Five Harriers stars win gold at British Indoor Championships

By Dominique Stafford in Athletics

FIVE competitors from Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers won gold at the British Indoor Athletics Championships in Sheffield over the weekend.

The event, which doubled up as the British trials for next month’s European Indoor Championships in Belgrade, Serbia, featured a number of hugely impressive performances from the Harriers’ contingent – although a number of their winners face an anxious wait to see if they have made the British squad as they were unable to meet the required qualifying standards.

The vast majority of Shaftesbury Barnet’s success came in the jumps, with Allan Smith seeing off the challenge of former Olympic silver medallist Robbie Grabarz to be crowned British indoor high jump champion for a second time with a clearance at 2.25metres.

“I’m happy with winning the British Championships,” he said. “It’s always nice and it’s the first time that I’ve beaten Robbie too. He’s one of the big boys, so there’s a positive to take from that, but I just need to get that 2.28m mark for the European Indoor Championships.

“I’ll get some video feedback over the next few days, so I’ll have a look at that and see what happened at 2.28m because I was very close at the third attempt.”

Nathan Fox also still has work to do to guarantee his spot in Belgrade despite setting a new indoor personal best of 16.53m on his way to winning gold in the triple jump.

“It feels good to win gold for the third time in a row,” he said. “However, it is bittersweet. That was an indoor personal best, but I was 17cm off the European Indoor Championship qualifying standard, which I was hoping to jump. I felt like I had it in me.”

A season’s best leap of 7.80m helped Dan Bramble to win the men’s long jump, while Jade Ive produced the best performance of her career in the women’s pole vault – breaking her personal best on three separate occasions on her way to claiming gold with a clearance at 4.35m.

Antonio Infantino, who competes internationally for Italy, was the Harriers’ only winner on the track, sealing top spot in the 200m in a time of 21.05seconds.

Phillipa Lowe just missed out on the medals in the women’s 400m as she came fourth in an indoor personal best of 52.99secs, a result matched by Gemma Bennett in the women’s 60m hurdles (8.53secs). Kyle Langford also set an indoor personal best on his way to coming fifth in the men’s 800m (1minute 51.51secs).

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