Fewer City athletes competing in Bank Holiday bonanza

Steve Davey
Steve Davey
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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There will be a reduced number of City of Portsmouth athletes taking part in the bumper programme at the Mountbatten Centre today.

The action-packed day begins with the QuadKids Championships from 10am.

The Multi-Events Championships, from under-13 to senior level, will run alongside the competition.

Meanwhile, the Hampshire Athletics 3,000m races take place between 11am and 12.15pm – with the mile races due off between 1pm and 3.30pm.

However, a clash with other fixtures means there will be less City of Portsmouth athletes than usual competing in the event.

Chairman Phil Budd said:

‘It’s a full day of competition. It won’t finish early that’s for sure.

‘It’s a fairly relaxed day out.

‘There are normally plenty of Portsmouth athletes involved but it will be less than usual this year.

‘The under-13s and under-15s are competing in Hillingdon in the Youth Development League on Saturday and then in the Wessex League Quadkids on Sunday, so it was a bit too much to compete three days in a row.

‘It’s just a case of bad timing of the fixtures by Hampshire Athletics.

‘We would normally have at least 20 athletes from Portsmouth.’

However, under-15 multi-eventer Maddie Wilson has chosen not to compete at the weekend in favour of today’s competition.

It will be a relaxed programme for athletes with one the main draws being the mile run.

‘You don’t get many mile races, they’re usually 1,500m,’ Budd added.

‘The chances to run a mile are few and far between.’

In a slight change to previous years, no guest entries and no entries on the day of the championships will be allowed.

So only athletes born in the county, or who have been a resident continuously for at least nine months, are eligible for the Hampshire events.

But the mile races remain open to all.

City stalwart Adam Akehurst and Steve Davey will both be missing from the event.

The duo have chosen to save themselves for the men’s British Athletics League match on Saturday.