17s Sarah Hopkinson (Gloucester AC) and Louise Webb (Team Southampton)
both ran quicker than Jo Ankierís Senior Womenís 1500m Steeplechase
UK record of 4 minutes 52.5 seconds in an Aqua-Pura Development Race at
Southampton on Wednesday May 23. Both were also well inside the UK
Junior Womenís mark of 5.13.7 recorded by Bryony Frost at the 2003
European Junior Championships.
the gun, Hopkinson made her intentions clear and the first 400m was run
in a quick 74 seconds with Webb tracking her. Both girls looked very
proficient over the barriers and water jump.
training partner Jessica Sparke (Woodford Green with Essex Ladies),
running the event for the first time, lost ground at each obstacle but
was never far away from the leaders, using her strength over 3k and
cross country to maintain contact.
stride for stride down the home straight, Webb took the last barrier
slightly better to have the edge but Hopkinson proved stronger in the
run to the line to win by half a second.
excellent performances bode well for the Aqua-Pura 2,000m steeplechase
event during the St Maryís Relays meeting at Twickenham on 6 June.
Both Hopkinson and Webb are young enough to gain selection for the IAAF
World Youth Championships to be staged in Ostrava, Czech Republic, where
the UK Athletics selection time to chase is 6:48.00.
result: 1 Sarah Hopkinson (Gloucester AC) 4.50.5; 2 Louise Webb (Team
Southampton) 4.50.9; 3 Jessica Sparke (Woodford Green with Essex Ladies)
4.56.4; 4 Charlotte Bates (Unattached) 5.35.6; 5 Becky Neale (Poole AC)
Watkin, Aqua Pura Steeplechase Coordinator, was delighted with the
performances of all five competitors, adding it was clear that this
yearís Aqua-Pura programme was paying dividends.
the start of the year, Louise Webb hadnít been over a barrier but
through attending the Aqua-Pura sessions at the UK Athletics Endurance
Performance Centre at St Maryís University Twickenham, she has already
made so much progress in the event. I know that the 1500m steeplechase
is not run too often but these were cracking performances.Ē