WITH all forms of competition still some way off for members of Stratford Athletic Club, it is worth reflecting that a lot of the hard work and training is done in winter to prepare for the new season.
Looking back to the 2020 indoor season and the limited and official outdoor competitions so far, Stratford athletes are right up there in not just the domestic rankings but way up in the world rankings.
The British Masters 2020 indoor track and field season so far has produced some really wonderful performances in their respective age groups with David Jones being “surprised and hugely thrilled” to find out he is currently ranked sixth in the 800m and seventh in the 1,500m world rankings, with only one other athlete in both top tens.
Peter Coote is currently ranked 20th in the javelin and Phil Brennan is 11th in the 1,500m. Incidentally, Brennan finished last year on top of the world rankings in his age category for the mile as well has having top ten indoor rankings in 800m, 1,500m and 3,000m.
This was already looking great until a look at the women’s rankings revealed just how good Paula Williams is as one of the world’s top all-round masters athletes.
She is currently ranked third in the triple jump, seventh in the hurdles, ninth in the shot and 14th in the 60m and is comfortably in top spot in the javelin, in which she leads the world rankings by 74cm.
Andrew Pozzi’s season finished before the European Championships could take place and he finished third in the 60m hurdles world rankings with a time of 7.48s, just outside his personal best.
Last weekend top UK juniors Lewis Byng and Serena Vincent took part in the virtual shot put competition against senior British champions Scott Lincoln and Sophie McKinna, with the juniors beating their senior counterparts by just 1cm at 37.69m to 37.68m.
Officially Byng is ranked seventh in the world with the 6kg shot with a PB of 19.18m and, although the results from the virtual competition cannot count as official marks, his huge throw of 20.08m shoots him up the rankings to third.
These rankings cover a 60-year age gap between the club’s youngest and oldest athletes, which makes their achievements all the more special, so let us hope they and everyone else get the chance to compete again sometime this year.
Report by Paul Bearman.