This past weekend (13th/14th February) I had the great opportunity to attend the EA Indoor Championships in Sheffield whilst working for Vinco who streamed the event live. This blog acts as a bit of a review of the two days as well as a bit of my experiences working the event.
Firstly I had a great seat for the action as seen just below. One of the big advantages of attending indoor events is that you can be really close to the action and you can notice little things that you might not notice whilst watching on television. The days were very long, arriving at the event at around 8.30 and not leaving until around 7pm. There wasn’t a break in the action either so for all but about 30 minutes I was watching, tweeting and for a couple of short bursts commentating on the action. It was tiring but a very enjoyable experience and there were some very good performances which could be encouraging for the future.
For me, the highlights of the championships were the performances of Adam Hague and Holly Mills. Adam Hague is the European Junior Pole Vault Champion and is the British Junior record holder with 5.60 metres (5.55m indoors) and he looked very confident as he cleared 5.45m for a new championship record and attempted 5.61m but it was not to be. Holly Mills is only 15 so I feel it is too early to put any expectations on her but she won both the u17 Long Jump and the u17 60 metre hurdles titles. Her winning jump of 6.22 metres in the long jump was just 3cm shy of the u17 indoor long jump record and she has a couple more years to try and get it. She is definitely one to look out for.
The most competitive events of the championships though were the u20 men’s 200 metres and the women’s u17 800 metre races. The men’s 200 metre race had a pretty stacked field including world youth 100 metre finalist (and 60 metre champion at these championships) Oliver Bromby as well as world youth 200 metre finalists Toby Harries and Cameron Tindle and Commonwealth youth finalist Nick Stewart. The race lived up to expectations with Harries winning it ahead of Bromby with Tindle in third in an exciting race where you didn’t quite know what was going to happen until it did.
The u17 women’s 800m race involved 3 athletes who are now the top 3 performers ever in that event indoors. Tilly Simpson first set the record in January with 2.06.67 before Erin Wallace knocked less than a tenth of that a couple of weeks later. Both of them though were beaten by Isabelle Boffey who ran 2.06.68 to win the title and go third on the all-time list beating the two people above her in that list currently. It was a great race as well as Boffey was able to chase Simpson down, who had led most of the race, in the final straight. With the likes of Laura Muir, Lynsey Sharp and Sheylana Oskan-Clarke all doing well in the middle distances, it is encouraging that there is some good young talent ready to take their place in the next several years.
Some other noteworthy performances included Jade Spencer-Smith jumping 3.61m to equal the u15 indoor pole vault record, Tre Thomas going second on the all-time u17 60 metre hurdles list with 7.90 seconds and Mollie Courtney running back to back 8.34’s in the u20 60 metre hurdles to tie Olympic Champion Sally Gunnell in the all-time list.
It was good to see that the event was decently well attended throughout the weekend which could have only helped the athletes. It is always difficult to predict how young athletes will get on when they turn senior but there are some good signs that there is a good crop coming through, how good we will find out. That is half the fun of following the sport though!
So I had a great time and we have the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix this weekend (live on BBC) as well as the British Indoor Championships in the same building for the EA Champs which BA has announced will be streamed live on their YouTube channel!
Just last night we had the Globen Galan in Sweden which was the third leg of the IAAF World Indoor Tour, the highlight being yet another indoor WORLD RECORD for Genzebe Dibaba, this time in the mile running 4.13.31 which was close to 4 seconds inside the pervious WR and less than a second outside the OUTDOOR WR! Amazing stuff, but there have been a few crazy good performances so far this year!
Hope you enjoyed this post, if you did give this post a like, follow the blog and follow me on twitter (there is a follow button below). I will probably return after the Glasgow event as it is shaping to be the meeting of the year before the World Championships so look out for that!
Thanks for reading and until next time!