March had got off to a flying start, and with the curtains closing on quite a spectacular indoor season, we moved back out to brace the cold this week as many cross country championships took place in the UK.
WILLIS TAKES THE WIN
It was finally a gold for Matt Willis of Wrexham as he took the U20 Men’s title at the Inter Counties in Loughborough on Saturday, holding off North East runner Josh Cowperthwaite. Speaking to British Athletics after his race, Willis was keen to highlight the fact that he’d improved slightly since his 212th place finish as an U13. “Last year I came here and blew up and I couldn’t risk doing that again. Inter Counties has been my weak link in my career from Under-13 level where I came 212th. Since then I’ve had a sixth, 17th, seventh and a second, but today I’ve finally managed to get the illusive win.”
Never give up people 👊😭👏 https://t.co/5CnwVRXlQU
— Vinco (@VincoSport) March 10, 2019
Adam Hickey and Jenny Nesbitt were the senior champions though, and alongside Willis secured their spots on the Great Britain & Northern Ireland team for the World Cross Country Championships in Aarhus, Denmark at the end of the month. The conditions were extremely tough however, with plenty of mud and some challenging winds, so well done to all for competing.
— British Athletics (@BritAthletics) March 9, 2019
BIG-HALF WINS FOR FARAH AND PURDUE
In a sprint finish head-to-head with training partner Bashir Abdi of Belgium, Sir Mo Farah replicated his win in London from 2018, securing yet another British half marathon title in the process.
A month after breaking the all-important 70 minute mark for the half marathon in Japan, Charlotte Purdue stormed to victory in the women’s event, battling very blustery conditions. Lindsay’s Scottish National Cross champion, Steph Twell, took the silver behind Purdue, with Charlotte Arter in the bronze position.
😃 Déjà vu in London as Sir @Mo_Farah & @charliepurdue do the @OfficialBigHalf 🇬🇧 Championship double once again@davidweir2012 also on the winning trail in Greenwich on a windy morning. Full report incoming!
— British Athletics (@BritAthletics) March 10, 2019
HOLLOWAY GOING ALL THE WAY
University of Florida student, Grant Holloway, blew everyone’s minds and shattered a 32-year-old North American indoor record for the 60 hurdles over the weekend. You’d think that was enough, but within two hours of his record breaking 7.35 seconds, he also won the 60m flat in 6.50 and ran a 46.00 leg in the 4x400m. Oh, and did we mention, he finished third in Friday’s long jump final??
GRANT HOLLOWAY 7.35
NO. 3 IN WORLD HISTORYpic.twitter.com/ONqXdEF4k4
— FloTrack (@FloTrack) March 9, 2019
Grant Holloway broke the American record in the 60mH, won the 60m and ran a leg on the Gators 4x400m within the span of two and a half hours on Saturday. #NCAATF
— FloTrack (@FloTrack) March 10, 2019
To provide some perspective of his 7.35 clocking, he broke the North American record that was set back in 1987 by Greg Foster (7.36), and is just a whisker away from Colin Jackson’s world record of 7.30. The only other man that stands in his way is Dayron Robles of Cuba (7.33). So, you could say it was a successful weekend at the NCAA Indoor Championships in Birmingham, Alabama.
WORLD 50K RECORD FOR LIU
Achieving a world record in itself is quite unbelievable, but the 2016 Olympic champion over the 20km, Liu Hong, shaved more than five minutes off the previous record of 4:04:36 to finish the Huangshan Grand Prix in 3:59:15. She has also become the first woman to break the 4-hour barrier in the event.
Liu Hong of China broke the world record in the 50km race walk on Saturday, clocking 3:59:15 at the Chinese Race Walk Grand Prix in Huangshan to become the first woman to break the 4-hour barrier in the event.
— IAAF (@iaaforg) March 9, 2019
WORLD LEADS SET AT EUROPEAN THROWING CUP
The European Throwing Cup took place over the weekend in Samorin, Slovakia. Last year, we were fortunate enough to cover the event in Leira, Portugal. Last week European Athletics also announced that the town of Leira will host the championships in 2020, 2021 and 2022, so, we’ll see you there!
It was a good day for Belarus in Samorin with Tatsiana Khaladovich and Hanna Malyshik both setting world leading marks at the European Throwing Cup.
📷 Pavol Uhrin pic.twitter.com/Y8Qd8eEZBU
— European Athletics (@EuroAthletics) March 9, 2019
INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY
Here’s a few posts that warmed our hearts on International Women’s Day.
— Vinco (@VincoSport) March 8, 2019
‘Heres to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.’ pic.twitter.com/4MSanOq9VV
— Mica Moore OLY 🙋🏽♀️ (@mica_lolita) March 8, 2019
At the end of last year Evelyn Lopez was named Woman of the Year at the IAAF Awards for her commitment to athletics👏
— IAAF (@iaaforg) March 8, 2019
WHAT’S TO COME?
This weekend, it’s back outside to the best of the British weather for the New Balance English Schools Cross Country Championships in Leeds. You’ll be able to watch a delayed stream once the event has finished here.
Always quality coverage. Thanks for giving people a chance to see their kids compete and exposure to keep the sport visible https://t.co/tIQR4Uv2Rt
— SurreySchAthletics (@SySchAthletics) March 8, 2019