South of England Combined Events – Bedford 19/20 July

Adela Hussain set out for Bedford knowing she had to pull together her best performances across the 7 heptathlon events if she was to retain her U20 SEAA title from 2013.

She couldn’t have started better with two pbs. Firstly in the 100m hdls 15.50 with a legal wind and an equal pb in the high jump at 1.55mts. The ten other athletes started to fall behind as she produced her second best ever competition shot putt (9.67mts). The 200 mts was the last event on day one but a sudden wind on the bend paid to end thoughts of a pb. She led to within 5mts of the finish when just pipped by 0.1sec by her nearest rival.

At 26.83 sec it wasn’t a disaster especially as everyone else bar one was slower. So she ended day one with a healthy 260pt lead.

Day 2 two started with a fairly mediocre 4.98mts in the long jump but again conditions meant that the field stayed behind her. With a much improved javelin technique she expected to retain the lead into the dreaded 800mts. However once again conditions flattened the javelin and with only an average 25.97mts throw her nearest rival was now only 160 points behind. Fearing no one she duly determined to blast the 800 to ensure a win in great style with a new 800 pb 2m 32.06sec taking the title and getting her 4th pb of the weekend finishing with a new points pb of 4307. With a bit of better luck that 4700 target is within reach and surely that junior England call up will come very soon!!

Blake Strickland Bennett was our only other competitor in the u15 boys. Once again he started with a fantastic new hurdles pb 13.2 sec he quickly followed this with a new shot pb (6.76 mts) and an equal pb in the high jump of 1.35 mts. An average long jump of 4.73 mts left him only the 800mts - his best event - to reach the 2000pt target. Unfortunately a disappointing 2m 27 sec run meant no overall pb but great confidence in preparation for next year’s new challenge!

Pete O’Keefe