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ATHLETICS: Von Eitzen ends season on high with 800m win
3:16pm Monday 16th September 2013 in Sport
Abingdon's Christian Von Eitzen admitted it was simply a case of staying calm under pressure as he rounded off a tremendous season on a high in the Sainsbury's 2013 Games.
Prior to heading to Sheffield’s Don Valley Stadium for the final major event to take place at the home of Great Britain’s golden girl Jessica Ennis-Hill before it is demolished, Von Eitzen was already able to toast a successful 2013.
The 16-year-old won 800m gold at July’s English Schools’ Championships before claiming the same title at the SIAB Schools’ International two weeks later and adding 1500m silver to his collection at the same event.
But Von Eitzen was far from finished and topped the podium at the School Games at the Don Valley on Saturday as he came home first in the 800m in a time of 1min 54.33secs, his third-fastest time.
The Abingdon School pupil’s efforts helped the England Midlands team finish second overall and Von Eitzen was delighted to give his season the send off it deserved.
“It has been a fantastic season for me and this was just the perfect way to end it,” said Von Eitzen, who followed Oxford City AC long jumper Simi Fajemisin in climbing the top step of the podium while Our Lady’s Abingdon pupil Kathryn Woodcroft won discus silver.
“I got a gold at English Schools’ and then a gold and silver at the Schools’ International and then to win at the School Games is great too.
“After the international my form went downhill a little bit and then in the last two weeks it picked up again and things were looking good for me to do well at the School Games which I did do, so I am just really pleased.
“This is the end of the season and this is the great end to what I would call the perfect season.
“In the first 200m I was really struggling with my pace and I was worried I was going to get boxed-in.
“But I got boxed-in at the English Schools, but managed to find a gap to squeeze through and won.
“So I just stayed calm and, even though I got boxed-in, someone made a gap for me and things opened up and I just kicked from 300m out.”
Wallingford duo Tilly Vaughan-Fowler and Olivia Jones had to settle for silver in the rugby sevens as England South West lost out 10-0 in the final to Wales Dragons A.
Meanwhile, The Cherwell School pupil Jonathan Balance captained England Central to bronze in the volleyball, beating Scotland West and South in the third-fourth play-off to do so.
“We didn’t start the competition well as we lost both of our games on the opening day but I am really proud of how the team came back and fought for it,” said Balance.
“It is an honour to be captain of this team and I think we have done really well to win a medal and everyone can be really proud of their efforts.”
The Sainsbury’s 2013 School Games, which is supported by National Lottery funding from Sport England and delivered by the Youth Sport Trust, was held in venues across Sheffield from September 12-15. Visit 2013schoolgames.com for more information
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