With all the excitement generated by the achievements of Adam Gemili, Dina Asher Smith and Serita Solomon, Blackheath & Bromley have also been celebrating a World Record for Dave Heath. Competing at Toulouse in France he ran 4.02.33 for the 1500 metres at the age of 50. This took nearly three seconds off the previous over 50s world best of 4.05.3 which had stood since 1984 when Dave was a teenager.

While Adam, Dina, and Serita still have to gain selection for World Championships in Beijing, Dave already has his place booked as he has been chosen to race in an invitation M50s 800 race which will be included in the World Championships programme. Dave ran 1.59.62 just prior to turning 50, his best ever is 1.50.01 set while representing the Club in the GRE Cup Final in Sheffield in 1992. The current M50 World Best is 1.58.65.

Also in France at Argentan, Tremayne Gilling ran his two fastest 100 metre times of the season stopping the clock at 10.51 and 10.58 in his two races. He finished in second place in both as did Chioma Matthews in the triple jump with a leap of 13.02.

Elsewhere in Europe, Kieran Daly ran seasons bests in the 100 and 200 at the Sprakassen meeting at Regensdorf in Germany. He timed 10.31 and 21.06. Jermaine Olasan leapt 7.25 in the long jump, two days after reaching out to 7.41 at the Lies Prokop Memorial meeting at St Polten in Austria.

More jumps success came in America last week as Jahisha Thomas set a new personal best of 6.17 in the long jump at the NCAA Championships DI West Preliminaries in Austin, Texas. Jonathan Ilori was a good form in the triple jump with a leap of 15.47.

With athletes competing elsewhere, it was inevitable that the Club were not able to field as strong teams as it would have hoped in the latest rounds of the UK Womens League and the British Athletics League.

The women travelled to Edinburgh for the first Premier Division match of the season at the Meadowbank Stadium which hosted the 1970 Commonwealth Games. They finished in 6th place in a division that contains the top 8 teams in the country. If the competition was challenging so was the weather with a 50 mile an hour wind. It was not a day for wearing a kilt and the conditions forced the cancellation of the pole vault contest as it was considered too dangerous.

The best results for the Club came in the sprints where Shannon Hylton and Jazz Crawford scored maximum points in the 200 metres winning in times of 23.18 and 24.55. Shannon had earlier finished 2nd in the 100 metres in 11.47 with Vivien Olatunji second in the B string in 12.03. Cheriece Hylton and Rachel Dickens finished third in their respective 400 metre strings in 55.07 and 57.68, and then Shannon, Cheriece, Vivien and Jazz teamed up to win the 4x100 metres.

It was third too for Carolyn Plateau in the 1500 metres in 4.38.23. Second in the B string was Niamh Bridson Hubbard in 4.42.39 and she was 6th in the A string 800. She was not the only middle distance runner to double up with over 50s athlete Clare Elms in action in the 800 and 3000 and Charlotte Rhule in the 3000 and 2000 metres steeplechase.

Natalie Jones and Leah Everson were similarly busy competing in both hurdles events and Natalie also threw the javelin. They were both in the 4x400 metre relay team along with Cheriece Hylton and Rachel Dickens who finished 7th.

Biggest points scorer for the Club in the field was Shaunagh Brown who was third in the discus and 4th in both the shot and Hammer. Sam Milner did the B strings of these events, her best performance being second in the discus with 44.32.

Zara Asante took third place in the triple jump with a leap of 12.60 and she was also 6th in the long jump with 5.03. Robyn Pettet was 5th in the high jump and also helped out in the triple jump. Sonia Woolhouse who had come to contest the vault kept herself busy by scoring points in the long jump and javelin.

After a fourth place in their opening match in May the men finished in 6th in their second BAL Division One fixture at Southampton. It was a difficult match since they did not have a single jumper available due to athletes either being abroad, injured or doing exams. They were also light in the throws and only had one sprinter. What they did have was some very talented and committed athletes who made sure that every event was covered.

So 6th was not a bad result in the circumstances and a breakdown of the results showed Blackheath & Bromley to be the strongest track team on the day but the weakest in the field.

Best event of the day for the Club was the 5000 metres where Graham Rush took the lead half way through the race and just ran away form the field to win in 14.35.43. Alex Bruce Littlewood took maximum points in the B string and finished ahead of all the other clubs A string runners in a time of 14.43.02. It was only half hour after he had won the B string 1500 metres in 3.56.55 with Phil Sesemann second in the A string in 3.55.32.

Between these two races James Alaka won the 200 metres in 22.26 to add to the second place he had achieved in the 100 metres earlier in the day.

Busiest man of the day, however, was Luke Smallwood. He was first to arrive at the venue bringing the Club tent but he didn’t have much time to use it as he soon sprang into action to contest the long jump. Then he was onto the track to finish third in a very strong 400 hurdles in 53.41. He went on to win the 400 B string inn 48.71 and take 4th in both the 100 and 200 B strings as well as being in both relay teams. He would have done more but athletes are limited to competing in seven events.

He wasn’t the only one to do more than their usual share of events. Tom Parker finished his exams at Cambridge University the day before but was up at the crack of dawn to head to Southampton for the first event at 11.30, the hammer. He was third in the A string with 54.16 and was then happy to contest the remaining throws for a point and also the triple jump. However, as so often happens, he did better than expected as he was 6th in the B string triple jump and discus and 7th in the shot.

Likewise, the aforementioned Phil Sesemann scored important points in the long jump, triple jump and pole vault; Jack Messenger, whose main event was the 400 hurdles also competed in the 110 hurdles, high jump and both relays; and Alex Pope was in action in the high jump, pole vault, shot, discus and javelin.

Junior Will Fuller set a new best of 1.55.85 in the A string 800 and Dan Kennedy’s 2.01.63 in the B string was his fastest for three years. Elsewhere on the track Richard Webb and Alex Gibbins scored good points in the 3000 metres steeplechase; as did Shaun Cooke in the 400 and Kertis Beswick on his League debut in the 110 hurdles.

A hand injury meant Steve Timmins could only compete in the Hammer but he gained an important second place in the B string.

The result means that after two of the four matches the Club are in 5th place in the table. The next match will take place at home at Norman Park on Saturday the 11th of July, where there will be a BBQ and beer tent. It has been a busy but successful few days for the Club’s walkers. The VAC 5 mile walk at Battersea Park was a Championship race and Shaun Lightman won gold in the over 70s race in 50.26. He was 9th overall with David Hoben 13th in 56.45.

Shaun was back in action the next day in the B&B 3000 track walk championships at Norman Park. He won the Club Championship in 18.07. David Hoben was next in 20.42.1 with Nolan Simmons third in 23.32.5.

Next up was the Moulton 5 mile race where Shaun was 19th in 49.55 and David was 37th in 56.24.

Somehow David also managed to win the over 60s 3000 metres at the Surrey and Sussex Masters Championships at Ewell in 20.30.9. Barbara Terry won the over 65s shot, discus, javelin and heavy weight contests while Jackie Montgomery was second in the over 50s 200.

After all the weekend excitement the Club hosted the second of its Open Graded Meetings at Norman Park track. As the meeting also incorporated some Club Championship events there were a wide range of age groups represented from under 13s to over 60s. In fact in the over 60s there was even a Club Record in the 100 metres. It wasn’t quite as quick as Adam Gemili but Tom Phillips improved his existing record to 13.03 as he edges ever closer to breaking the 13 second barrier.