Relay record smashed as talented City of Portsmouth athletes step up the pace

City of Portsmouth athletes Olivia East, Sadie Blake, Bella Digby and Emily Dunkley
City of Portsmouth athletes Olivia East, Sadie Blake, Bella Digby and Emily Dunkley
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A sensational show from City of Portsmouth under-15 girls saw them light up the Youth Development League meeting at Bracknell with a brilliant new club record.

Bella Digby, Olivia East and Emily Dunkley are all coached by Claire East, while Sadie Blake is coached by Ann Hayter.

Their exceptional performance sees the team stand proud as the top female quartet in the age group over the distance the club has ever seen.

The new mark of 2min 55.4sec for the 4 x 300m totally smashed the previous best and that was with a hefty workload on the day as well. They could certainly have a strong claim to going much faster as well if they were not in action across various other events.

City coach Claire East praised the way the girls ran and she also explained that there is more to come from them if they have another go at the event in different circumstances.

She said: ‘The previous club record was 3mins 04secs set last year. This quartet ran 2.55.4 in Bracknell. They won the race by more than four seconds so could potentially run faster with a bit of competition.

‘The girls in the team were Bella Digby (finalist in 300m at the Hampshire Championships), Emily Dunkley (silver medalist in county 300m but actually more of an 800m runner), Olivia East (Hampshire 800m gold medalist) and Sadie Blake (Hampshire gold medalist in 300m).

‘This performance was also impressive as my three had also raced 800m and ran personal bests prior to the relay and Sadie had run a 200m and a 300m, running close to English Schools’ qualifying times again. Imagine what they could do on fresh legs.’

The time showed the athletes are coming into exceptional form this summer, benefiting greatly from the work done in training with their coaches and their training partners.

Their form also promises a lot for the summer ahead. They are clearly a very talented, hard-working group of athletes who have exciting times ahead.