Young Harriers break records at London Olympic Stadium

Three sprint relay teams from Croydon Harriers tasted victory in London’s Olympic Stadium at the Anniversary Games last Friday evening.

One of Croydon Harriers' relay squad in action in the Olympic Stadium last Friday

One of Croydon Harriers’ relay squad in action in the Olympic Stadium last Friday

Eight teams of Croydon Harriers sprinters got the chance to stretch their legs on the big stage alongside Usain Bolt and Jessica Ennis in front of around 30,000 fans in a series of 4×100 metres races staged by British Athletics.

English Schools trio Marcia Sey, Rhiannon Gayle and Mariam Ojobowale were joined by Kayla Bowley to clinch victory in the under-15 girls’ race in 48.15sec by just 0.05sec from north Londoner powerhouse club Enfield and Haringey.

That performance puts the Croydon quartet No1 in the British rankings for their age group – even ahead of county squads – and it also betters the club record they set earlier in the season.

There were also wins for the Croydon’s under-17 men (Dylan Gordon, Chuks Ajeh, Verter Opong-Kyei and Tyrese Johnson-Fisher – he of the extraordinary rugby try-scoring performance) and the under-13 girls.

Martyn Rooney: Croydon Harrier in action this week for England at the Commonwealth Games

Martyn Rooney: misses out on individual 400m place in Beijing

The under-13 boys (Ayo Salako, Tyvon Inniss, Raid Boukari and Ange Gbeyo) placed second and broke an eight-year-old club record with 50.58sec. Their under-20s clubmates were third in their race but the team of Shanard Jackson, Daniel Luke, Robert Sakala and Aaron Adekoya broke a 29-year-old club record in 42.89sec.

The under-20 women finished fourth and Croydon’s under-15 boys were runners-up.

  • James Dasaolu, Croydon Harriers’ European 100 metres champion, was named yesterday in the Great Britain team for next month’s world championships in Beijing, but the club’s other continental champion, Martyn Rooney, missed out on an individual place at 400m, although he has been named in the 4x400m relay squad.
  • Another local relay squad, Herne Hill Harriers’ over-50s men’s 4×800 metres team, set a British record at the open meeting staged at Tooting Bec track on Sunday. Yes: four geezers in their 50s – Graeme Moyse, Andrew Simms, Vic Maughn and Gary Ironmonger – chasing around the track for two miles, all in just 9min 22.13sec. It took10 seconds off the record, also set at Tooting, 36 years ago.
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