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ATHLETICS: Grace a golden wonder despite setbacks
12:00pm Friday 27th September 2013 in Sport
GRACE Davies-Redmond ended her season with an outstanding victory at the English Schools’ Combined Event Championships in Birmingham, writes Kevin Fahey.
The St Laurence School student, from Bradford on Avon, won gold in the inter girls’ heptathlon after twice appearing to throw away the title.
Success in the two-day event, the most searching examination of an athlete’s all-round ability, is normally all about consistency, but on a rollercoaster of a weekend Davies-Redmond decided to do it the hard way.
“I started off okay with the 100m hurdles and was seventh overall but then in the high jump I just couldn’t clear my opening height of 1.46m,” said Davies-Redmond.
“It was really stressing me out and I only did it with my third attempt.
“When the bar was raised I whacked it with my hand and thought I might have broken a finger so had to be taken off to the medical people but it was okay.
“The high jump dropped me down to 17th overall. I had an average shot which lifted me to ninth and ended the first day with my best event, the 200m, clocking 25.11secs so ended up in fourth.”
If Davies-Redmond was hoping for a quieter second day she was sadly mistaken, opening with a disastrous long jump clearing only 4.37m – around a metre down on her expectations.
“I just couldn’t get my run-up right and had two ‘no jumps’ and one run through which gave me the 4.37m which was not very good and put me right down the field again,” she said.
“It was all becoming so draining mentally and physically so I had a chat with my mum and she said I could take the competition two ways – either say it is rubbish and go home or treat the last two events (the javelin and 800m) as individual events in their own right and try to get something positive out of them.
“It worked as I threw a personal best of 35.96 metres for the javelin and then ran 2mins 24.96secs, another PB, for the 800m.”
It earned her 4,475 points and the gold medal and she said: “I just cannot understand how I won that.
“In fact I had no idea I had won until it was announced officially. I think if I had won another silver I would have cried. But it was a great way to end the season and I am so happy with that.”
Emily Dixon (St Augustine’s School, Trowbridge) finished third in the senior girls’ heptathlon.
- TROWBRIDGE runner Phil Wylie recorded the fastest time of the day the Midland Counties Men’s six-stage road relays in Birmingham. The British international duathlete tore around the Sutton Park course in a time of 17mins 44secs, which was six seconds quicker than his nearest rival, and helped his club Bristol & West AC to finish third overall.
Winsley’s Alex Carter finished 11th on the opening stage to help Team Bath towards 10th place.
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