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ALL EYES FELL upon the Bedford International Stadium for the 2016 England Athletics Championships last weekend for one of the last senior domestic national competitions in the calendar before the nation’s sleeping patterns are altered in order to soak up all the action of the impending Rio Olympics.

Sub-10: Joel Fearon speeds to a 9.96 clocking for 100m in Bedford

One athlete who may well have made the squad for Rio were it not for an untimely injury in May is bobsledder Joel Fearon who produced three outstanding performances over 100m on the first of two days of competition, finishing up with his first ever sub-10 time to place him firmly No.1 in the country.

Jessica Judd: on her way to winning the 1500m

Fearon’s performance was understandably the peak of the weekend, bringing the curtain down on an enjoyable Saturday which, unfortunately, Sunday’s action failed to even come close to living up to.

Daniel Gardiner’s long jump victory was a rare highlight on a day littered with dead space and silence for extended periods; the result of a front-loaded, imbalanced schedule in the field and numerous dropouts on the track.

Adding some much-needed sparkle to proceedings over the two days were a handful of Britain’s Paralympic medal hopefuls such as Kadeena Cox, Jonnie Peacock and Kare Adenegan who used the occasion as part of their preparations for Brazil later this month.

The added incentive of pulling on the England vest at the Manchester International on August 17 for those winners and stand-out performers was sufficient for the likes of former GB international Jess Judd to turn up and stamp her mark on a national championships which, on the evidence of this year, is in need of ideas to help reignite excitement.


IF THE atmosphere was in many ways subdued on the second of the two days of competition, Joel Fearon may well have to partly shoulder the blame for that after he set pulses racing on Saturday afternoon as he stormed his way to gold in a stunning time of 9.96 to top the British rankings for 2016.

The Birchfield Harriers’ beast had already produced two mightily impressive runs before that, clocking wind-assisted times of 10.02 and 10.10 to leave a hopeful crowd expectant and cynics anticipating an anti-climax, and the optimists were rewarded.

Benefiting from a perfect 2m/ sec tailwind, the 27-year-old bobsledder was pushed hard in the first 50 metres by Andrew Robertson before powering through the line in 9.98, which was eventually rounded down. Robertson won silver in 10.15 and Theo Etienne bronze in 10.31.

Conrad Williams: took England 400m title

“I got injured in my first two runs. I went to Newham and got injured so I didn’t get to run again,” Fearon said, having run a 10.39 and 10.42 in his first meet of the season in May.

Daniel Gardiner: long jump victory
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About AW – Athletics Weekly Magazine

THE BIG FEATURE 16 ASHA PHILIP Why one of GB’s top sprinters is smiling again after battling back from injury to make Rio ACTION 50 CAU/EA CHAMPIONSHIPS Joel Fearon breaks through to 9.96 100m and Daniel Gardiner hits form in long jump 56 BEER MILE WORLD CLASSIC Canadian clocks 4:34 world record in London SPOTLIGHT 22 SCOTS ON THE UP A look at the remarkable recent rise of athletics north of the border 36 MARY DECKER SLANEY US legend tells Jason Henderson how she keeps fit despite chronic arthritis TALKING POINT 30 DOPING IN KENYA Adharanand Finn puts the recent allegations into perspective with his insider view NEWS 6 Charlie Grice upset at Iten doping talk 8 Callum Wilkinson savours world junior glory 10 Mo Farah announced for Great North Run 12 Rabah Yousif’s visa nightmare PERFORMANCE 42 The latest in sports science 44 Killer Sessions – Susan Tooby 46 An in-depth look at youth dropout 48 How Brits are excelling in New Mexico RESULTS & FIXTURES 60 Results round-up 77 What’s On – fixtures guide PREVIEW 75 BAL AND UKWL PREVIEW REGULARS 34 VIEW FROM THE STANDS 40 YOUNG ATHLETE 76 QUIZ CORNER 82 DIP FINISH

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