ATHLETICS: England shines in the rain

Hannah England wins the 800m from Marilyn Okoro (background) as the rain falls

Hannah England wins the 800m from Marilyn Okoro (background) as the rain falls

First published in Sport Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter specialising in Rugby, Cricket and Athletics. Call me on 01865 425456

OXFORD’S Hannah England provided the star turn in the British Milers’ Club (BMC) Grand Prix at Iffley Road.

England showed her sharpness ahead of the Commonwealth Games with victory in the women’s A 800m, but unlike last year, there was no sub-four minute mile from the men.

Despite a heavy rain shower, England showed her finishing speed to deny fellow GB international Marilyn Okoro, clocking 2mins 0.50secs to the latter’s 2.01.57.

“I only decided to run on Thursday when I got back from Font Romeu and the BMC were great in allowing me to run,” said England.

“When I heard Maz (Marilyn Okoro) was also running I was really pleased as I wanted a competitive race and hopefully we both got something out of that. I am very happy with that run.”

Sixty years after Sir Roger Bannister became the first man to break the four-minute mile, Iffley Road still holds a special place in British athletics.

Richard Peters (Bristol & West) won the men’s A mile in 2013 with a 3.58.70 clocking, but this time the Commonwealth Games-bound athlete had to be content with victory in 4.01.99.

The fast-finishing Richard Weir (Derby) was second in 4.02.08.

USA’s Erika Veidis dominated the women’s mile race to win in 4.40.03.

The men’s A 800m race saw Anthony Whiteman (Shaftesbury Barnet) attempt to break the vet 40 word record of 1.48.05 he set a week before, but Paul Goodall (City of Norwich) triumphed in 1.49.09.

Elle Vernon (Stockport) beat fellow GB cross country international Charlotte Purdue (Aldershot, Farnham & District) to win the women’s 5,000m in 16.00.00.

Andrew Butchart (Central) won the men’s race by 15 seconds in 13.58.05.

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