Great character is key as talented Olivia East bounces back to earn 800m gold

Olivia East, number 775, winning the 800m at the Mountbatten Centre. Picture: Paul Smith
Olivia East, number 775, winning the 800m at the Mountbatten Centre. Picture: Paul Smith
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Olivia East showed true grit and great character to bounce back in style on Sunday with a brilliant victory in the under-15 girls’ 800m at the Hampshire Championships.

The 1,500m didn’t go her way on the Saturday when she found it difficult in the closing stages and dropped out of contention.

Cameron Walker-Powell won the under-15 1,500m with an excellent performance in a time of 4.32.26. In a close battle he managed to get the better of Basingstokes Nathan Lane, 650, who finished second in 4.32.82. Picture: Paul Smith

Cameron Walker-Powell won the under-15 1,500m with an excellent performance in a time of 4.32.26. In a close battle he managed to get the better of Basingstokes Nathan Lane, 650, who finished second in 4.32.82. Picture: Paul Smith

But she’s a classy athlete and responded really well to that disappointment to take a very special 800m gold medal with a superb winning time of 2.22.13.

Hattie Bond also stepped up to the top of the podium. She won the under-13 girls’ 800m on Sunday with a time of 2.29.11.

In the under-17 women’s 1,500m steeplechase City had two newcomers to the event on the podium with Natalya Smith taking the silver medal in 5.57.02 and Poppy Edwards the bronze in 6.47.09.

In the under-20 women’s 400m Ellie Farrow picked up the silver medal with a time of 57.87. She has only just moved up to the under-20 age group and it was a useful bit of speed work for her with the main focus going to be over 800m this summer where she is an international athlete.

Matilda Atkins took the bronze medal in the under-20 women’s 800m on Sunday with a time of 2.36.32, while Mia Billins got bronze in the 1,500m, finishing in 5.01.13, and Katie Simister picked up a silver medal in the 3,000m with 11.18.53.

Penelope Batty added a bronze in the 400m hurdles in a time of 82.45.

Cameron Walker-Powell won the under-15 1,500m with an excellent performance in a time of 4.32.26. In a close battle he managed to get the better of Basingstoke’s Nathan Lane who finished second in 4.32.82.

Meanwhile, in the under-13 800m on Saturday 11-year-old Mackenzie Van Laun showed he has a very, very bright future with a brilliant performance to kick away from the field and win with a time of 2min 19.93sec.

Overall it was a great championships for City of Portsmouth again. They had the biggest contingent of any club with 134 athletes entered. In total the popular event attracted 745 entries over the course of the two days.