Gold for Mansfield Harrier Duffy at Olympics-type Games

Rising middle-distance star Luke Duffy, of Mansfield Harriers, produced another superb performance to round off his season in style with a gold medal.

Monday, 5th September 2016, 10:21 am
Updated Monday, 5th September 2016, 11:26 am
FREE-FLOWING LAKE -- Mansfield Harrier Jess Lake shows the sprint hurdling style that helped her to fourth place in the Leicestershire and Rutland Pentathlon at the weekend.

Fifteen-year-old Duffy was picked to represent the Midlands at the UK School Games, which is an Olympics-type multi-sport event for the country’s elite youngsters. And he stormed to victory in the 1500m at the Paula Radcliffe Stadium in Loughborough.

The race was a tactical affair, sparked by a pedestrian first lap. But he stayed with the pace until the final 80m when a surge up the home straight clinched his gold. He completed the last 300m in a terrific time of 42 seconds.

Also at the weekend, Harriers duo Tania Smith (U13s) and Jess Lake (U15s) had to endure probably the worst conditions of the whole season in the Leicestershire and Rutland Pentathlon at Leicester.

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As wind and rain ravaged the venue, Smith bagged a bronze medal, while Lake just missed out, finishing an agonising fourth.

Smith started the competition by going close to her best in the high jump, recording 1.25m. From then on, it was non-stop rain for five hours, but she jumped 4.34m in the long jump, came second in the 70m hurdles in 12.40 seconds, threw the shot put 8.17m and sealed third by clocking two minutes, 53.41 seconds in the 800m.

Lake began with 4.53 in the long jump and a time of 13.26 seconds in her favourite event, the 75m hurdles. before producing a new best in the shot of 7.67m. In the high jump, after landing on a rain-soaked bed time after time, she posted a best of 1.30m, and then she battled all the way to the line in the 800m for a time of 2.52.97.

On the roads, 13 Harriers competed in the Wilne 10K road race in Derbyshire on Sunday. First across the line for the Mansfield club in a field of 1,100 entries was U20 Ella Hughes on her debut over the distance. After a summer of inactivity because of illness, Hughes bounced back with a very strong run to finish 77th overall and seventh lady in a time of 37.20 minutes.

Right behind Hughes in 78th place was Chris Allcock in 37.19, followed by Gary Morley, who was close to his best in 113th with a time of 38.47, Ged Naylor, who finished in 183rd in 41.27, and Helen Jones, who worked her way to a time of 44.26 for 261st, which would have been much better with a good start.

Gary Towle finished 293rd in 45.20, evergreen Maddy Collinge dipped under 50 minutes with 49.26 for 396th position, and Sarah Bradbury showed a welcome return to form with a new best of 52.21 to finish 492nd.

Karen Calladine recorded 55.18 for 583rd, Jo Walker ran a new best of 56.16 for 598th, Petra Kucerova was 723rd in 61.01, Latia Renshaw 784th in 63.35 and Sally Wison 820th in 65.01. In the team events, Harriers’ ladies finished a superb fourth and the men 17th.