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ATHLETICS: Blatchford bags medal hat-trick
ABINGDON’S Noel Blatchford made it three vet 65 ladies medals from three races at the World Masters Athletics Championships in Porto Alegre, Brazil.
Blatchford, Britain’s sole female representative, added bronze in the 10km race walk and silver in the 20km event to her 5,000m silver in the opening week of the championships.
The 10km race saw 5,000m champion Elsa Meyer (South Africa) again dominate, while Blatchford contested second place with Liz Feldman (Australia).
“I tried to keep with Liz, and managed until the final 500m, when she broke, and I could not respond sufficiently,” said Blatchford.
Meyer clocked 1hr 3mins 24secs ahead of Feldman 1.06.06 and Blatchford 1.06.11.
All three athletes’ times were slower than expected, prompting suggestions the course was 500m long, but organisers would not remeasure it.
While Meyer completed a hat-trick in the 20km race, Blatchford gained revenge on Feldman.
“I went ahead of my Australian rival from the start, keeping ahead and steadily increasing the gap throughout the race, having gained the confidence that I could walk faster and legally,” she said.
“My coach Graham Chapman (emailing from the UK), and my British walking teammates at the championships persuaded me my technique was better.
“It felt great as I finished in silver medal position.”
Meyer came home in 2.11.06, with Blatchford clocking 2.15.56 and Feldman 2.19.26.
Blatchford’s earlier 5,000m silver came in 30.56.17, which was just 6.17secs outside the British vet 65 record.
She said: “With no race clock on the track or bell for the final lap, I did not realise just how close to the record I was.”
THE Goring 10K will take place on Sunday, March 16, organisers have announced.
Entry costs £16 or £14 for affiliated club members. See the website goring10k.co.uk for more information.
A NEW gym designed to help amateur athletes train like professionals is holding an open day on Sunday (12-4pm).
The Athlete Centre is a strength and conditioning facility, based on Oxford’s Osney Mead industrial estate.
They say: “At The Athlete Centre our aim is to create a high performance environment for the elite and non-elite level athlete alike.”
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