You will be responsible for developing and delivering Athletics and Running within the London Borough of Redbridge including writing club development plans, working with partners, delivering events and developing sessions whilst ensuring there is a focus on opportunities for people with disabilities.
Jessica Ennis has said she is looking forward to getting back into competitive action as she prepares to compete in three events at Edinburgh Leisure’s Meadowbank Sports Centre on June 8.
It will be the first time that Ennis, who is entered into the hurdles, javelin and long jump at the UK Women’s Athletic League Premier Division meeting, will have competed outdoors since her success at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
“I am looking forward to getting back into competition,” said the 27-year-old, who married her long-term partner Andy Hill on Saturday.
“Last year had some wonderful highs for obvious reasons but you cannot stand still for long in any sport – let alone one like athletics.
“I have been training hard with a view to this summer’s events and the World Championships in Moscow in August is the major goal,” added Ennis, who decided against competing during the indoor season following her Olympic gold. “It will be good to compete again for Trafford AC in Edinburgh.”
Ennis’ coach Tony Minichiello agreed, saying the event is the perfect opportunity to “blow the cobwebs away”. He also confirmed that Ennis has a Diamond League meeting in Oslo on her schedule, where she will again compete in two or three individual events, while her first heptathlon competition will be in Tallinn in Estonia at the end of June.
“Edinburgh is a good opportunity for Jessica to blow the cobwebs away and get into competition again,” commented Minichiello. “The World Championships is the main target for the season so everything before then is looking towards peaking for Moscow. The Women’s League is the top level of club competition in Britain so Edinburgh is a good place to start.”
» Tickets for the event which features Ennis and others in action against hosts Edinburgh AC are now available to purchase online priced at £5 for adults and £2 for children. Click here for more info and to buy tickets.
Highlights of this year’s Bedford International Games, as identified by meeting director Carol Jackson, include Milton Keynes athlete Joey Duck taking on British 100m record-holder Montell Douglas and Commonwealth Youth Games Champion Sophie Papps over 100m and 200m, while Craig Pickering returns to the track from Great Britain Bobsleigh duty to contest the shorter sprint distance.
Pickering will have Joe Fearon and Leevan Yearwood, among others, to push him, while the 200m sees Somto Eruchie and Julian Thomas in action at what will be the 19th edition of the event.
Taking place on May 27, this year’s event “looks set to be a fantastic weekend of throwing, jumping and sprinting, courtesy of the impressive start lists,” claims Jackson.
Other highlights will be a series of UKA sponsored U20 and U18 sprint and low hurdles races, by invite. Leading the way in the U18 men’s 110m will be Windsor’s James Bell, while Brighton’s Nathan Parker heads the 100mH entries. The U20 race has Plymouth’s David King fastest on paper.
Jersey’s Stanley Livingston, the 2012 England Athletics Champion, is the best of the U17 400m hurdlers while 15-year-old Mollie Courtney goes in the U18 100mH where Multi-eventer Shirin Irvine (16) looks favourite after her 14.19 in the BUCS Trials at Loughborough last month while Yasmin Miller is down for the U20 event.
In the open hurdles, BAL Premiership victor Alex Al-Ameen will hope that the wind is more favourable than at Lea Valley where he was slowed to 13.98 and has Windsor’s Ben Reynolds and Swede Filip Loov to push him. The women’s hurdles race includes Blackheath’s Serita Solomon. All of the hurdlers will be given two races for their entry fee.
Tom Parsons will be looking to improve on his Premiership 2.22m high jump as will normal 18m shot putter Greg Beard, a BIG regular, while the women’s high jump sees Vikki Hubbard take on Isobel Pooley.
The field events are always highlighted here and the men’s javelin has 79.32m thrower Lee Doran challenged by Dan Pembroke. 16m women’s shot putters Sophie McKinna and Rachel Wallander go head to head.
The women’s hammer again has Sarah Holt on duty, while the men’s has the two Hull juniors Callum Brown and Mike Painter, who have both been over 73m, in action.
» Track and field events start at 11am followed by seven hours of continuous action. Spectator prices are £5 for adult and £2.50 for children under 16 and concessions. Family tickets (2+2) are £12.50 and are available on the day. For more information visit www.bedfordgames.net.
UK Athletics has signed Channel 4 as broadcaster for its elite para athletics fixtures, starting this summer with the two events within the Sainsbury’s Summer Series.
This means terrestrial coverage for the first ever Sainsbury’s IPC Athletics Grand Prix Final, which is taking place in Birmingham on June 29, and is set to see Paralympians such as Jonnie Peacock, Hannah Cockroft and David Weir (pictured above) take to the track.
Channel 4 will also broadcast live from the third day of the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games at the Olympic Stadium, which takes place on July 26-28.
The broadcaster, who recently secured the rights to televise the Paralympics through to 2016 and will be televising this summer’s IPC World Championships in Lyon, recently won a BAFTA for its coverage of the 2012 Paralympics, with the broadcaster’s coverage of the Games breaking viewing records for Paralympic sport. Coverage reached almost 40 million people – three quarters of the UK population.
“The 2012 Paralympic coverage marked a watershed moment for the sport,” commented commercial director at UKA Sophia Warner. “Channel 4 superbly showcased British Athletics’ Paralympians, and helped create some of the Britain’s biggest and brightest new sports stars.”
Channel 4’s coverage of athletics this summer includes:
» Sainsbury’s IPC Athletics Grand Prix Final – Birmingham, June 29
» Sainsbury’s Para International Challenge – Stratford, July 28
» The IPC Athletics World Championships – Lyon, France, July 19-28
Jonnie Peacock is raring to make his return to competitive action for the first time since winning gold at London 2012, insisting he wants to run faster than ever before.
The 19-year-old will take part in the BT Great CityGames in Manchester’s city centre on Saturday – his first race since setting a new Paralympic Games record to win T44 100m gold in the Olympic Stadium last September.
World record-holder Peacock then underwent an operation on a troublesome ankle injury, but is ready to return to the track with his sights set firmly on bettering his best-ever time of 10.85.
Peacock, from Cambridge, is unsure how quickly he will run in Manchester at the weekend, but is targeting making his fastest ever time in the near future.
“I had a big ankle operation after London 2012 so my recovery has been a little bit prolonged from the Games because of that,” he revealed. “I have only been training a few months now and we have done a bit of testing so we can tell roughly tell what kind of shape I am in, but we are not going to know for sure until race day.
“I get really annoyed with myself if I don’t see a PB on the clock. I want to go faster than I have ever gone before, no-one wants to go slower than they have gone so that is the goal – but we don’t know when that will come.
“We don’t know whether that will come at the end of the year, at the beginning of the year, or maybe even not at all this year.
“I have changed my training base and my coach so a lot has changed for me in a year and it is about settling in. This year we are going to look to do things but it is really about next year.”
» World-class athletics returns to Manchester with the BT Great CityGames on Saturday May 25. Olympic and, for the first time, Paralympic champions will compete in the city centre and it’s free to watch. BT has a long history of supporting Paralympic sport and is a partner of the British Paralympic Association all the way to 2016. Jonnie Peacock was speaking to Paul Smith.
Steeplechaser Eilish McColgan was one of many Scottish athletes to have secured a qualifying standard for Glasgow 2014 this weekend and she took the opportunity to voice how important she believes it is that the standards set were ‘fair’ and ‘reasonable’.
A total of 14 Scottish qualifying standards for next year’s Commonwealth Games were achieved by athletes over the past weekend. Although her focus is the 3000m steeplechase, McColgan dipped under the 4:10 required with 4:09.67 in the 1500m at Sunday’s Loughborough International, while team-mates Eilidh Child and Mark Dry were also among those to hit the marks required in the 400m hurdles and hammer throw respectively.
“The standards were set in Scotland at times and distances that were reasonable,” said the 22-year-old, who is set to compete in her first 3000m steeplechase event since last August at Saturday’s adidas Grand Prix in New York.
England’s Athletics’ Commonwealth selection standards caused furore when they were released in March. At the time the national governing body defended what were deemed by many to be overly ambitious marks, explaining how the criteria reflects the ambition of creating a team capable of securing the highest possible number of top? eight ?places.
But McColgan, daughter of former world and Commonwealth 10,000m champion Liz, voiced how to her, the marks seemed ‘unfair’.
“There has been quite a lot of comment about English standards and some of them are out of reach of people and look unfair,” she said.
“In Scotland, we do seem to have set ones that are attainable if people are at a certain level and I do believe that’s the way it should be. Standards should be created in such a way that you can attain them – if you show a level of improvement. There will be gaps in certain parts of it but I still think they are completely fair.”
She used the event in which she is the UK champion as an example. “In the steeplechase, at 10 minutes for the qualification there’s myself, Emily Stewart and Lennie Waite who are well capable of that and, I keep saying this, there could and should be a few more Scottish girls who should feel they can make that time.
“Those on the outskirts of that time have to chase it and that is the same across all the disciplines.”
With 14 months to go until the Games, McColgan believes momentum is building, but is careful to remember that a lot can happen in just over a year. “It is important for everyone to bear in mind that it is only May 2013,” she said. “It is there on the horizon, yes, but there’s a summer season and an indoor season and into 2014 left for those with hopes of qualifying for Team Scotland.”
Having returned from a career-threatening injury to compete at the London 2012 Olympic Games, McColgan now feels ready to reap the benefits of having a full winter of training behind her.
“I think the big difference is I have had a full winter without interruptions,” she said.
“In 2011, I was leading the university life and maybe not fully focused. Then, in 2012, I was basically still rehabbing and coming back from the foot injury I suffered at the back end of the previous season. This time I have done all the hard work and done altitude training and hopefully it will pay off.”
• Paralympian says he is 'not mentally ready' to return to track
• South African is awaiting trial for Reeva Steenkamp's murder
Oscar Pistorius will not compete again this year as he awaits trial for murder despite receiving a number of invitations to meetings, his agent has said.
Peet van Zyl said the 26-year-old South African was not mentally ready to return to the track. The six-times Paralympic gold medallist was charged with the premeditated murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, in February and is awaiting trial in South Africa.
"There was never any pressure from me or his coach [Ampie Louw] to return to competition," Van Zyl said. "It's his decision and it's his decision not to compete."
The decision means that Pistorius will not take part in the International Paralympic Committee world championships in Lyon in July.
Pistorius, who competed at the Olympics and Paralympics at London 2012, had his bail conditions relaxed in March to allow him to travel abroad for competitions. But Van Zyl, asked if his client was mentally ready to race again, said: "No, of course not".
Louw was quoted by Eye Witness News in South Africa as saying: "He is nowhere close to being in a position to train. He just does fitness exercises in the morning with his family." Van Zyl said many promoters had been in touch to invite Pistorius to their events and that there were "a good number, enough to keep him busy through the year".
Pistorius is next due in court on 4 June, with a trial expected to take place before the end of this year. The double amputee denies premeditated murder and says he shot the 29-year-old Ms Steenkamp after mistaking her for an intruder.
Pistorius, who won two Paralympic gold medals at London 2012, in the 400 metres and the 4x100m relay, will definitely miss the athletics world championships in Moscow in August. He might have had the opportunity to compete, with the governing body, the IAAF, saying he would have been regarded as "innocent until proven guilty" and "free to run" were he to achieve the qualifying standard, but in truth the chances of that happening given the circumstances were remote.
The UK Athletics chairman, Ed Warner, had already ruled out inviting Pistorius to the Sainsbury's Anniversary Games at the Olympic Stadium at the end of July for fear of it becoming a "media circus".
guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds
In last year’s August 30 issue of AW, former national coach Tom McNab alluded to his perception that in the London Olympic women’s pole vault final several of the athletes seemed heavily reliant on their coaches.
Their mentors were at hand to inform them as to how to gauge the levels of the wind in the stadium, which undoubtedly impacted on performance. This observation re-ignites the thorny issue of athletes who may be said to be “coach-dependent”.
Although appropriate feedback can be given by the coach to the athlete during competition, there is the danger of what Goldsmith (2012) calls, “over-coaching”. He explains: “Coaching is about creating independent athletes. Over-coaching creates a dependent athlete who relies on the coach for decision-making and problem-solving, which is performance suicide.”
Both track and field athletes can become unhealthily “coach-dependent” prior to competition, but during competition itself this phenomenon is more associated with the throws and jumps disciplines because of the greater window of opportunity for athlete-coach interaction.
Malcolm Fenton, national coach mentor for hammer, discus and shot, was unconditional in offering the following perspective: “I hate to intervene during competition. I want to engender self-sufficiency among my athletes.
“You have to take an historical perspective. Since the relaxing of the rules for competition, the culture of the coach being there for the athlete has changed in the last 20 years or so.”
The allusion to the relaxing of rules allowing closer proximity between athlete and coach in the competitive arena can be counter-productive for the athlete because of a vicious circle of self-perpetuating doubt. It was legendary Green Bay Packers US football coach Willie Wood who so perceptively pointed out: “Confidence is contagious, but so is a lack of confidence!”
In applying the work of Woods (1998) one can see how a command style of coaching based on one-way instruction can lead to a coach-centred and potentially unhealthy relationship between athlete and coach.
Coaches who refuse to engender a more reciprocal style of relationship with their athlete(s), whereby the athlete to an extent becomes a problem-solver exploring solutions to the demands of event-specific competition, are in danger of unwittingly cultivating an overly dependent athlete.
While the problems may manifest themselves in the heat of competitive battle, it is in the relationship built up in the training context where unhealthy seeds are sown.
Three lessons Fenton provides us with are:
1. The coach must work on developing an appropriate relationship with the athlete in training, well before competition;
2. Concurrent feedback given by coach to athlete should be process rather than goal-focused;
3. The use of appropriate adapted drills can be a way to engender self- analysis and cognitive shift from goal to process.
It is far easier for coaches to give athletes what Davis et al (2000) term “exteroceptive feedback”, ordinarily underpinned by observation and delivered verbally during training than in competition. There are many factors which both coach and athlete are unable to control during competition, which may somewhat inhibit the coach giving feedback, not least of which may be volume levels caused by crowded stadiums at elite levels of competition.
For Fenton, the key would seem to be coaches facilitating feedback both prior to and in some instances during competition which encourages the athlete to respond to the feedback provided by their own bodies.
Intrinsic feedback tends either to be further subdivided into proprioceptive (conscious) and kinaesthetic (almost reflex) types. While the coach is limited in being able to influence these internal mechanisms, the use of effective questioning prior and in some cases during competition can to a certain extent influence how the athlete responds to what their body is telling them.
During competition coaches can to a greater or lesser extent offer their concurrent feedback. For Fenton, one of the keys to avoiding a coach-dependent athlete is to attempt to engender “knowledge of process” rather than “knowledge of results” feedback during training, well before competition.
He continues: “You have to remember that all athletes are different. I had one athlete for instance who was very goal-driven indeed, even in training. I wanted the training to be more about process and less about the goal. So what I did was to modify the discus throw by means of introducing a skill drill, which meant inevitably that the distance achieved would be some 10-15 metres less than it would in a straightforward unadapted throw. By doing this, the athlete began to focus less on goal and more on process.”
Once again, Fenton is a great believer that work in training is a prerequisite in terms of facilitating a shifting of the athlete from over-reliance on exteroceptive to intrinsic feedback during competition. He offers a further example that, “In the throwing circle in training some of my athletes experience difficulties in their right leg action in the hammer. So I get them to shout out the word ‘right’ at the appropriate point to ensure that they did this. To make sure they vocalised this I often stood up to 100 yards away just to make sure they remembered to shout this. One of my athletes even carried this training technique into the competitive arena once and was heard shouting this!”
The athlete reflecting and using a verbal cue to trigger focus can lead to the athlete “feeling” the movement pattern and then articulating what happened, reinforcing the learning of the movement patterns. If this or other self-reflection processes are repeated enough it is hoped that the athletes will become quasi-autonomous learning individuals, or those with the ability to teach and develop themselves and therefore adapt to the differing competition environments.
This article has acknowledged a problem in our sport of coach dependency on the part of some athletes. Having articulated the reasons why this phenomenon is almost universally felt to be unhealthy, we explored the underlying causes for the manifestation of this undemocratic relationship between athlete and coach.
Using the experiences of one of Britain’s most respected coaches, we then moved on to consider practical solutions which can help to encourage athletes to sustain a high degree of self-sufficiency during competition.
» Dr Matt Long and Jamie French are coach education tutors and regional trainers with UKA
Few coaches have single-handedly done more to improve the quality and coverage of their discipline than Alan Bertram. As a hammer coach extraordinaire he guided Lorraine Shaw and Mick Jones to gold medals at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester. As an organiser, he staged countless event-specific competitions. When it came to publicising the hammer, he was a one-man army on a quest to improve its Cinderella status.
The hammer is not everybody’s favourite event, but Bertram fell in love from an early age. Aged 22, it captured his imagination to such a degree that he built his own hammer and circle. It was a basic work ethic that he would later pass on to his athletes, with Crawley athlete Jones winning the Commonwealth title after training on a home-made circle in a farmer’s field.
Born in Northumberland, Bertram moved to London in 1960, joined the Met Police and visited the Rome Olympics. It was a life-changing moment as he sat mesmerised by the exploits of Soviet Union gold medallist Vasiliy Rudenkov.
Despite being Northumberland and Durham hammer champion in 1962, Bertram realised he was not going to cut it as a world-class thrower himself, so he devoted himself to creating champions. In the Met Police, he rose to the ranks of chief inspector, and he was every bit as thorough with his pursuit of athletics excellence as he travelled the world seeking technical advice from the very best.
Among those he sought out included Karl-Hans Riehm, a giant West German who broke the world record multiple times in the 1970s. Riehm’s coach, Professor Ernst Klement, would soon become Bertram’s mentor. “It cost thousands of pounds,” Bertram told AW in an interview in June 2000. “But it’s been a lot of fun.”
Bertram’s endless journey in the pursuit of hammer excellence also saw him pass by the Athletics Weekly offices in the winter of 1997-98. Back then, not many people dropped into the magazine’s HQ in a small industrial estate on the edge of Peterborough, but Bertram simply wanted to meet the magazine’s staff writer to introduce himself and say hello.
Initially a little bemused by the visit, I quickly warmed to his personality and over the years he became one of the friendliest faces at everything from the English Schools Championships to the international events abroad. He even managed to drag me down to one of his Hammerama meetings in Colindale in north London to watch a day of non-stop throws by senior and junior athletes.
It was a cool and drizzly day in late April and after four or five hours I was starting to yearn for my warm car and evening meal. But Bertram’s enthusiasm was boundless, with his trademark booming voice keeping everyone on their toes – including spectators like myself – if they felt themselves losing concentration.
Among those watching that day were the late Andy Norman and his wife Fatima Whitbread – they were good friends of Bertram’s and, in Norman’s case, a former Met Police colleague. During that period, Bertram’s star athletes were Shaw and Jones, but of course he coached many others during his career such as Peter Vivian and Jason Byrne, to name just a couple.
In recent years, he left his West London Hammer School in good hands and moved up to Scotland. There, not surprisingly, successful hammer throwers soon began to appear at his Border Reivers Hammer Academy. Turning 75 a couple of years ago, he was still going strong but even immense characters like Bertram are not immortal and, after dying last Saturday, his funeral is this Friday at Melrose Parish Church in the Scottish Borders.
Mention the words ‘ball and chain’ to most people and they’ll imagine being shackled at the ankles and miserable as sin. Yet Alan Bertram was never too far away from a ball and chain during his life and it brought him nothing but pleasure and happiness.
» Alan Bertram MBE died last weekend aged 76. See Thursday’s Athletics Weekly for an obituary.
There was plenty of action both home and away this weekend as double Olympic champion Mo Farah started his summer season in style on Friday, winning the 5000m at the Oxy High Performance meet in Los Angeles.
The second meet of the Diamond League series took place in Shanghai on Saturday and saw a number of highly anticipated clashes realised. In the men’s 400m Grenada’s reigning world and Olympic champion Kirani James saw off USA’s LaShawn Merritt to equal the meeting record of 44.02, bettering his own world lead in the process.
While women’s 100m action saw double Olympic 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce post a world-leading time of 10.93 to finish ahead of Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare and rival Carmelita Jeter, who hobbled over the finish line clutching her leg for third.
Clayton and Swinburn lead Mountain Running Challenge after first race
Emma Clayton and Nick Swinburn lead the British Athletics Mountain Running Challenge after Race 1 at the Settle Hills Fell event on Sunday.
Clayton had a close race with her Bingley Harriers and Yorkshire team-mate Victoria Wilkinson, finally getting the better of her on the last flat section. Third was Katie Walshaw, also of Yorkshire, giving the county (pictured above) a clear victory in the Inter-Counties team race.
The men’s Inter-Counties title was won by Wegene Tafase of Scotland West from Nick Swinburn (North East) with Swinburn taking maximum points in the Mountain Running Challenge as it is only open to British Athletes.
Third placed Tom Adams led Yorkshire to the team title. In the junior races both under-16 titles went to Lancashire and both under-18 titles to Yorkshire with European Mountain Running Champion Annabel Mason leading the team to victory.
» Find further results from Settle in the May 23 issue of AW and here
Clean sweep for Cambridge at Varsity clash
Cambridge scored a clean sweep in the 139th Oxford v Cambridge Varsity Sports on Saturday, winning men’s and women’s first and second team matches.
Oxford were particularly dominant over 400m, as befits BUCS 4 x 400m medallists, but could not build on that across other events.
To be sure of victory Cambridge’s men had to call on Jon Cook over 1500m, warming up for his first England vest at Loughborough the next day, but their women could afford to rest their BUCS second and third 800m placers, Hanna Tarver and Emily Dudgeon.
National indoor champion Emma Perkins marked her final appearance in the match by duly winning the high jump, although in cool and breezy conditions Gill Howard’s 30-year-old match record of 1.80 just eluded her. She also won the long and triple jumps.
Jon Ridgeon took the opportunity when presenting the trophies, 25 years after his own record breaking appearances in the match, to pay particular tribute to his coach, Bob Smith.
Next year will mark the 150th Anniversary (the missing matches were during the two World Wars) of what is the oldest track and field fixture in the world.
Shane and Wootton among those victorious in Solihull
Former UK 1500m champion James Shane narrowly won the 800m in 1:48.93 at the BMC Grand Prix in Solihull on Saturday. Sharing the time was Elliott Slade, who set a PB with the mark, while last year’s English Schools champion, 17-year-old Kyle Langford, won the B race in a PB 1:49.42.
Teenager Charlie Grice won the A 1500m in 3:45.06 while the B race was won by James McMurray in a PB 3:45.65.
Former European Cup winner Charlene Thomas won the 1500m in 4:14.38 as Katrina Wootton won the women’s 5000 in a PB 15:30.82 ahead of Commonwealth Games 1500m medallist Stephanie Twell who ran 15:42.13 for second.
Williams storms to European lead in Loughborough
Rhys Williams ran the fastest 400m hurdles by a European athlete this year to cap an impressive win in the Loughborough International Athletics meeting on Sunday.
Other impressive performances came from double European indoor gold medallist Perri Shakes-Drayton, Eilidh Child, Dina Asher-Smith and Jess Judd.
Thames Hare and Hounds set a course record at Sutton Park
Thames Hare and Hounds set a course record in winning the M35 eight-stage event by close on three minutes with a superb all round team performance at Saturday’s British Masters Road Relay Championships, while Serpentine won their first ever W35 title.
Alan Bertram MBE, coach to both of the 2002 Commonwealth Games hammer gold medallists, and numerous hammer champions has died aged 76. Bertram’s relentless enthusiasm for the hammer has ensured a positive legacy for the event and anybody who has met him will insist that he was more than just a coach.
It was a nail-biting day for the competing teams at the Loughborough International yesterday, with the England's men's team a close second to Loughborough and England's women taking silver from GB Juniors. However this meant the team scores were tied at the top between England and Loughborough.
Rhys Williams ran the fastest 400m hurdles by a European athlete this year to cap an impressive win in the Loughborough International Athletics meeting on Sunday.
“In Moscow, I’ll need to go a bit quicker,” said European champion Williams, who clocked 48.90. “To win a medal, I need to be low 48 seconds.”
The race at the Paula Radcliffe Stadium saw Jack Green, running for England, pull up before the finish.
Green’s withdrawal came on the final bend as Cardiff-based Williams whisked by in the lane inside him. He is not thought to be injured.
Other impressive performances came from double European indoor gold medallist Perri Shakes-Drayton, who clocked her fastest ever outdoor 400m at 50.98.
Eilidh Child ran the fastest 400m hurdles by a British woman this year with 56.34 and will now meet Shakes-Drayton over 200m hurdles at the BT GreatCity Games in Manchester on Saturday.
Junior sprinter Dina Asher-Smith provided a meeting highlight, the 17-year-old clocking 23.14 in the 200m.
Another brilliant British junior Jessica Judd only narrowly missed out in her attempt to go under 2 minutes for 800m with 2:00.71.
“To break the 2 minute barrier would be great,” she said afterwards,” adding, “I think it’s in me this year.”
» Find more in-depth coverage and results in the May 23 issue of AW
uCoach is the online resource for athletics coaches in the UK – a one-stop shop for coaches to access information about coach development, coaching qualifications, events, news and coaching resources. Updates from 13th to 20th May are listed.
Alan Oliveira spurred on by London Paralympics dispute with Oscar Pistorius but Brazilian insists it is now forgotten
Alan Oliveira speaks candidly when asked about Oscar Pistorius, the man who described the Brazilian's victory over 200m at the London Paralympics as "unfair" and "ridiculous". "He tried to take all the shine off my gold medal, but it didn't work," says Oliveira. "After the semi-final, when I arrived in the Olympic village, everyone was coming up to me and saying: 'You know that Oscar is complaining about your blades?' I didn't know that but we knew the regulations so we weren't worried, he could complain but we were right. I think he was playing mind games to make me nervous or lose my focus, but it didn't work."
Pistorius's comments had the reverse effect: Oliveira was trailing round the bend in the T43/44 final by some distance but following a remarkable burst of pace he edged past his South African rival on the line to secure a surprise win. The eight months that have passed read like a bad movie script that has yet to reach a denouement. Instead of debating the legal length of athletes' prosthetic legs, Pistorius will soon find himself on trial for the murder of his former girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
"I was sleeping when I heard about it," says Oliveira. "My coach called me and he told me the story, I felt sad, shocked and I couldn't believe it. Now we just have to wait, it's not a sporting issue, it's a police issue."
Life after London has been somewhat different for Oliveira. The 21-year-old, who had both legs amputated below the knee soon after birth, is now a household name in his homeland and has quickly had to adapt to life as a poster boy. He will race at the Great City Games in Manchester on Saturday, as will a number of high-profile Paralympians including Britain's Jonnie Peacock, but any plans to make the transition into able-bodied racing, like Pistorius, have been put on hold until after Rio 2016.
"For now I want to focus on the Paralympics, to race in the 200m and the 100m, that's the reason I train every day. The Paralympics have so many good athletes, look at Jonnie Peacock for example, he is such a great athlete and a great person," Oliveira says. "Sometimes I wonder if I could be a national qualifier for the Olympics but maybe I could try after Rio. It's just an idea, let's see, after Rio we could think about that."
Pistorius's frustration after defeat in the 200m last September was the reaction of a man unaccustomed to losing. He apologised for the timing of his criticism, which came instantly on the side of the track at the Olympic Stadium, but maintains that Oliveira's longer blades increased his stride lengths and gave him an unfair advantage, although the Brazilian actually took six more steps than Pistorius during the race.
Oliveira, though, is not dwelling on the row. Indeed, when he recalls that night last summer, his memories are not shrouded in bitterness, but instead he remembers a seminal moment in his career that came four years after first running with metal legs.
"When I watch a video of it I still can't describe how it happened," Oliveira says. "That night was for me, that was my day and every time I watch it is such a rush. I was just relaxed, I was more nervous in Beijing  but at London I was well prepared, I wasn't worried about who I was racing against, just ready to do my best and that's what I did.
"I can't explain – when I crossed the line and saw that I was in first I just had to control myself and not go crazy. London was an unforgettable moment for me and for the whole Paralympic movement with everything it represented in the world of sport.
"I have to thank God that I don't have legs, otherwise I would be on a farm in the countryside, working in the north of Brazil just like another guy. Now I am an athlete who gets to travel the world and competes with the best because I don't have legs. I have had to work to be the person that I am.
"I am always looking on the bright side. I always think I can inspire young people, able-bodied and disabled, and I'm so glad that I can compete in the best competitions. I have the right structure in place and my family supports me."
He continues: "Paralympic sport has changed a lot here in Brazil. People got to know it during London 2012 and I'm recognised more on the streets now. It's a lot different for me since London.
"I'm looking forward to Rio and after everything in London I hope it is the same here for me – the crowd supporting their home athletes. I'm really looking forward to racing in my home country and seeing people cheering for me. It's normal that when you win a gold medal that people expect you to win again and I will have to be prepared for that."
Oliveira does not believe that Pistorius's murder charge has damaged the image of Paralympic sport. However, with the South African having dominated the Games both in a sporting and commercial capacity for so many years, the future of the Paralympics must undoubtedly undergo a significant period of adjustment.
Pistorius won six gold medals and earned the right to compete at the Olympics before Steenkamp's shooting in Pretoria in February. Now, the Paralympic movement needs a new figurehead, but Oliveira wants to shape his own path rather than follow in the footsteps of an adversary.
"I'm writing my own story – I'm Alan, he's Oscar. It's my history. I still have a lot of work to do but if it happens it will be natural. You can't just replace someone, it must come with my performance," says Oliveira. "The Paralympic movement will go on without Oscar. It was sad and everybody feels shocked. But it's not going to stop the Paralympics."James Riach
guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds