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  • Noel Carmody

Weekly Update - 1st May 2024

Wanda Diamond League, Suzhou, China (Sat. 27th Apr.)

Daryll Neita (pictured below courtesy of Diamond League) began her season in great form beating a strong field over 200 metres, which included the 2023 100 metre World Champion Sha’Carri Richardson (USA). Running in lane seven Daryll ran a strong start round the bend and emerged onto the straight well clear of the chasing pack to cross the line in 22.62s.

Daryll said "It was such a strong field and to run that time at this stage of the season is amazing," Neita said. "To hear the crowd, who were so loud and receive so much support from the Chinese people was something else. My main focus for the rest of the season is to stay healthy and in one piece. I hope to really win a medal at the Olympics." (Daryll's run can be viewed here)

Comeback 5000m, Battersea Park (Fri. 26th Apr.)

Holly Dixon opened her track season at Battersea Park over 5000m where she finished in seventh place in 16:10.30s.

UK Youth Development League Upper - Southern Premier, Eton (Sun. 28th Apr.)

The UK Youth Development League (Upper) is probably the toughest team to organise for team managers, writes Mick Bond. With two age groups (U20’s and U17’s) and both genders competing there are a total of 144 spaces to fill on the team sheet and you would need, amongst other things, eight steeplechases, six pole vaulters and 32 relay runners still standing at the end of the day, to fill every space. The U20/U17 team have been promoted for the last two seasons running and are now in the highest division against five of the top teams in the UK, so the challenge was pretty daunting. In this division the top two teams at the end of the season go to a National Final against the best from the Midlands/Wales and the North/Scotland. The middle two teams remain to compete again next year whilst the bottom two get relegated so there is not much between total success and getting dropped to the division below.


To say the team rose to the occasion, however, is an understatement. As a team manager you know it’s going to be a good day when you fill virtually every seat on a 54 seat coach and everyone turns up who should be there and all of them more on less on time!


A quick drive through central London to a somewhat damp and chilly track at Windsor just next to Eton School saw some quick negotiations made, and 121 out of the 144 spaces on the team sheet filled. An excellent start saw us in second place for much of the of the meeting, but it was always very close between second and sixth. The last points announcement on the day found us in 4th place, the draft results on Monday found us still there, but then a recount on Tuesday saw us slip to an agonising close 5th place just 2.5 points behind 4th and 5.5 points behind 3rd. There are however two more matches in this series for us to find the extra points to keep us up with the top teams .


Team spirits on the day was excellent and with such a big team it is always difficult to pick out individuals, but special mention should go to Hans Nmaju who ran a club record of 13.56s to win the U17M 100m hurdles. Hans' run can be viewed below.


The club’s other hurdlers did well winning six out of the 16 hurdles races and finishing 2nd in three more and 3rd in two others. Our sprinters were in good form despite the chilly weather, and we had a couple of wins plus a welcome return to action for Emily Cadman.


The boys middle distance squad raced well and picked up more valuable points whilst Amelia Lawrence did what she could on the girls side.


In the field we were missing a few key players but with lots of filling in the points kept on coming.


Final event of the day was the relays and we managed to find the 32 necessary relay runners to put teams out in all eight events with each one getting the baton round to get us the last few points.


We meet the same five teams again for the second fixture on 26th May.

Team results: 1st Blackheath and Bromley 666, 2nd Harrow and Dacorum 547, 3rd Shaftsbury Barnet 494.5, 4th Portsmouth and Winchester 491.5, 5th Cambridge Harriers 489 & 6th Windsor Slough Eton and Hounslow 465.


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