STRATFORD Athletic Club had two athletes representing Great Britain in the second week of the prestigious World Masters Indoor Championships in the Polish city of Torun.
As previously reported, Phil Brennan had started the championships in superb style by claiming sixth place in the 3,000m before going on to lead Great Britain home to a magnificent team gold in the cross country.
Just a couple of days after that gold medal performance, he was on duty again in the 800m final, winning the bronze medal to add to his earlier gold.
His time of 3:05.78 was almost 20 seconds quicker than the fourth-placed runner. In second place was Brennan’s team-mate Victor Shirley, who just lost out to Albert Walter of Germany in the race for gold.
Then it was the 1,500m final for the ever-active Brennan who started steadily in his fourth race in six days, before deciding to throw caution to the wind, finally finishing in fifth place with a time of 6:18.75 – just eight seconds off the bronze medal position. The race was won by Britain’s Shirley in 6:08.
Finally, the selectors asked Brennan to drop down an age group for the 4x200m relay. Running the third leg, he helped the team finish in second place in the heats with a time of 2:07.11 but they finished just outside the medals in fourth place, missing out on the bronze medal by two seconds.
Brennan enjoyed a superbly successful championship, with seventh, fifth and fourth-placed finishes as well as bronze and gold medals.
In doing so, he helped Britain finish in fourth place in the overall medal table, behind Germany, USA and host country Poland, with just two golds fewer than second-placed USA.
For Paul Hawkins, the other SAC member representing Great Britain, there was a less happy outcome.
Competing in the 10km racewalk, Hawkins completed the race in what he considered to be a satisfactory time of 62:50, helping Britain into the silver medal position in the team standings.
However, he was to find out a couple of hours after the race had finished that he had been disqualified. This belated ruling denied Britain the silver medal.
Such is the technical nature of this event, only Poland and Latvia, in first and second place respectively, qualified for medals with all of the other teams being disqualified.
Report by David Jones.