May 18 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Organisers have already begun planning for Track Academy’s next official tournament after the ‘outstanding success’ of their inaugural event at Willesden Sports Centre.
The Willesden-based Academy, in conjunction with Thames Valley Harriers AC, hosted Brent’s first ever indoor sprints and hurdles competition and attracted more than 120 athletes, including former Olympic relay star Laura Turner.
With electronic timing in operation, the tournament – officially accredited by England Athletics – was also an opportunity for sprinters as young as nine to gain their first official times.
“What made the format work was that we had international athletes alongside nine-year-olds and that was wonderful to see,” said Track Academy director Connie Henry.
“There was an incredible atmosphere. Never before has the indoor track at Willesden Sports Centre been three people deep in the viewing galleries, with that hush that comes down before the gun goes.
“It was an outstanding success, far and beyond what I thought it would be – all the parties involved pulled together. Everyone at Willesden Sports Centre was exceptional and Thames Valley Harriers pulled in some great timekeepers.
“Most of all the performers were brilliant. We won’t be able to fit in another indoor one this season, but we certainly will next season, and I’ll be talking to people about doing something outdoors as well.”
As well as several competitors representing TVH and other local clubs, the tournament also included athletes from as far afield as Kingston, Luton and Croydon.
Two of the Academy’s top sprint graduates, TVH’s Lumar Sylvester and Confidence Lawson of Shaftesbury Barnet, also returned to Willesden to take part.
However, the fastest 60m time on the day came from Fabian Collymore, who clocked 6.86 seconds in the senior men’s section, while Belgrave’s under-17 athlete Nathan Parker was quickest over the hurdles in a time of 8.16.
Track Academy sprinter Tayla Brade picked up a bronze medal in the under-17 women’s 60m at the National Indoor Championships in Birmingham.
Brade clocked a time of 7.71 seconds to take third place, with two other Track Academy athletes – Onur Akinsingulo and Lia Stephenson – also reaching the finals of their respective events.
Akinsingulo recorded a personal best of 13.18m to finish fifth in the under-15 boys’ shot, while Stephenson achieved seventh place in the under-20 women’s triple jump with a leap of 11.24m.
Brade also reached the 200m semi-final, clocking 27.74, while James Olasunkanmi (23.28) qualified for two semi-finals – the under-17 men’s 60m (7.25) and the 200m (27.74).
Olasunkanmi recorded a 200m pb of 22.90 in an earlier round, with Stephenson (8.26 in the under-20 women’s 60m) and Emmanuel Dadzie (7.73 in the under-15 boys’ 60m) also achieving individual bests.