Championship Review – Bedford & Manchester by Chris Jeggo

It has been a long awaited, busy time for athletes over the past two weekends with the age group European trials from Bedford followed by the Olympic trials from Manchester less than a week later.

There was medal success for hammer thrower Oliver Graham at the age group competition. In his first year at the U23, Oliver recorded a personal best throw of 62.93 to secure silver.

In her second year at U23, Rebecca Jeggo competed in both the 100m and 200m. In the final of the 100m on the Saturday she separated two of her England relay teammates to finish 5th, recording a time of 12.09s into a 2.4 headwind. On the Sunday she was unfortunate to be drawn in lane 8, despite having the 4th fastest time of competing athlete’s seasons’ best times. Running blind, she again finished 5th in her second fastest time of 24.17s. Fifth places were Rebecca’s highest placing at the age group competitions.

At the Olympic trials in Manchester there was a further good performance by a hammer thrower. Over the years, Philippa Davenall has consistently been ranked at the top of her respective age rankings, and her 2021 form earned her first invitation to compete with the best in the country. Ranked 11th entering the event, Philippa recorded a throw of 60.92m in her second round to secure a place in the final cut of eight for an additional three throws. The throw was her furthest with Philippa taken a tremendous seventh place overall.

Once again, Rebecca was competing in the 100m & 200m. On the Friday evening, benefiting from a fine start, Rebecca automatically qualified for Saturday’s semi-final.  Here, running in the same race as world champion Dina Asher Smith, Rebecca was drawn away from the action in lane one, finishing seventh in 11.90s.

On the Sunday, having initially been drawn in lane six of the final heat, her preparations were disrupted by a late redraw meaning she ended up running in lane one of the first heat. Although she pulled back in the home straight, Rebecca could not recover her position after running the tight inside bend, again finishing 7th in a time of 24.46s.