Justine Kinney took the headlines on the opening day of BUCS Outdoor Athletics Championships in London as she won the first ever race at the London 2012 Olympic Stadium.
Izzy Jeffs also wrote her name in the record books with a Championship record throw of 53.93m in the javelin.
On a busy opening night in the Olympic Stadium, all four Loughborough athletes made it through to the semi finals of the 100m while Niall Flannery, Meghan Beesley and Justine Kinney all had strong performances in the 400m hurdles.
Around 5,000 spectators gathered in the cold to watch the opening event at the Stratford stadium in the London Prepares Series, as the Visa Outdoor Athletics championships acted as a test event for the upcoming Olympic Games.
Loughborough’s Izzy Jeffs managed a 30cm improvement in the javelin on UK record holder Goldie Sayers’ mark of 53.63m set back in 2002 in Bedford. Eloise Meakins and LSAC Chair Sophie Thomas, qualifying in fourth and fifthplace respectively, will also be looking to make the podium in tomorrow’s final of the same event.
Doubling up, Thomas also looks a strong competitor in the women’s Shot; surpassing the automatic qualifying marker with a 12.68m throw which ranked her third overall. A personal best by Gillian Baird sees her join Thomas as the 12th and last competitor to make it through to the final.
On the track, Justine Kinney took the glory of the first win in London as she easily progressed through the heats of the Women’s 400m hurdles. A second Nick Dakin-coached athlete and three time BUCS champion Meghan Beesley joins Kinney as she hopes to make it four, after cruising to victory in 58.15s.
Showing LSAC’s strength in the 400m hurdles, Niall Flannery eased over the line in 55.16 in heat three. His time only ranks him as the eighth fastest qualifier, although his final 50m ‘jog’ suggests there is much more to come in the following rounds.
Further committee members Chloe Boulter and Emma Lowry managed successful qualification in the women’s high jump; both clearing 1.63m, with Boulter ranked first on count back. Unfortunately they will not be joined by LSAC kit secretary, Zoey Phillips after three failed attempts at 1.60m whilst battling injury.
A surprise result in the men’s 100m saw both Loughborough athletes progress through to the semi-finals tomorrow (Saturday) morning. Ben Kiely equalled his lifetime best of 11.07 seconds, set back in 2009, which was good enough to see him through to the semis.
Former World Championship bronze medallist and pre-race favourite Harry Aikines-Aryeetey stormed to victory in a time of 10.43 seconds with the nearest rival in his heat over half a second behind.
Speaking to Aikines-Aryeetey after his heat, he seemed content with his performance, “Not a great time but I just wanted to qualify. What can you expect when the guy behind you is running 11 seconds?”
Jokingly, he commented on the competition saying, “I’ve got a lot to improve on that’s for sure. I was beaten out of the blocks by a few.”
He looks forward to competing again tomorrow morning, “The stadium is breath taking. Early start for me, but I’m looking forward to hopefully a good run”.
Sprinters Amy Allcock and Holly Croxford made it a clean sweep for Loughborough 100m competitors claiming their place in the subsequent rounds as they both automatically qualified for the semi finals in the final heats of the day.
Other field successes came from the men’s pole vault qualification as Matt Devereux and Paul Walker made it equal first with leaps of 4.50m.
Elsewhere, Ricardo Twumasi left the other 35 competitors in his wake after setting a lifetime best of 15.50m in the triple jump rounds.
As the evenings events came to a close, there was just enough time for Craig Murch to make his mark in the Men’s hammer. Although narrowly missing the automatic qualifier of 56m, a sixth place finish moves him comfortably into tomorrow’s final.
You can read all the action as it happened here.