It’s three and easy for City master

Gerry North and Karrie Blake. Picture: Ben Adcock, benadcockben@gmail.com
Gerry North and Karrie Blake. Picture: Ben Adcock, benadcockben@gmail.com
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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Karrie Blake is back with a bang, storming to three gold medals at the British Masters Championships in Birmingham.

After nine weeks on the sidelines with Achilles trouble, the City of Portsmouth athlete shattered the championship record in the 800m with a time of 2mins 07.61secs, putting her sixth on the British all-time list in the W35 age group.

And she is gunning for top spot after thrilling on-lookers at the Alexander Stadium, also winning the 400m in 50.5 and the 1,500m in 4.30.03.

Coach Gerry North was delighted with Blake’s display and her 800m time, in particular, which put her within touching distance of that set by Olympic gold medallist Dame Kelly Holmes in her W35 days.

He said: ‘Everyone was so impressed with Karrie and they all said she was the athlete of the meeting.

‘Kelly Holmes is fourth on the all-time list for W35s but Karrie is after the number one spot.

‘The top time is 2.04.17 and Karrie could have gone close to that if she had been pushed.’

Blake was not satisfied with one record and three golds and left the meeting feeling she could have made it a double record celebration after going close in the 1,500m.

‘Karrie felt she could have had the championship record for the 1,500m which stands at 4.29.02,’ said North.

‘If she’d have known how close she was, she reckoned she could have gone quicker.’

But despite annihilating her rivals in Birmingham, Blake has some competition which could potentially make for some fireworks later in the summer.

North said: ‘Karen Harewood, who has competed in the Olympics, is faster over the 800m, with a time of 2.05.83.

‘Karen and Karrie, for their age group, are so far ahead of anyone else in the country.

‘Karen wasn’t competing in Birmingham but if she had it would have been a real ding dong between the pair of them.

‘Karrie is after her. It seems the Achilles is completely cleared up and she came through the weekend fine.

‘We now just have to find some suitable races in the coming weeks.’

Blake’s club-mate Tracy Burrows, also coached by North, was also in impressive form in the W45 category, picking up a gold in the 800m with a time of 2.32.87 and a silver in the 400m in 64.98.

City of Portsmouth thrower Vic Adcock won the M70 javelin with a throw of 34.43m and club-mate Garry Negus M65 took third in the hammer (34.75m) and fourth in the shot putt with 13.76m.