City of Portsmouth performance fitting for big occasion

Tom Miller helped City of Portsmouth impress again. Picture: Paul Smith
Tom Miller helped City of Portsmouth impress again. Picture: Paul Smith
The start of the Gosport Half Marathon race as James Baker, wearing 85, hits the front early on. Picture: Neil Marshall

Baker’s perfect timing with Gosport triumph

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A FINE display from City of Portsmouth saw them impress in the latest round of the British Athletics League.

The team put in a really exciting performance in Bedford.

They finished in third place, above strong teams including Reading, Brighton & Hove and Doncaster.

With more than half of the Portsmouth athletes competing in the under-23 age group or younger, the future certainly looks bright for the club for many seasons to come.

All 38 teams in the four divisions of the league were competing at the venue, making it the biggest track and field league fixture ever in the UK.

City team boss Paul Farres said: ‘It truly was “a big day out”. An experiment with every club in the BAL taking part.

‘For our part the club enjoyed the event and will support it next season where it is hoping to be bigger and better, maybe even TV coverage.’

In the sprints, Jamie Gabbidon put in a good showing in the 100m, backed up well in the B string by Gavin Bodrell who also doubled up in the 200m, setting an impressive new personal best of 23.52sec in the process.

Toby Roe also handled two events with ease, clocking 52.94sec over 400m, and 2.00.34 for the 800m.

He was joined by Zack Lahlal over the shorter distance and Matt Gordon over the 800m, who won the B string with a 1min 58.40sec clocking.

Gordon also put in a solid performance in the 1,500m running 4.09.03.

Fresh from finishing fourth in the under-17 3,000m at the English Schools Championships, Lachlan Wellington put in great runs with good times in the 1,500m (second in 4.11.26) and 3,000m (second place in 8.47.09).

Lahlal also competed well in the 3,000m and clocked 8.59.75, further cementing this as his best season so far.

Over the hurdles, at 110m and the longer 400m, Adam Akehurst, Tom Miller and Callum Shea all performed admirably.

In the field, surely the performance of the day was Tom Farres in the pole vault who cleared 4.40m, nearly one metre ahead of his closest rival (3.50m).

Akehurst and Farres both did pole vault and the long jump.

Farres also combined well with Shea in the triple jump which was valuable experience for the latter in only his second time in this event.

Regular thrower Paul Derrien put in good performances across the shot put, discus and hammer, with Akehurst showing his awesome versatility by competing in the three throwing events as well, winning the javelin (50.90m).

City under-17 Simon Ward did well in the javelin to take B string third.

Both relay teams also competed well to finish a good day on a high.

City are third in the table after three matches, ahead of the home finale on August 20 at the Mountbatten Centre.