OpenTrack once again traversed the length of the UK, as well as the European mainland in the past fortnight, with yet more competition over all surfaces for old and young.
Hundreds of athletes took to the start line in midweek, as the Welsh Schools Cross-Country Championships saw 738 competitors keenly tow the line across eight races, while 147 more were at the Belgrade Indoor Meeting, and 269 at the Lee Valley Middle Distance Open.
The weekend began in earnest with the Podium Under the Lights 5K extravaganza in Battersea Park, keenly won by Tom Keen in 14:07 from Josh Grace, whilst Luton’s Revee Walcott-Nolan bossed the women in 15:48.
At the West Wales Indoor Championships, the pick of a busy 200-athlete event was Kelvin Nti Tannor all but breaking seven seconds for the 60m. The Serbian Indoor Championships in Belgrade was a hive of activity which saw 16 juniors log a startling 77 results to show just how keen today’s youth are to try most things.
The quality of sprinting over there is remarkable, with Aleksa Kijanović finding the devil’s number in the 60 (6.66), and Milana Tirnanić’s 7.34 almost as cutting-edge for the women.
OpenTrack breaks into Bosnia
Sarajevo continues to haunt the dreams of sports lovers the world over, with next year’s 40th anniversary of Torvill and Dean’s Bolero one of those very few moments of sporting perfection. Bosnia and Herzegovina have adopted OpenTrack formally in the last few weeks. Over 100 competitors partook in the BiH indoors, and there were plenty of exciting results with the 7 second mark again breached in the 60, while we also enjoyed 16-year-old Ali Šabeta finding an 8.84 in the 60H.
The Estonian Indoors were a hive of activity too, with 225 souls at play, whilst hopping over to the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield there are a remarkable 894 results from the British Masters Indoor Championships for you to peruse.
We love breaking boundaries at OpenTrack and little is more pleasing than when what’s deemed impossible (i.e. an age grading of over 100%) is duly dismantled or demolished.
Kirstin King is into her seventh decade and yet still found 8.62 and 8.64 clockings for the 60. Others to go over 100% were 69-year-old Alison Bourgeois, who creamed a 2:51.80 in the 800 and went sub-6 in the 1500 — remarkable. Those age-gradings will need to be completely revised when Alison turns 70! Another to excel was W75 Angela Copson, with 3:21.32 for the 800.
The Dash for the Splash is a hugely popular, if somewhat mediaeval, cross-country race over glorious Wimbledon Common on a course sourced from the imagination of barbarians. But still one couldn’t help smiling, as with your intrepid reporter, who somehow got round.
Finally, Cyprus’ Half Marathon Championships were won in a useful 70:49 for the men and 80:08 for the women, whilst at the non-elite level, some 334 competitors enjoyed themselves over six different races between 5-10K and a Metro Kids Race.
A breathtaking weekend, and the entertainment just keeps coming. On Wednesday, for instance, we enjoyed 41 pole vaulters tearing it up at the catchily titled World Athletics Indoor Tour Bronze Memorijal Josip Gašparac in Croatia.
Here are the podium places as presented on OpenTrack – dramatic stuff:
At the Belgrade Indoor Meeting, Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith was a class above the rest in the women’s 60 metres, and we like to think that the livestream graphics were also top notch.
Serbian streaming firm Elegra seamlessly integrated with OpenTrack to produce the graphics for the meeting, delivering the information that mattered to over 30,000 viewers on the European Athletics YouTube channel.
Those with a keen eye will also have seen OpenTrack’s own TV Console in use at Croatia’s Memorijal Josip Gašparac.
We at OpenTrack are also delighted to highlight another addition to the growing stable of countries using us to make managing their athletics simple, as Bosnia and Herzegovina are up and running.
Hosting their National Indoor Championships on OpenTrack, we’re excited to see more Balkan brilliance as we head towards the outdoor season!