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Wednesday 06 February 2013 Updated: 06/02 19:30
FOUR Stratford AC athletes took part in the Birmingham Games at the National Indoor Arena (NIA) and showed that 2013 has all the makings of another fantastic year in track and field.
Andrew Pozzi had a sensational 2012 including becoming the UK 110m hurdles champion and achieving 4th place in the World Indoor Championships in the 60m Hurdles.
In Birmingham he showed the world just what kind of shape he is in with a tremendous demonstration of hurdling speed and technique.
In his heat, Pozzi looked razor-sharp and ran 6.58 seconds, the best time by a European athlete so far this year. His time was just 0.02 outside the personal best he set last February when he finished just behind Liu Xiang, the World Indoor Championships silver medallist.
Pozzi was not phased by the incredibly fast start of Jack Meredith a few lanes inside him.
By the third hurdle Pozzi’s superior balance and power meant he had drawn level and only needed to stay tidy to gain a victory.
He powered clear and put himself at the top of the European rankings, ahead of Konstantin Shabanov of Russia who ran 6.59 seconds in Moscow the same day.
Pozzi went on to win the final but this time he stopped the clock at 7.91 after experiencing cramp. This was his slowest indoor race since the Aviva Grand Prix two years ago but there was much to be pleased about. with the earlier race.
Pozzi, who is supported by local Stratford company FPS, one of the UK’s most successful automotive aftermarket parts distribution companies, is back in action in the European Indoor Trials and UK Championships at Sheffield on Saturday and is also scheduled to appear at the Aviva Grand Prix at the NIA in Birmingham on Saturday, February 16.
Rory Dwyer won all three of his under 17 events and set two personal bests.
Dwyer opened his long jump competition with 6.28m, improved 5cm to 6.33m in round two before finishing with another jump of 6.28m which completed a superb set of jumps.
His high jump personal best coming into 2013 was 1.90m. That height was easily eclipsed at the Midland Counties Open in his first event of the year where he cleared 1.96m.
It required a Herculean effort to make another improvement and Dwyer managed to maintain his focus to attain a new pb of 1.98m. He is now 2nd in the UK under 17 rankings for the year, just 2cm behind William Grimsey (Enfield & Haringey) and 20th in the UK overall.
To complete a magnificent weekend, Dwyer won his 60m hurdles race with a personal best time of 8.42 seconds. He started to assert himself from the third hurdle, easing well clear.
Felicity Bee, another of the club’s multi-event stars of the future, took to the track in the under 17 girls 60m hurdles.
She was fluent at each hurdle and in what was her second best run of 2013, just 0.02 seconds down on her time at the Welsh Under 17 Championships in Cardiff just a week prior.
Alex Grant, who has only just turned 17, competed in his first 60m hurdles race in the under 20 age group and finished 5th in 8.77 seconds. It was a cracking field with winner David King (City of Plymouth) recording a time of 7.88, an age group best in the UK this year.
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