Fab five taking on the world
Hillingdon athletes flying the flag
UXBRIDGE-trained track stars are gearing up for the races of their lives at the Rio Olympics this week.
Five runners who have been working with British sprinting legend Linford Christie at Brunel University are flying the flag for Hillingdon on the biggest stage of all.
They will follow their Brunel training pal James Ellington in taking to the Olympic Stadium in Brazil after he took on Usain Bolt at the weekend in the 100m heats.
Ellington, though, was no match for the fastest man on earth, clocking 10.29 seconds for the distance, which was only good enough for 40th place overall and saw him miss out on the final.
Bolt, 29, ran 9.81 seconds in Sunday night’s main event to beat Justin Gatlin to gold and follow up his titles at Beijing 2008 and London 2012.
Ellington will now turn his attention to the men’s 4x100m relay event as he has a crack at redemption later this week.
Before that comes the turn of 26-year-old former Brunel sports science scholar Shelayna OskanClarke as she begins her quest for gold in the women’s 800m heats today (Wednesday) in Rio.
Oskan-Clarke’s training partner Morgan Lake does not have to wait long for her moment in the spotlight either as she goes in the women’s high jump a day later.
Two more Brunel stars, Margaret Adeoye and graduate Nigel Levine, must wait until Saturday as they take part in their respective 4x400m relay quartets in a bid to add more medals to Team GB’s impressive tally. HAREFIELD SHARKS took third place in the London Regional Canoe Regatta with some excellent personal results.
The eight-paddler team took to the water at London Regatta Centre for the competition, which saw various podium finishes in the individual events.
It was also many of the team’s first regional events after they started training sessions with the Sharks at Osterley Park and at Hillingdon Leisure Centre last year, under specialist sprint coach, Beata Fabriaska.
Team manager Neal Underwood said: “Third place at the London Regional Sprint Regatta is amazing.
“These youngsters raced very well and gained valuable experience to take forward.
“Our aim is to become the top sprint club and to achieve this we need more people to get involved.
“We have great kit, great coaches and great paddlers – all we need is more of them.”
The youngest competitors were nine-year-old twins Maja and Marcel Krukowska who were paddling in their first ever competition and against 12-year-olds.
Marcel took third place in the 500m and Maja came third in the 200m race.
In the Lightning class, Kiara Shehan, 12, and Johan Kukkohovi, 11, took first place for the girls and boys respectively.
Lightnings are junior sprint boats ideal for youngsters just starting out in sprint racing.
In The Boys D race, Joel Gunnery and Conor Shehan, representing the Sharks in their first regional sprint event, finished seventh and eighth respectively in the 200m and 500m.
Adam Stewart powered to victory in the Men’s D 500m by five seconds in a time of 2:21:9 and in the 200m race with a four second margin, finishing on 53.5 seconds. Grant Underwood came second in the Men’s C 500m event with a time of 2:18.8 but was victorious in the 200m in a time of 48.7 seconds.
The team also entered a K2 race for the first time with Underwood and Stewart taking victory in the 500m race in 2:14:9, an impressive 16 seconds faster than second place.
However, a close 200m race left the pair in second place by 0.75 of a second in a time of 44.8 seconds.
For more information on joining the Sharks, visit www.thesharks.org.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
n FEELING THE HEATS: (Main picture) James Ellington before his 100m heat; (below) taking on Usain Bolt; (clockwise from right) Shelayna Oskan-Clarke; Nigel Levine; Morgan Lake; and Margaret Adeoye Photo by Action Images