a personal best", Firsht commented. "This was my first experience of a major competition. It was amazing to compete in front of a big crowd in one of the largest youth competitions in the world".

Eden Davis, 18, has been selected as a member of the GB 4x100m relay squad for the European Under 20 Championships which take place next week in Grosseto, Italy. Davis, who won bronze medals in the last two English Schools Championships, is currently competing in the Maccabiah in Israel.

Gilad Nachshen, 13, took victory in the U15 800m in the Eastern Young Athletes League at Peterborough, recording 2:08.4. The Shaftesbury Barnet Harrier also honed his sprint speed by contesting the 200m in 25.6 and 300m in 39.5. Emma Taylor, 16, also tackled three events at the meeting, earning multiple points for Shaftesbury Barnet in the shot (8.29m), hammer (23.13m) and javelin (28.48m). Bini Bloom, 13, set a personal best of 4:37.1 in the U15 1500m, while Matti Harris, also 13, recorded 4:47.6. Maayan Radus, 13, placed second in the girls’ U15 1500m in 5:05.8.

Hannah Viner, 20, set a 1500m personal best of 4:24.57 in the British Milers Club Grand Prix at Loughborough, to move to 16th in the national U23 rankings.

London Heathside youngster Jack Davis-Black, 12, set a 1500m PB of 5:13.34 for victory in the Middlesex Young Athletes League at Parliament Hill.

Anna Barnett, 18, set a personal best of 8.67m with the full weight (4kg) shot in the Southern Athletics League at Crawley.

July 21

Eden Davis, Ellie Edwards and David Stone have each won Maccabiah gold medals in spectacular style.

Team captain Ellie Edwards, competing in the Open (that is, senior) age group, demolished her previous best times to take gold in the 200m (24.85) and silver in the 100m (12.17). She also took a bronze medal as part of a composite 4x400m relay team that included three Australian runners.

Edwards reported, “In both events I was up against faster athletes. I was especially nervous at the start of the 200 because three of my competitors had beaten 25 seconds while I never had. So I was delighted with both my performances, especially my 200 gold in a huge personal best. Taking responsibility for my team of ten athletes throughout the Games was one of the most challenging things I have ever done, but also the most enjoyable."

Eden Davis, 18, stormed to victory in both junior sprints, taking the 100m in 10.51 and the 200m in a new personal best of 21.68. Davis said, “It was difficult at first to train in the heat of the Israeli summer, but after a few days we adapted. It was a tremendous experience and everyone was very supportive, barring a bit of gamesmanship from the Israeli athletes.”

Competing against athletes three years his senior, David Stone, 15, took victory in the junior 3000m by a 60m margin in 9:07.54. Stone commented, “I saw the 1500, in which the Israelis stayed back and kicked at the end. So I decided to go off as fast as possible to avoid getting caught. Luckily the plan worked.”

Idan Gal-Shohet, 16, took the bronze medal in the junior long jump with a fine jump of 6.56m. Joel Alexander, 15, set a new high jump PB of 1.60m, to place fourth behind three Israeli 18-year-olds. Rachel Ayrton, 17, placed fifth in the junior 800m having led during the first lap. Ayrton has the rare distinction of having competed in two Maccabiahs in two different sports, having represented GB in swimming in 2013.

The GB junior 4x100m relay squad of Joel Alexander, Idan Gal-Shohet, David Stone and Eden Davis came home with silver medals, thanks to a storming anchor leg by Davis. A team of Alexander, Gal-Shohet, Stone and Tal Pelmont also took bronze in the junior 4x400m relay.

In total, 20 nations were represented on the track, with Israel unsurprisingly dominating the medal table. Probably the most impressive performance in global terms was that of Ukrainian-born Israeli Marharyta Dorozhon, 29. Dorozhon won the Open javelin gold with a throw of 63.07m. This ranks her 17th in the world this year, and is likely to secure her place in next month’s World Championships in London.

August 4

Eden Davis anchored the GB 4x100m relay team to within 0.08 seconds of a bronze medal at the European Junior Championships in Grosseto, Italy. The team recorded 39.67 for fourth place, having won their heat earlier in 39.38. Davis said, “We didn’t get the result we wanted but our time was brilliant and the other teams broke records to beat us. I am proud of what I have achieved this season and I couldn't have done it without my coach Cathy Walker. I have enjoyed a wonderful welcome into the GB team and I've loved every minute of being part of it.”

Richard Goodman defied torrential rain and wind to breach a long-sought-after barrier. Goodman, 24, recorded 13:59.94 for 5000m in the Night of Athletics at Heusden-Zolder, Belgium. It was his third race in ten days, having set times of 3:52.37 for 1500m and 8:14.76 in the earlier ones. “I am happy to be running injury-free,” Goodman said, “and I hope this will serve as a stepping stone to further progress next season”.

Three young Shaftesbury Harriers set 800m PBs at the latest Watford Open Graded Meeting. Gilad Nachshen, 13, recorded 2:06.14, while Adam Cahn, 15, and Matti Harris, 14, set times of 2:05.02 and 2:16.49 respectively.

800m specialist Adam Firsht, 14, dropped distance to record 40.5 for 300m in the Sussex U15 League at Lewes.

August 11

Several young middle distance runners contributed to Shaftesbury Barnet's overall victory in the Eastern Young Athletes’ League at Hendon. David Stone won the U17 1500m in 4:20.77, cutting six seconds from his personal best. Gilad Nachshen took first place in the U15 800m in 2:06.38 and also improved his 300m time to 39.26. Maayan Radus, having rejoined Shaftesbury from Blackheath & Bromley, placed second in the U15 1500m in 5:08.33. Bini Bloom, Adam Cahn, Aron Yona and Joshua Goldstein also contributed to the team's success.

Gilad Nachshen, 13, reduced his 1500m best to 4:24.57 at the Watford Open Graded Meeting. Likewise, Adam Firsht, 14, cut his time to 4:32.9 in the Youth Development League at Lewes.

Lia Radus, 15, took victory in the 1500m and second place in the 3000m in the Youth Development League at Hendon. Her times were 4:53.72 and 10:39.91 respectively.

Lucie Wolfenden, 15, won the U17 pole vault in the Youth Development League at Wrexham with a 2.75m clearance.

Rosalind Zeffertt tackled four events successfully in the London Inter Club Challenge at Hendon. Contesting the hammer throw for the first time, she achieved a mark of 18.72m to move to 26th in the UK V55 rankings.

August 11

Hanna Knyazyeva-Minenko, 27, achieved a fourth round mark of 14.42m to place 4th in the triple jump in this week’s World Athletics Championships in London. The result was a remarkable achievement in Knyazyeva-Minenko’s second competition of the year, following on from foot surgery.

Knyazyeva-Minenko, who emigrated to Israel from the Ukraine four years ago, had taken the silver medal at the last World Athletics Championships, in Beijing in 2015. She had also placed fifth in last year's Olympics. Both of those performances represented the best-ever finishes by an Israeli track and field athlete in the respective championships.

Israeli javelin thrower Marharyta Dorozhon narrowly missed reaching the World Championship final. Her throw of 61.33m in the qualifying round was less than a metre short of the distance required to progress further. Dorozhon had recorded a mark of 63.07m in taking the gold medal in last month's Maccabiah.

Australian Steven Solomon, who reached the 2012 Olympic 400m final at the age of 19, had a less successful return to Olympic Park. Solomon finished seventh in his 400m heat in 46.27, and did not proceed to the semi-finals.

August 18

Immanuel College pupil Gilad Nachshen, 13, maintained his dramatic progress over 800m to move to second in the UK rankings for his year group. On a wet and windy evening, Nachshen trimmed his personal best by almost two seconds to record 2:04.49 at the latest Watford Open Graded Meeting. It was his last competition before taking a well-earned break in Israel.

Nachshen has cut his time for the distance by nine seconds this season, under the guidance of Shaftesbury Barnet coaches Colin Godfrey and Jeremy Sothcott. Sothcott explained, "Nachshen has only recently moved to my group, where he trains with a faster group of athletes. He intends to compete in the 800m at the Eastern Young Athletes League Final in Bedford in early September, and then a few selected Road Relays. Looking further ahead, we intend to enter a few indoor races in December and January. Throughout this time we will be working to develop Gilad's speed, strength and power, to enable him to rise still further up the UK rankings."


August 25

.Lia Radus, 15, achieved her best result of the season with an excellent second place in the South of England U17 1500m Championships. Her time of 4:38.53 was a personal best by almost 4 seconds.

Emma Taylor, 16, contested the shot, hammer and javelin in the Eastern Young Athletes League at Hendon, winning the hammer and setting a fine javelin PB of 33.34m. Maayan Radus, 13, won the U15 1500m in 4:59.25 while David Stone, 15, improved his 1500m time to 4:19.27.

Eden Davis, 18, represented England in the 100m at the Manchester International at Sportcity, placing fourth in 10.60. A poignant highlight of this Home International match was the reunion of the full 2004 Great Britain Olympic sprint relay team. With a resounding victory in a celebrity race in aid of the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund, they showed that they still possessed some of the speed that brought them Olympic gold thirteen years ago.


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