Four Gateway children were selected to represent London North at the ISA National Athletics Finals, held at the Alexander Stadium, in Birmingham. The children qualified for this competition by either winning their event at the regional finals, at Bedford, or recording one of the fastest sprint times for selection to the relay team. All the children were both excited and nervous at the prospect of competing in such prodigious surroundings. Just a few days before the stadium had hosted the British Championships with many of Britain’s best athletes trying to secure their place in the Olympic squad for Rio. Constant drizzle gave way to the heavier rain throughout the day although the stadium provided some comfort to the athletes when not competing.
Cormac N ran in the 600m final against 16 other competitors but ran into difficulty on the first bend where he found himself boxed in and suffered a ‘bruising’ experience as runners fought for prime positions. Unfortunately he lost vital ground in this scramble and despite narrowing the gap on the leaders he was unable to perform his usual heroics, coming 6th. He remained resolute, valuing this experience; heading off later to High Wycombe, to run for his club in the 1500m!
With little experience and practice, Roisin G had won the shot putt (2.25kg) competition at Bedford with a throw that was not far off the national record. She performed strongly, again, to clinch a silver medal with a throw just short of her personal best. Georgia M was the most anxious competitor on the day and it did not help that she had to wait 4 hours for her event! When the time arrived she responded superbly, winning a bronze in the 150m and then excelled herself in the 4 x 100m relay by winning that elusive gold medal! The London North girls destroyed the opposition winning by an incredible 30m margin! A quite remarkable achievement seeing that they had only just met and had just ten minutes to practise and prepare.
Lastly, Adam W stepped forward for the boys’ 4 x 100m relay. He too ran a stunning leg to give London North a good lead but this was gradually clawed back and Adam and his team lost out on gold and silver by the narrowest of margins! Nevertheless the boys were happy to clinch bronze medals. Adam’s mum and sister were delighted to see him make the rostrum to collect his well earned reward! It was a wonderful way to finish the day before heading into the traffic chaos of the M6, Spaghetti Junction and yet more rain.
Thanks to the parents for taking the children to the event and supporting them in such ‘miserable’ conditions. HJ