Athletes break free from lockdown
TWO fine sprinters reaped the most praise yesterday as Guernsey broke the coronavirus-enforced silence on the British Isles’ athletics scene.
In a streamlined meet at Footes Lane, 19-year-old Abi Galpin produced her quickest local 100m yet before a wind-illegal personal best, while Josh Allaway twice hit the Island Games ‘A’ mark, despite two years out of competition.
This all occurred in an unusual series of races where competitors finished on the back straight and made use of a handy new timing set-up.
Galpin sped off the mark despite a build-up hampered by lockdown and ran 12.34sec. – four-hundredths outside her outright PB – to win the opener from Amelia Lees and Vicky Mann.
And while the men’s equivalent was little more than a duel, the two competitors just so happened to be the highest-standing names on the domestic short-sprinting scene.
Allaway fought out a neck-and-neck battle with Guernsey record-holder Tom Druce and just about got the edge. At 11.08 and 11.09, both clocked Games ‘A’ qualifiers.
But neither sprinter was finished yet.
In a compelling re-run, Allaway broke clear earlier and clocked an impressive 10.93. A marginally over-the-limit wind reading prompted mild disappointment though.
The gusts had seemingly faded for Galpin’s finale and the Bath University student blasted to her quickest run yet, a 12.24.
Unfortunately, another 2.2m/s tailwind rendered it ineligible.
Sandwiched between the sprints was a particularly quirky 800m race. The back-straight finish and confinement to single lanes created an unusual image, nearly a whole bend splitting Sam Lesley on the inside and James Priest in lane seven.
Chaser Lesley took the bell in 58sec. and held on for a 2-01.39 victory, followed by Isaac Powers and Will Bodkin.
In the throws, James Bougourd exceeded expectations by hurling his javelin 56.69m, less than a metre short of his PB.
Island hammer record holder Sia Banbury won her specialist discipline with a 40.43m throw.