Weekend News Report - 25th/26th May 2019

Church Wins National Decathlon Bronze Medal

Lewis Church bounced back from a difficult few weeks, to win the bronze medal at the England Athletics National Decathlon Championships, at the weekend.

Church who has had to manage his training recently, due to a calf injury, showed that he is getting back to his very best with a total points score of 7231, his second best ever and only just behind his personal best of 7319, set last July.

He opened the first day, at Bedford, with a 100 metres pb of 11.43, which put him 21st of the 35 competitors, but from there he made gradual progress up the table. His Long Jump of 6.80m moved him to 18th, followed by a 12.98m Shot Putt and 1.99m High Jump to move to 6th. The final event, on day one, was the 400 metres, where he ran a solid 51.80, to finish 8th at the halfway stage.

On Sunday, Church opened up with his first ever sub 15 second clocking in the 110 metres hurdles, with 14.98, although slightly wind assisted. This put him into the top five and he followed with a 40.69m Discus, 4.36m Pole Vault and a 48.79m Javelin to go 4th, with just one event to go. By decathlon standards Church's 1500m is one of his stronger events and he ran 4.35.88 to move into the bronze medal position and replicate his position from a year ago.

Perhaps the other standout track performance at the weekend came from Anton Bachorski who ran 10.89 for 100 metres, in Szcecin, Poland, to win a regional championship there. He followed up by winning the 200 metres in 22.22.

Toby Emm wins the U20 men's 800 metres at Eltham

The Tonbridge under 17 and 20 age group squad placed second of the five teams, in their Southern Division One match at Eltham, on Sunday. There were eleven A-string wins that came from Toby Emm (u20 800m, 2.00.8), James Kingston (u20,3000m 8.53.45,) David Fullbrook (u20 Shot Putt, 11.24m), Asha Root (u20 400m, 57.01), Freya Ridge (u20, 400m hurdles, 72.55), Kirsty-Ann Ebbage (u20 Shot Putt, 10.10m), Zac Beasty (u17 High Jump, 1.80m), Guy White (u17 Shot Putt, 10.25m), Erica Bowen (u17 3000m, 11.20.19) and Rebekah O'Brien (u17 300m hurdles, 46.05 and High Jump, 1.61m).

It was also a big weekend for road racing in London, with many of the capital's roads closed in the city centre, for the Westminster Road Miles on Saturday and the Vitality London 10,000m on Sunday.

Lily Slack finished 3rd in the under 13 Girls' British Road Mile Championship in 5.16, finishing just a second behind the winner. Olivia Breed was 5th in the same race, with 5.28.

Corey De'Ath was the first Tonbridge runner home in Sunday's 10k, finishing 22nd in 30.02, as Mo Farah swept to victory. Steve Fennell (32.20), Fraser Gordon (32.42) and Michael Ellis (32.49) were next in, whilst Ashley Gibson ran 35.46 to finish 30th in the women's race. Around 20,000 people ran in the event.

Lucinda White competed in the Loughborough Students AC Javelin Festival Open on Sunday, coming second with a throw of 38.38m in the U15 age group contest.

On Wednesday the Tonbridge men's team of Michael Ellis, James Puxty and Max Nicholls won the Beckenham Road Relays. The event was raced over three legs, each of 2.6 miles and Nicholls recorded the fastest lap of 12.51.

Also, over the past week there were other good performances including Miles Weatherseed running 1500 metres in 3.47.14 in Manchester and Ben Murphy winning at Eltham in 3.54.26, at the same distance. Over 5000m Ben Cole recorded 14.36.49 and Jamie Bryant ran a pb of 14.53.65.

In the USA there was disappointment for two Tonbridge athletes, who failed to qualify for the National Collegiate Championships. Chris Olley finished 12th over 5000m at the West Region meeting in 14.01.58, whilst at the same venue James West suffered an extremely rare disqualification for a false start in the 1500 metres.