Disappointment for Cowan in Oz
Dwayne Cowan came agonisingly close to qualifying for the final of the 400 metres at the Commonwealth Games, but just missed out. The 33-year-old, who was making his Games debut, looked favourite to book a place in the final after finishing runner-up in his heat on Sunday in 45.68 seconds, his fastest time of the year and only 0.34 seconds slower than his personal best, set when winning the Diamond League meeting race in Birmingham last August. His time, the third fastest of the 24 qualifiers for the semi-final round, was achieved in the difficult outside seventh lane and ensured he got a more favourable start in lane five in the semi-final.
Unfortunately he was unable to repeat his opening round performance which would have seen him through to the final, posting 46.06 in finishing fourth, just 0.51 seconds slower than the eighth qualifier for the final.
Cowan was clearly disappointed with his run in which he just could not find the strength to get past Jamaica’s Demish Gaye who finished just ahead of him in 45.85 for the eighth final spot. Cowan said: “I think I was trying too hard, My fitness is not where I’d want it to be so I was looking for a time that isn’t in me. I should have just kept it to how I was in the heats and just gone from there.”
He returns to the Carrara Stadium on Australia’s Gold Coast on Friday evening for the heats of the 4x400 metres relay where he will hope to help England to qualify for the final the following evening.
Steady rain throughout the six hour meeting failed to dampen the enthusiasm and performances at the annual Hercules Wimbledon Young Athletes open meeting at Wimbledon Park on Sunday which has proved a vital stepping stone for future internationals. Adam Gemili, who competed in the Commonwealth Games 100 metres for England, set the under 20 men’s 100 and 200 metres records in 2011, a year before he reached the 100 metres semi-finals at the London Olympics. Another member of the England team in Australia, Dina Asher-Smith, Britain’s fastest woman over 100 and 200 metres, also won the under 17 women’s 100 metres in 2011.
Georgie Clarke took the under 15 Girls 1500 metres in 5:02.57, slightly slower than her personal best of 4:57.94 set the previous weekend, while Zipporah Golding, in he first 100m of the season won the U15 Girls event in 12.94. Georgina Carrington was also close to her personal best in winning the Under 11 girls 600 metres in of 2:00.80. In his first race since last summer, Robbie Searle showed encouraging form in winning his boys Under 15 100 metres race in 12.82, just outside his lifetime best. Thomas Beare was another winner from Hercules Wimbledon taking the boys Under 13 800 metres in 2:30.29, also just outside his personal best.
Hercules Wimbledon’s Maya Marek was also just shy of her personal best in winning the Under 17 400 metres. One of the Club’s newest members, Emma Okunbor, won her women’s Under 17 100 metres race while Ryan Facey, who only made his athletics debut in January, experienced his first 100 metres race where he was third in the Under 20 event in an encouraging 11.36. Hector Revill posted a personal best of 4:34.92 in taking third place in the men’s Under 17 1500 metres, shaving more than three seconds off his previous best set a fortnight earlier. Lloyd Hodgson was second in the Under 13 boys 1500 metres in 5:07.38. Shawn Bell won his Under 13 boys 100 metres race.
Herne Hill’s Alexandra Brown headed the trio of meeting record-breakers in winning the Under 20 women’s Dave Clarke mile in 5:03.40, just eclipsing the time of 5:04.65 set in 2012 by her Herne Hill club mate Katie Snowden who reached the Commonwealth Games women’s 1500 metres final. Mollie O’Sullivan, also from Herne Hill, won the Under 20 women’s 400 metres in 59.02 to smash the 63.08 meeting record set in 2016. Croydon’s Israel Opina bettered his own mark of 54.99 set last year in retaining the men’s Under 17 400 metres in a faster 52.23.
HW’s middle distance men limbered up for this weekend's National 12-stage Road Relays by competing in the 5000m at the Highgate Harriers/City of London Open Meeting (Wednesday, 4th April), with Ben Toomer, Andrew Penney and Alex Robinson all posting times of under 15 minutes. Ben finished second in Race 2 in 14:53.18, behind Thomas Frith of Southend (14:50.05 ), with Andrew third in 14:55.02, and Alex fourth in 14:57.28. Jonny Earl was 14th in 15:48.92. In Race 1, Justin Reid was second in 16:19.67 behind Tim Stratton of Nottingham University (16:12.39) with Rob Tuer in fourth, clocking 16:27.53.
Hercules Wimbledon runners dominated the weekly Wimbledon Common 5km parkrun last Saturday providing both men’s and women’s winners, with Ben Toomer in action again (16:28) and Gina Galbraith (20:24). There were 19 runners from the club taking part.
Elsewhere, Felix Allen headed home a 200-strong field to win the Run Through Victoria Park Easter Run 5km road race by 46 seconds in 17:44.