Anxious wait for 400m runner Cowan

Dwayne Birmingham.JPG

Hercules Wimbledon Athletic Club’s top track runner, Dwayne Cowan, faces a nail-biting wait to find out whether he has made Britain’s team for the European Championships in Berlin next month after finishing fourth in the 400m at the British Championships at Birmingham's Alexander Stadium on Sunday.

Cowan, at 32 the oldest runner in the final, was bidding for his first European selection after competing in the World Championships in London last season and the Commonwealth Games in Australia earlier this year.  He performed strongly in the heats on Saturday winning his race in 46.31 seconds, the second fastest of the eight qualifiers and looked set for a medal in the final.

In Sunday’s race, he battled hard from the start and although he finished strongly, moving ahead of British rival Martyn Rooney (who has competed in two Euro Championships and won the British title five times) in the home straight, Cowan crossed the line in fourth in 46.12.

Despite missing out on clinching an automatic place for the individual 400m in Berlin he has a strong chance of making the 4x400m squad as is noted as a good relay runner. He clocked the fastest leg in helping Britain take bronze in the relay at the World Championships. He is also the third ranked British 400m athlete this season and has achieved the Euro qualifying time.

Two of the three HW athletes competing in the 100m made it through to the semi-finals. Fastest was teenager Chad Miller, already on his way to the IAAF World Junior Championships in Finland, who won his race in 10.60 into a 1.8 metres per second headwind. His elder brother Rechmial had finished third in an earlier heat to qualify with 10.64, while Theo Etienne just missed out, finishing third in the first heat in 10,76 also into a headwind of 1.7 metres per second.

Rechmial equalled his season’s best of 10.53 in finishing fourth in his semi-final and missed out on the final by just two-hundredths of a second. Younger brother Chad also went faster, clocking 10.57 to finish third in his race.

Hercules Wimbledon’s Richard McDowell was a comfortable winner of the North Downs Run 30km multi-terrain race in Gravesend on the previous Sunday. McDowell won by just over five minutes, slicing three seconds off the course record for the testing event over what he described as “lumpy trails”. He said: “I went out fairly hard and built a significant lead, which meant I could pace exactly as I wanted, taking the uphills nice and steady to keep the heart rate under control, rather than get drawn into matching anyone else's pace.  Similar weather to London Marathon this year, warm and sunny, but I found the conditions lovely.”

Meanwhile, another Hercules Wimbledon ultra-distance runner Felix Allen, has gained his first international vest after being selected to compete for England in the Home Nations Masters Marathon international in Chester in October. 'There were 4 qualifying marathons over the last year in which you had to finish in the top 5 for your age category. I got through by coming 4th V45 in Brighton earlier this year in a time of 2:54:48.  It's quite an exciting prospect to be running for England' says Felix, who has struggled with injury since May, but hopes to be back on the road towards the end of this month –  'then training for Chester!'

Both Hercules Wimbledon’s men’s and women’s track and field teams have moved into qualifying positions for the Rosenheim League finals at Tooting Bec in August 22nd following their performances in the fourth Eastern Division match of the season at Battersea Park. The women continued their domination of the division, comfortably winning their match. Leading from the front, team manager Heather Jones won the 100m hurdles and triple jump while Laura Wignall took the individual 100m and 200m , Emilie Bokor-Ingram the 400m and Alex Binley the 1500m. Alison Murray won the pole vault and the 4x200m team won the relay.

Standings after four matches: 1 Hercules Wimbledon 23 league points (241 match points); 2 Serpentine 19 (208); 3 Belgrave 18 (166); 4 Herne Hill 12 (68); 5 Croydon 2 (5).

The men’s team finished third, despite the disqualification of 400m runner Dominic Bokor-Ingram for a false start, to move into fourth spot overall. Teenager Ben Tatters (3000m) and hammer thrower Sam Hitchings were the Club’s only individual winners.

Standings after four matches: 1 Holland Sports 21.5 (209); 2 Belgrave 17 (189); 3 Serpentine 16 (165); 4 Hercules Wimbledon 13 (149); 5 Croydon 12.5 (152); 6 Herne Hill 4 (57).

Andrew Penney won the Fast Friday 5000m at Walthamstow on June 29th in 14:38.2 with Ben Toomer finishing fourth in 14:45.2 and Jonny Cornish 13th in 14:58.7. In the South of England 10,000m Track Championships, incorporated into the meeting, Belal Ahmed (30:48.3) and Eileen Brandley (39:07.0) both set p.b.s to take a bronze medal each in the men's and women's races.

This Sunday, Hercules Wimbledon’s Rebekah Riches competes for Surrey in the women's 800m in an Under 17 inter-county match at Lee Valley, while the Club's older athletes contest their final Southern Veterans League match of the season at Kingston on Monday.


30 Jun-1 Jul 18: British Athletics Championships (Inc European Trials) Full results

Fri 29 June: Orion Harriers Fast Friday 5000m / 10,000m Open (Inc South of England AA 10,000m Championships) Full results

Weds 27 June: Rosenheim League Division East, Battersea  Full results

If you have any results of photographs we may not have seen, please email

Hercules Wimbledon