Rowe strikes gold twice with middle-distance double
A GOLDEN county middle-distance double has set Alex Rowe up for a slightly busier Island Games debut come July.
After striking his first senior gold over 800m on day one of the Hampshire County Championships weekend in Portsmouth, Rowe added a second the following day over 1500m ahead of racing both in Gibraltar.
The 19-year-old owes his 800m spot to an exceptionally close decider last weekend.
Rowe was set to run-off against Richard Bartram to decide who will fill the final Games spot and with both in great form, a senior county title was a distinct possibility.
They faced outside pressure from fellow Bath University man Toby Roe, representing Portsmouth, while in-form Sam Lesley added to the Sarnian challenge.
Rowe and Bartram eventually got involved in a decisive three-man kick with Portsmouth’s Roe and after a close sprint for the line, they finished just on either side of their rival.
Just five-hundredths separated third-placed Bartram from Rowe’s winning 1min. 57.45sec. as Lesley finished another second back.
‘I’m very pleased with that,’ said Rowe afterwards.
‘It was a fairly controlled start and Richard pushed it on with 300m to go, so I knew he was the guy to follow. I stuck in there and it all came down to the line – literally, right on the line.’
Rowe later ran fast from the gun in a senior 1500m unfolding concurrently with the U20 race.
The Guernseyman trailed leading junior Samuel Charig as they drew away from the field, dropping such names as the returning Roe and recent Easter Festival champion Jacob O’Hara.
Rowe extended his senior lead on the final lap but a 4-01.90 personal best was insufficient to stop U20 Charig taking overall line honours.
- More in Tuesday's Guernsey Press.