Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken's
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Southern Interviews (June 2015) Part One

LEE VALLEY 13/14 June South of England AA U20/Senior Championships

110 Hurdles 1 Jack Hatton (Reading/Bath Spa University) 13.75; 2 Jack Kirby (Harrow) 13.93; 3 George Vaughan (Enfield & Haringey) 14.37 PB as a first year under 20.

JACK HATTON of Reading AC (Born 14/2/96) “To-day my time was a Junior European qualification 13.75’
       “I first started off as a sprinter and, when I was 12 to 13 years old I started hurdling. My Dad was a GB International in the 1970’s MARK HATTON - (Best 14.1 for 110h). It was obviously in the genes and I was converted to hurdles. For various reasons it has come good. I have been getting there slowly. I got my first international at Loughborough this year, and I am 19 (Jack ran 13.89 - He also ran 13.63 wind assisted at Lee Valley on the 10th of June, which was his fastest to date. (He ran in the Bedford and Loughborough internationals this year in May)).
Did he see his Father hurdle when he was young?
No I was not born.’
I said that I apologised for that but explained, I go back a long way interviewing the Worlds’ top hurdlers, from the 1950’ onwards. as I am 75.
That prompted an interesting answer “My coach is nearly 80 - MALCOLM ARNOLD who coached COLIN JACKSON.
I remarked that at the Munich Olympics of 1972 I interviewed JOHN AKII-BUA, the first great Olympic hurdler he coached (400h gold medallist). It was in the Olympic village and warranted a full page in the  Athletics Arena’s Olympic report. That was the magazine the Late, Charlie Elliott edited.
‘Recently John Akii Bua’s grand-daughter and daughter came down. Obviously as I train in Bath. His grand daughter is 5’10 and 14 years old. It was fantastic to see them’
LAWRENCE CLARKE is my training partner at Bath.’
  ‘I have loved athletics from the start. Always been in the family. I have always been sporty. I ran 14.39 ‘Seniors’ in my International at Loughborough in May. My Father used to train with BOB DANVILLE. There is a video of my Dad in the 70’s with black hair and long legs like mine.’
“Hopefully I will go to the European Juniors. I hope to go to Mannheim in two weeks. This has been the greatest year. I am over the moon. I have been working for this so hard.’
Malcolm Arnold said ‘Keep the faith and just run don’t think about the time’
‘It had been a psychological issue for me with other people. My rival was in lane 5 and, he always beat me in every single race when I was a junior. I did not have my confidence because I thought he was going to beat me.
In the winter in December I beat him for the first time. It just changed me completely, it was the confidence and I got better, better and better. Three weeks ago for the team I had done it.  Malcolm said ‘You kept the faith I don’t have any issues. Just run.’ For me it is all about confidence

Studies:- ‘I am doing an acting degree - Performing Arts. I am juggling that with my athletics. A funny combination.’
    'Malcolm said I was the last person he would take on.  In September, when I went to university (Bath Spa University), he finally said ‘I want to take Jack on full time as my last ever athlete. That was an amazing honour and privilege, with the likes of Lawrence Clarke, Andrew Pozzi and Eilidh Child and Cornel Fredericks, who is a Commonwealth Games Champion in Glasgow. That is the environment to be in. That is fantastic it really is.”

RAY GIBBINS, the Enfield & Haringey, ex-hurdler, was the coach to the winner of the senior 110 hurdles in the Southern, Khai Riley-La Borde (who did a personal best time of 13.77 in the final of the 110h).
Ray told me that Jack actually lives at Purfleet and, he has helped coach him for three to four years, particularly when he came down with other students to Lee Valley. He said that Jack met James Hillier at Bath, where he was introduced to Malcolm Arnold (Jack Hatton’s Lead coach According to the Power of 10; previous lead coach his Father Mark Hatton).

BONNE BOWEBO of Enfield & Haringey (Born 24/12/89)
He won the Southern senior javelin senior event for the third year in succession.
As a matter of interest he was rated No.1 as an Under 20 UK Javelin thrower in 2008 and, made the European Cup team for the UK in 2015.

South of England Javelin Champ’s:- 1 Bonne Buembo 71.73 In the first round); 2 Gavin Johnson-Assoon (Herne Hill Harriers) 67.23; 3 Craig Lacy (Havering) 64.67.

Bowembo took up the javelin at school and carried it on.
On the 9th of May at Sheffield he had his furthest throw in 2015, up to that point in the year. He put the spear out to 73.53. but his best to that date was doing 74.64, when winning the CAU Championships on the 24th of August 2014.
He has always been plagued with injuries through the years he has thrown and, in 2014-2015, he had not escaped injury
“I had a knee operation last December. I had the quad problem. I am still in there and managing it .
In 2013 he told me “This is all about will power and mental strength and, if you overcome it you carry on.’ He added “You never are 100%.There are always niggles. You have got to manage it.’
Was his win in the CAU Championships last year special for him “It was special? The last fling before the season finished.”
Was he happy about his performance at Lee Valley when winning his third Southern with 71.73?
“It was good compared to a couple of weeks ago. I am pleased to know it is still there. At Bedford when I did 68.28 I was just coming back from a groin injury. I was still nursing that.
In the league the week before the Southern he did 66.73. (1st ‘B’) “I was not going to do it but I did not want to let them down.
Any javelin throwers he admired?
‘There was a Cuban Lao Martinez (2009 & 2011 World Championship medallist). He is kind of the same build as me. I am not very tall but it is all about using levers and to maximise my potential.”
 
Alastair Aitken

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