Jo Jackson stormed to victory at the 8th Royal Leamington Spa Grand Prix of Race Walking, EAA Permit Meeting. She took the lead from the gun as she dominated the race to come home in her 2nd fastest ever time of 1.32.40 to become the first home winner of the Leamington Grand Prix.
She passed 5km in 23.27 and went through the halfway point in 46.26. She pulled well clear of 2nd place finisher Despina Zapounisdou of Greece in the second half. Jackson commented after the race that “She was happy to have had another good 20km performance ahead of Beijing.” Zapounisdou held on to book her place on the plane to Beijing in 1.33.23 ahead of Zuzana Malikova of Slovakia (1.35.14).
In the Men’s 50 Kilometres a fast early pace was cut out by Maik Berger (Germany) and Herve Devaux (France) as they passed 10km in 46.12. By the 20km point they had been joined by Arthur Brzozowski (Poland) and Segundo Panchez (Ecuador) as they passed 20km in 91.57. By the halfway mark they were still together in 1.54.56. Soon after the 35km point Berger began to crack as Devaux pushed the pace. Devaux began to pay for this effort as Brzozowski swept past him into the lead at the 40km point. He powered on to clock 3.52.09 and book his place on the Polish team to the Olympics. Davaux was passed by compatriot Cedric Housayye who clocked a new pb of 3.56.43.
In the Men’s 20 Kilometres the early pace was set by Benajmin Kucinski (Poland) and David Dominguez (Spain), Diogo Martins (Portugal) and Jose Diaz (Spain) who passed 5km in 20.50. By the halfway mark (42.00) Dominguez, Kucinski and Diaz had been joined by Irish duo Colin Griffin and Jamie Costin. By 15km it was down to a leading trio as Martins and Diaz had been disqualified. They were still together at the bell, but Dominguez pulled away over the last lap to record 1.24.16 as Griffin 1.24.16 took the Irish title ahead of Costin (1.24.37).
In the Junior Men’s 10 Kilometres Hagen Pohle of Germany dominated the race to clock 43.43, ahead of Paul Fitzpatrick of Ireland in a new personal best of 43.58. England’s Mark O’Kane clocked a new personal best of 47.34 in 5th place. Christian Elb made it a German double as she took the Junior Womens 10km in 49.13 ahead of Ireland’s Laura Reynolds (50.43) and Scotland’s Chelsea O’Rawe Hobbs (54.17).
In the inaugural Anglo-Celtic Cup Ireland took the title with 28 points, ahead of England (26) and Scotland (20).
Ian Richards for the IAAF