SHELDON School student Femi Akinbobola has soared to the top of the South West rankings for U20 after smashing his personal best in the 400m.

Akinbobola broke through the 50-seconds barrier for the first time in his young career as he clocked a sizzling 49.27secs to win the one-lap event in Exeter on Sunday.

The Team Bath AC athlete was representing the composite Team Avon squad in the second UK Youth Development League South West Premier match, which ended up with another resounding overall victory.

Akinbobola has now improved his best time from 2018 by over three seconds, recording three successive PBs as he has progressed from 51.2secs to 50.82secs to win the Wiltshire title at the start of the month and now this huge leap to 49.27secs, which on the national stage sees him move into the top 20 for the first time as he climbs to 16th.

Marcin Olech has had injury problems this season, but the youngster bounced back with an impressive display of jumping that delivered two PBs.

In the U20 men’s long jump, Olech smashed his PB with a leap of 6.64m to move up to fifth in the South West rankings and followed that in the triple jump with another PB with 12.50m, which is good enough for fourth on the regional stage.

Also in the field, St Augustine’s Catholic College student Peter Adeosun added two centimetres to his PB to win the U17 men’s high jump with 1.85m to put him second in the South West rankings.

Other A event winners included Malmesbury’s Eleanor Webster, Charlotte Longden, Enya Maylor, Filip Oczko, Alex Parsons, Ella Treby and Harry Meredith.

There were some superb times in the sprints and while many were wind-assisted above the legal limit, that wasn’t the case for Luka Williams.

Williams, who is coached by Julie Alexander, scorched to a PB of 11.26secs in the U17 men’s 100m, which lifted him to second in the South West rankings.

John Bentley School sprinter Joe Carter won the U17 men’s 200m B race in 23.37secs and was runner-up in the 100m B in a PB of 11.39secs, although times were helped by following winds over the two-metres-per-second limit.

THERE was a breakthrough performance by Chippenham’s Eilidh Bell in the Vitality 10km road race in London on Sunday.

The Team Bath runner smashed her PB by almost a minute as she went sub-36 minutes for the first time, clocking 35mins 48secs to finish 33rd.

The time lifts Bell to eighth in the South West rankings and represents a huge improvement upon her previous best of 36:41.