Sprinter Chadwick shows his class in a rare outing

JOE CHADWICK is finally back on track.

The Loughborough University student cut a classy figure when he blasted around the 200m in 21.77sec. at the Footes Lane season finale, both starting and ending a rather brief season for the Island Games 100m champion.

That was just four-hundredths outside his personal best – not a bad effort after nearly 19 months without racing a step.

Yet even after a lengthy spell battling injury and the effects of Covid restrictions, the 19-year-old admitted he had hoped to be nearer Tom Druce’s Guernsey record of 21.32, and that a hamstring twinge at half-way had slowed him.

‘When you want to run a time like that, you have to get your head in it,’ Chadwick said after winning convincingly from Dale Garland (23.47) and Ben Stevens (23.68).

‘My head was so there, so it’s going to be disappointing.

‘I just expect so much from my body, and I need to start looking after it better if I want to run those times.’

Otherwise happy and healthy, having thanked the support of those around him for dealing with the mental health challenges of lockdown, he is resoundingly confident of pushing the low-21s next season.

A second Gibraltar 2019 champion, sprint-hurdler Rhiannon Dowinton, sealed the women’s 200m honours.

She clocked 26.48 to edge the much-improved Amelia Hart’s 26.89, with U17 Emily Pike a more distant third.

Rhiannon Dowinton wins over 200m from Amelia Hart and Emily Pike. (Picture by Martin Gray, 29980087)

Dowinton also posted a new PB of 12.69 to win the 100m, where top man Stevens improved his own best to 11.65.

Druce’s lasting quality proved too much for young challenger Josh Duke in a well-fought 400m, as the athletics development officer muscled home to clock 50.34 and win by nearly a second. Sophie Lanoe took the women’s equivalent in 1-04.04.

On a day graced by very still conditions, the 1,500m featured gripping duels on both the men’s and the women’s end.

Jack Le Tissier, 16, set a hot tempo that V45 athlete Lee Garland wisely refrained from following.

But the patient veteran managed to close down Le Tissier and make him battle for his win, which the teenager nevertheless achieved in 4-29.10 and 1.55sec. ahead.

In a swift showdown for top woman, newly-crowned Hampshire champion Emma Etheredge was striding clear of Nix Petit deep into the final lap.

But a fierce sprint from Petit allowed her to inch past Etheredge on the home straight, winning in 5-03.86.

On the field, returning javelin star Ali Higgins showed valuable form with a lifetime best of 35.76m.

A teenage Higgins had once pierced through the 35m barrier to take Island Games bronze at Jersey 2015, but she has competed little since, aside from a few 31-33m performances last season.

Young Steven Marley was also among those who impressed, setting a new shot put PB of 11.43m.

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