Gardener defends 100m AAAs crown
AAAs & WORLDS TRIALS
LIVE ON BBC TWO AND THE BBC SPORT WEBSITE
Saturday 9 July 1710-1825 BST
Sunday 10 July 1645-1915 BST
Jason Gardener ran a smooth race to successfully defend his AAAs 100m title in Manchester and book his place at August’s World Championships.
Gardener edged out Mark Lewis-Francis for a second year running in 10.26 seconds with Christian Malcolm third.
The in-form Marlon Devonish was disqualified for a second false start, although he had already hit the world mark, running 10.19 in the heats.
Darren Campbell failed to reach the final and has pulled out of the 200m.
The 31-year-old could only manage fifth and 10.48 seconds in his semi-final and he must now rely on a place in the 4x100m squad if he is to reach the worlds.
Campbell - I’m not finished yet
Campbell’s disappointing display means it is the first time since his debut appearance in 1992 that he has not appeared in a AAAs sprint final.
“It’s a shame about Marlon and Darren,” Gardener told BBC Sport. "But you have to focus on yourself.
“It’s great to get it right when it matters but you have to remember the best guys in the world are some distance away.”
Injury blow to Lewis-Francis
There was more bad news ahead of Helsinki with the news that Lewis-Francis picked up a knee injury.
Laura Turner was a surprise winner of the women’s 100m, claiming her first AAAs title in 11.55.
The Harrow athlete roared out of the blocks to better Jeanette Kwayke and veteran Joice Maduaka.
“I knew I got out well and just worked the whole way down from start to finish,” Turner told BBC Sport.
Sarah Claxton recovered from a false start to successfully defend her 100m hurdles title - and book her place in Helsinki - in a time of 12.96 seconds.
Diane Allahgreen took second while Olympic heptathlon bronze medallist Kelly Sotherton came fifth.
Claxton delivered a fluid race to qualify for Helsinki
“I wanted to get under 13 seconds so much,” Claxton told BBC Sport. “I just tried to focus on doing what I needed to do.”
In the men’s 110m hurdles, Allan Scott claimed the AAAs title in a season’s best 13.59 - just outside the world qualifying standard of 13.55.
Andy Turner showed some form after recovering from injury to take second in another season’s best time too of 13.78.
In the anticipated men’s 400m, Tim Benjamin laid down his title claims as the fastest qualifier for Sunday’s final.
The Welshman eased over the line in 45.76 while Malachi Davis won the first semi-final in 46.07.
Nick Nieland was the first athlete to claim a AAAs title this weekend in the javelin.
The 33-year-old, coached by Steve Backley, comfortably won with his first-round effort of 78.30m - which was short of the world qualifying standard.
Photo gallery: AAAs championships day one
“It will be silly of me to go the championships on a ‘B’ standard - I need to be throwing ‘A’ standard on a regular basis,” Nieland admitted.
Nick Buckfield wrapped up his third title in four years, reaching a stadium record 5.50m in the pole vault - 10cm short of the required ‘A’ standard.
Another familiar face, Carl Myerscough landed 20.27m to win a third straight shot put title. The ‘Blackpool Tower’ already has the required mark for Helsinki.
In the men’s 5,000m, Ireland’s Mark Carroll was forced to dig deep to claim the title in 13 minutes 48.90 seconds.
Carroll, who aims to contest the 10,000m in Helsinki, was caught by Mark Miles with six laps to go but kicked on to finish first.
Jones won her fifth high jump title - but did not hit the world standard
Ireland’s Taneisha Scanlon took the women’s triple jump title with a leap of 13.30m.
Promising Briton Yasmine Regis could only finish fifth with 12.62m - well short of the 14.30m world qualifying mark.
Greg Rutherford took the men’s long jump title in the absence of Nathan Morgan and Chris Tomlinson.
The teenager landed 7.79m to claim top honours before running off to compete in the 100m final.
Susan Jones claimed her fifth straight high jump title - and 11th overall - with a season’s best of 1.86m - but still short of the world mark of 1.95m.
Olympic heptathlon bronze medallist Kelly Sotherton went out of the event after failing three attempts at 1.83m.
In the men’s hammer, Andy Frost inflicted a shock defeat on Commonwealth champion Mike Jones.
Frost threw 72.09m in the fifth round - not good enough for the Worlds but enough for next January’s Commonwealth Games.