Blackheath & Bromley Harriers AC

UKA Microplus Indoor Championships 2024

The UKA Microplus Indoor Championships 2024 took place on the 17th-18th February. The championships kicked off on Saturday with the women’s 60m and Faith Akinbileje in heat 1 qualifying for the semi-finals where she was also joined by Darcey Kuypers (heat 2) and Saskia King (heat 4). Jennifer Eduwu also ran in the 60m heats for the first time in a BBHAC vest. Coming 3rd in her semi-final, Akinbileje then went on to place 4th overall for the championships.

In the men’s 60m Kieran Gowan-Wade comfortably made it through the heats and semifinals and into his final. Gowan-Wade said: “It was great competing at the 2024 British Champs this year and making it to the final. Last year was my first year back on the track since 2009 and I made it to the semifinals. I did what I could in the final but I wasn’t at my best, my back was playing up but I still gave it a shot, but I’ll take the experience with me for future competitions”.

Our next athlete was on the field, Toby Dronfield represented the club in the men’s triple jump. Placing 4th with a hop, skip and jump of 15.09m, while earning himself an indoor PB at his first UKA senior championships. Shortly following the start of the triple jump, the 60m hurdles began with Jodie Self (U20) in heat 1 and Zoe Austridge in heat 2. Reflecting on her experience of her first British Indoor Champs Zoe said: “I was really pleased to receive an invitation to the British Indoor Champs for 60m hurdles. The whole experience was really fun, stepping out onto the track was a bit daunting especially with a sell out crowd of 7000! I didn’t race as well as I had hoped but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and it was great to see so many other Blackheath athletes competing and making finals”.

The club also had 2 athletes in the men’s 60m hurdles; Daniel Goriola and Rico Cottell. Cottell placed 5th in his heat with a time of 8.23s. Goriola went on to medal, placing 3rd over the senior height as an U20 athlete, possibly the first to do so over the hurdles since 2014! 

Bailey Stickings and Dan Putnam both sped round 2 laps of the track to complete their 400m races. Stickings, having recently had his England debut, set a PB in the heats of 47.78s which helped him to qualify for the semi-finals. Putnam, who has recently become part of the newly formed England Athletics athlete panel, also qualified for the semis with 48.61s and went on to place 5th in Sunday’s final. Sam Reardon, whilst unable to defend his title, could be found in the commentators box where he expertly discussed performances on the track and on the field.

Morgan Squibb raced in the women’s 800m, coming 4th in her heat with a time of 2:11.59. Our attention then turned to the pole vault to see Sophie Dowson soaring. Despite sustaining an injury she then went on to clear another height to achieve a SB of 3.96m.

Sunday opened with the women’s triple jump where Shanara Hibbert achieved a SB of 12.82m. When asked about the championships Hibbert said: “I really enjoyed competing at this year’s UK Champs in front of such an engaged and responsive crowd. Personally I’ve dealt with a number of setbacks over the past few years, including Achilles surgery almost exactly 3 years ago, so it was fantastic to be competitive, jumping in front of an actual crowd and back on the field again! I’m looking forward to building on this ahead of the summer and the next training block with my coach and training group”

200m sprinter Josh Gbagbo was our first track athlete of the Sunday, and came 5th in his heat with a time of 22.13s. A huge congratulations to everyone who competed at the championships over the weekend, just getting to such a prestigious event is an amazing achievement. We look forward to seeing what you can do outdoors!

Holly Platt

Blackheath & Bromley News Desk

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