Friday, 2 March 2007

UK Championships in Birmingham

Amelia competed on the 24th of February in the UK Championships in Birmingham's National Indoor Arena. Having recently been used for a televised International and only one week before the European Championships, it was an impressive venue for the U20s Championships (previously known as the AAA UK Championships but now run under their new name of England Athletics).

Amelia tackled the Long Jump first, proving very consistent with nearly all her jumps in the 5m teens - six rounds of 5.13, 5.17, 5.09, 5.18, a no jump and 5.14. With ony five people left to jump in the final round, and having led all the way, Amelia's nearest rival pulled out a 5.30 jump - even the rival was shocked! So Amelia had secured herself quite a bit of air-time on the commentary and a UK Silver medal as well.

Then came the very competitive 60m sprints. With a huge field of 42 girls competing, there were five heats, two semi-finals and the final to get through. Amelia came third in her heat, the last of the five, with a time of 8.08s. Secure in a semi-final place as a fastest loser, she lined up against girls who had run sub-8 sec times in their heats. Amelia pulled a little extra out of the bag and clocked a fourth place in her semi with 8.00s dead - enough to get her into the final.

And so the final arrived at 6.45pm - a long day in an increasingly airless and stuffy arena, with a warm-up area in the basement seven flights of stairs beneath the arena.

Amelia lined up with the best athletes in the country for her 60m sprint final. Less than 8½ seconds later, it was over. Amelia had shot to the line in seventh place in a time of 8.02s.

What most of us had forgotten in the excitement was that Amelia was competing on a twisted ankle picked up in hurdling practice a week earlier. No complaints, no excuses. She performed brilliantly!

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