City duo take their shot at national titles

Serena Vincent, centre, celebrates success at the England Athletics Indoor Championships
Serena Vincent, centre, celebrates success at the England Athletics Indoor Championships
A mass of runners fill Winston Churchill Avenue to capacity as they set of on the Portsmouth half marathon (B3403-21)

THIS WEEK IN 1988: Is it the end of the Guildhall half marathon finish line?

Ellie Farrow has been in excellent form this winter. Picture: David Brawn

Portsmouth athletes ready to step up to national stage

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City of Portsmouth duo Serena Vincent and Gaia Osborne celebrated success at the England Athletics Indoor Championships.

The throws specialists claimed national titles in their respective shot put age-group categories as they built on their successes at the South of England Championships in January.

And to add to the duo’s feel-good factor from their performances in Sheffield, the Bronwin Carter-trained youngsters have been selected to represent England this weekend in an international match against Wales.

Competing at under-17 level, Vincent went into the Steel City championships as reigning under-15 champion.

That experience paid off as she refused to get flustered by a no-throw in round one.

That was followed by an effort of 13.12m in the second round, before the 15-year-old booked her place in the final with a distance of 13.75m.

That placed her fourth at the halfway mark, with reigning champion, Hannah Molyneaux (Nene Valley), sitting way out in front on 14.42m.

But with her final throw, Vincent launched a massive 14.51m put to stun the field.

It smashed her previous PB of 14.45m – plus the National Indoor Championship record – and with it crowned the City ace the overall winner.

Vincent now sits proudly on top of the under-17 UK rankings after her stunning victory.

Not to be outdone, Osborne also made her rivals sit back and take notice with another impressive win for Portsmouth.

Making the step up to under-20 level, she threw a PB of 12.81 with the heavier shot to claim the title by a staggering 53cm.

North Somerset’s Ada’ora Chigbo was second (12.28), with Toni Buckingham (Barnsley AC/Manchester Metropolitan Uni) third with 12.24.

Osborne’s performance now places her 12th in the UK for all women, after just her third indoor event at under-20 level.

The girls will now travel to Wales to represent England as they look to be victorious on the international stage.

Also at Sheffield, Joe Martin and Hollie Thurgood made it through to the semi-finals of their respective events.

Competing at under-17 level in the 60m hurdles, Thurgood finished sixth in her semi (9.23sec) after posting 9.03 in her heat.

Also at under-17 level, Martin ran 7.38sec as he came seventh in his 60m semi-final.

n At the Swindon Winter Throws Invitational, Kameron Duxbury improved his shot PB to 12.72m.

This effort moved him into the top 20 of the UK under-17 rankings.

Meanwhile, Gabbi Jones threw 8.63m in the under-13 competition as she sits third in the UK rankings after a 9.27m throw earlier in the season.