Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken's
Interviews and

Middlesex Championships (June 2017)

13th of June, Lee Valley
The most well contested events were the sprints again but, the Championship Best Performances came in the field. One must remember that, the CPB for the senior men’s 100m of 10.2 was set by the Olympic Champion of 1992, Linford Christie in 1983, which set the bar high but, there have been many good Middlesex sprint Champions since then; one of those was Chijindu Ujah.

The Under 15’s had two good CPB’s. Francesca Williams threw the hammer out to 47.70 improving the CPB from 44.42 and Jonathan Rugg improved the CPB for the pole vault from 3.20 to do 3.30.

Debbie McCaw is always a great boon to these Championships, winning the senior Women’s hammer with 44.00. However, she won three gold medals in the last World Masters Championships in April, in New Zealand but can remember, as an international for New Zealand, throwing 54.00 when she was in her 20’s “Since then I have been carrying lots of injuries with the calf muscle I damaged five years ago and ruptured the disc in my neck twice. That has kind of slowed me down a bit and with the neck trouble but I am still going as a master but, not really training at all, just competing and enjoying it but, I don’t enjoy the training any more, like I did when I was training six days a week, which I used to do. Once or twice a week I have a throw.”

When did she start then?
“I started when I was 16, down near Dunedin in South Island, New Zealand, about 21 years ago. At school I only started as a discus thrower. The coach I went to was a hammer coach as well. He said I was not very good with the discus, take up the  hammer. It is only recently I have gone back to doing the other throws for Ealing Southall.

Regarding a sole jumping display, that had everyone clapping, was by Dominc Ogbechie (just approaching fifteen years of age at the time of writing this!) who cleared 2.02 at his first attempt in the Under 17 high jump. He declared “My favourite results were the schools international I did in December and broke the British record for the pentathlon or maybe, the indoor games, when I broke the age 14 British record doing 2.07 for the high jump in the London Indoor games.”
Any heroes in the sport?
“My favourite high jumpers in the sport Mutaz Essa Barshim and Germaine Mason (The Late).
It really got me into high jump. I used to watch Germaine and I liked his technique.”

I saw Dominic run a 400m in the Southern League Div 3 at Finsbury Park in April 2017. It was his first one and, he did a time of 52.07. What potential?
What brought him into it all?

‘It was my athletics competition at Primary school. The official there persuaded me to come and join the local club (Highgate). He added, regarding doing so many events “you have to keep all options open really.’ When you get older you finally know what to do and, decide from there.
Having a lot friends in Highgate Harriers is good?
“Having a relationship with the right people is always helpful all the time because, and then everyone talks to each other. My brother Michael competes in sprints and other events.”

George Vaughn (Enfield & Harringey), U20 ran 14.55 in the high hurdles “It was 1.7- wind so you were running into a head wind’
His beginnings ‘I started hurdling when I was 8. A good 10 years ago now’ I mix between 400 hurdles and 110h. I am taking a miss over the 400 hurdles at the moment, in order to concentrate on the 110’s, to try and get the European time for the Under 20. I may do a couple of 400 hurdles at the end of the season’
‘I train six days a week. If you are prepping, it would be 4. I am just trying to get the times down, that is what you have to focus on.’
‘I am working at Lee valley. I am doing my personal training at the moment.  Level 2-Level 3. Personal tainting for Army soldiers and stuff like that.’
Last year he had damaged a nerve, that badly affected his comeback, after his best result winning the English Schools Under 20’s with 14.26 in 2015.

In the 100m Omar Grant (2nd in the 200- His best for that was 21.37w), who started sprinting when he was 16, was pleased with his lane draw of 4 in the heats and 5 in the final so, he could see his opposition either side so reaction wise he said. ‘Sometimes some people have a faster reaction than you. When you step up it pushes you to stay with the group. My fastest is 10.55 last year at an Open meet at Lee Valley (31/8/16). My memorable race was when I first ran 10.09 in the Middlesex Championships (12th of May 2012) that was litreraly the year after I started and it was that next year I had the Middlesex Championships and came first. Breaking 11 mentally and physically, I remember it. I used to do the high jump and was 9th in the country when I was in high school. Under 17 (1.65 when he was 15 in 2009)
‘This was where I had my first proper race at Lee Valley. I got 12.09 (12.02 on 30/71). I ended up running the same time as Ashley Nelson and, she was the only female to beat me. I had to say starlight ‘I am not going to let a female beat me, even though she was a GB athlete. I beat her time in the second race and after that. That year was going good and I went up, but then slowly went back down on 11.5 then the next season I came here and opened up with 11.0 had some races I ran 10.90 and 10.99. I ran some 11.2’s in minus 3 to minus 4 winds, then the next day I came back here for the British League and it is was a while after that I tore my hamstring and for 3 years stagnated. When it was gone I did 10.7, 10.7 and a 10.6 and, it had been 10.5 two years before that and, before I had a problem and then, last year 10.5.” Grant from Harrow ran 10.73 in the conditions in this year’s Middlesex of 2017 to win the senior final, which was good. Last year’s double sprint winner, Leroy Cain was second and, was coming back from hamstring trouble and warm weather training but, was hoping to run well by the end of the season. In third place was Edmund Amaning (23), who went on to win the 200 at the end part of the day in 21.32 (-3.w). He was in lane 6 for the 200.
“I did not execute well in the 100 so, I was pleased to have had my best result that I can remember in the 200 in the strong wind, and, considering it was my fourth race of the day.” (His best on record is 21.07).

Rachel Miller, who the 100 last year also, won the 100 & the 200 this year at Lee Valley and Susana Banjo, improved her outdoor personal best for the 400 from 55.74 to 56.65.
The Under 17’s 800m saw two very clear victories from Charlotte Buckley (15) and Mitto Mohammadian, the Middlesex indoor 800 champion for his age group. They both went on to win their categories in other races. Buckley in the 300 and Mohammadian in the 400. St Pauls School girl, Charlotte Buckley (TVH) ran her personal best outdoors of 2:12.16. Her PB indoors was in April 2017 at Lee Valley in 2:11.36.
In the senior 800 final, Andrew Walshe won in 1:53.35, which was a better time than done in the last few Championships, which is fine, as long as you don’t think of the CPB which was 1:44:00 done by Seb Coe in 1985.

Alastair Aitken

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