Manawatu's finest return from OE events with spoils
ALAN ADAMSON - ATHLETICS
REVIEW: Last week I mentioned that quite a few of our athletes were competing on the international scene.
Getting up in the cold Manawatu weather for training has paid off for Manawatu athletes with some great results.
Ashleigh Sando returned from Cairns with a gold medal in the high jump and a silver in the 100m hurdles.
She cleared 1.65m in high jump and ran a personal best of 15.05 seconds in hurdles. Ashleigh won another silver medal as part of the senior 4x400m team.
Stephanie Dickins won gold as part of the under-20 4x400m relay team. She also won silver in her first 400m hurdles race with an impressive time of 64.53sec and a bronze medal in the 400m with a time 58.51sec.
Both girls were part of the under-20 4x100 relay team who won a gold medal.
* Palmerston North javelin thrower Ben Langton-Burnell, in his first competition in France, finished sixth out of 17 competitors with a 67m throw.
Zac Topping, holidaying in Britain, took the opportunity to show Watford Harriers a clean pair of heels winning the 100m in 10.92sec.
* The North Island cross-country championships were held last weekend at Spa Park in Taupo, with about 30 Manawatu competitors making the trip north.
The highlight came from Kara Macdermid who chose to compete in the longer, open women's event rather than in her own age group.
Kara finished strongly for an impressive win.
Sister Zia also had an impressive run in the G14 event, finishing second behind year 9 New Zealand secondary schools girls' champion, Paige Sachell (Lake City).
Lisa Kuhnert finished third in the MW40-44.
* With the London Olympics less than a month away, the men's 100m sprint is gearing up to be the event to watch.
Like most, I thought it was a foregone conclusion that Usain Bolt would win gold but fresh results from the Jamaican Olympic trials suggest otherwise.
World champion and training partner Yohan Blake delivered a shock recently, handing Bolt a rare defeat. Recording a time of 9.75sec, he finished comfortably ahead of Bolt, who had to overcome a poor start to finish second in 9.86sec, narrowly ahead of Asafa Powell in third. With these three world-class sprinters in their relay team, it will be hard to look past Jamaica for the relay title.
* Chris Sanson delivered an impressive result during his half marathon run in Wellington last weekend.
His third-placed time of 1 hour 9 minutes and 4 seconds is the second-fastest time ever recorded by a Manawatu athlete in a half marathon and makes him a favourite for the national title here in August.
A big thanks to Sport Manawatu for hosting the sports volunteer movie evening.
The event is a great way of saying thank you to the people who do so much for sport.
It was also an opportunity for them to remind us that nominations for the sports volunteer awards are now open.
July 10-15: Junior world championships, Barcelona
July 14: Halcombe relay
July 22: Manawatu-Wanganui Athletics road championships/Manawatu Striders Winter Series
July 27: London Olympics opening
August 3: Olympic athletic events start
August 4: Athletics New Zealand cross-country championships, Hamilton
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