Track star Andy back in busi­ness

Aldershot News & Mail - - SPORT -

SAT­IS­FIED Andy Ver­non ad­mit­ted he has done him­self jus­tice af­ter kick­ing off Alder­shot and Farn­ham District AC’s Com­mon­wealth chal­lenge on the track with a top-class per­for­mance in the mens’ 5,000m in Glas­gow.

The 28-year-old com­pleted a mir­a­cle re­turn from in­jury to run his sec­ond fastest time ever of 13:22.98 and lead the Bri­tish con­tin­gent home in sixth place.

Ver­non’s pun­ish­ing preGames sched­ule had been lim­ited largely to cross train­ing af­ter suf­fer­ing a pu­bic frac­ture scare which at one stage threat­ened to rule him out of the event al­to­gether.

But the Nic Bideau-trained ath­lete was never over­awed by a high-class field and put in a strong per­for­mance, stick­ing with lead group of seven up to the four-kilo­me­tre mark be­fore he and team­mate Tom Far­rell fell away with his lack of fit­ness tak­ing its toll.

Typ­i­cally, Ver­non came back strongly with an ex­cel­lent fi­nal 400m with­out im­prov­ing on his sixth place, but he ad­mit­ted af­ter­wards it was a per­for­mance which of­fered plenty of en­cour­age­ment when he dou­bles up in the 5,000m and 10,000m at next month’s Euro­pean Cham­pi­onships.

“[The race] was ac­tu­ally fairly good,” he told the News & Mail af­ter the race. “It was bet­ter than I had ex­pected, my last six weeks com­ing into this hasn’t been great, I’ve just been do­ing a lot of cross train­ing un­for­tu­nately.

“I knew I wasn’t in 13.11 shape that’s for sure, but I still ran my sec­ond fastest time ever, so I’m re­ally pleased about that. It just shows how much your win­ter train­ing holds up for you and I’ve had a good year lead­ing up to this race.

“The crowd were amaz­ing, they lift you all the way around; you get to the point where it’s get­ting tough but they’re in your face and you can’t let them down.”

Ver­non’s Ham­p­den Park bow came just hours af­ter AFD team-mate and close friend Ben Moreau helped kick of the ath­let­ics week with a 16th-place fin­ish in the men’s marathon.

The Sydney-based ath­lete came home in a time of 2:16.50, in­clud­ing a strong fi­nal two kilo­me­tres which saw him make up three places hav­ing fallen back in the field around about the half­way mark.

Moreau said: “I thought I ran okay, it was a pretty quick sec­ond half con­sid­er­ing we fell off the group, I was with the English guys not feel­ing par­tic­u­larly com­fort­able through half way but then I thought that’s the quick­est I’ve been through half way in a marathon.

“I got a lit­tle iso­lated in the last 10km and it’s hard when you can’t see peo­ple ahead of you to stay on it, but a few came back in the last 3k or so it was great to pick up a cou­ple of places then and then com­ing into that last 2k was amaz­ing. The crowd were in­cred­i­ble.”

Fly­ing the flag: AFD’s Andy Ver­non was the lead­ing Bri­tish ath­lete home in sixth in the Mens’ 5,000m in Glas­gow

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