Bronze for Rodger at Birmingham

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Although there was only one medal for Sussex at the UK Championships at Birmingham over the weekend it was overall a good Championship for Sussex athletes.

Sunday saw many fine battles for the titles and the Sussex medal came in the 400m hurdles when the Eastbourne athlete Seb Rodger faced former World champion Dai Green from Swansea and Jack Green from Kent. In breezy conditions Rogder ran an excellent race but was squeezed into third place in 50.18s to Dai Green’s winning 50.06s and Jack Green’s 50.13s. He must now wait on the selectors to see whether they decide to take three hurdlers to Berlin for the European Championships next month.

There was a fourth place behind three Scotsman for Charlie De’Vall Grice (Brighton Phoenix) in the 1500 metres. After a steady three laps, when Grice was always well placed the sprint finish saw arch rivals Chris O’Hare and Jake Wightman from Edinburgh fill the first two places some tens second outside their Pbs in 3:46.72 and 3:46.86s while a fast finishing Neil Gourley (Greenock) pass Grice in the last couple of strides to clock 3:46.87s to the Sussex runner’s 3:46.99s.

In the same race club mate Robbie Fitzgibbon filled ninth place in 3:49.23s.

Probably the best performance of the championships for Sussex came in the 110m hurdles where Cameron Fillery from Saltdean, who is not 20 until the end of the year, did well to make the final in his first year as a Senior athlete and snatched a brilliant fourth place in a Pb of 14.08s, which is the second fastest time ever recorded by a Sussex athlete.

There were several other Sussex finalists notably in the women’s 200m where Crawley’s Kimbely Baptiste and Brighton & Hove’s Katie Garland did very well to make the final with Baptiste placing seventh in 23.83s having clocked a season’s best of 23.55s in her heat while Garland chalked up a Pb of 24.12s in the semi-final and clocked 24.47s in the final for eighth place.

Garland also cleared 1.71m to place ninth in the High jump with Lillie Franks (Crawley) placing 10th with 1.66m. Franks had cleared 1.74m when placing second in the Inter-counties the previous weekend.

In the 800m Finley Bigg (Brighton Phoenix) did well to make the final and placed eighth in 1:52.49s, though he had ducked inside 1:500 to qualify, while club mate Beth Kidger finished 12th in the 1500m in 4:22.92s.

Horsham domiciled Surrey athlete Jade Lally won the discus throw with a fine throw of 56.81m