Gordon edges Banner in real thriller

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Champion Piotr Meller with duathlon organiser Rob Piggot.  Picture: Neil Marshall (170306-18)

Defending champion ready for Portsmouth Duathlon mission

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Havant star Matt Gordon set a smashing new personal best to finish second in a high-class 800m battle.

The talented 20-year-old athlete, in his first year as a senior, was pushed right to the line by Stubbington’s Lewis Banner.

They fought it out for silver and bronze, with Jersey’s Elliott Doren taking the title in 1min 55.86secs.

Gordon shattered his personal best with a time of 1.57.17, while Banner finished in 1.57.34 as both local athletes kicked hard round the final bend.

Earlier, Gordon had won his heat in 1.59.52, giving him plenty of belief for the final.

He said: ‘I was really happy.

‘I had a confidence high off the heat.

‘There was a lot of people faster than me – I think I was fifth or sixth fastest on the sheet.

‘So I had a confidence high from winning that.

‘I came in thinking “first year as a senior it is very hard to get a medal” so I was hoping for either a medal or a PB and I got both.

‘It’s a PB I’ve been trying to get for well over a year.

‘Elliott, who won, is a 1.50 runner, he’s a good national standard athlete, so to be near him is even better.’

Banner added: ‘I train with Matt so it’s really good to race.

‘It’s good camaraderie and good to get a medal at the end of it.’