Neil Allen RIP

Former Athletics Weekly editor Mel Watman has written a tribute about our former member Neil Allen, who died last Friday.

NEIL ALLEN (14.11.1932-13.9.2019)

It is with deep regret that I report the death, at the age of 86, of my good friend Neil Allen. Of all the athletics writers I have worked alongside since the 1950s, Neil ranks as among the most knowledgeable, compassionate and stylish. He was deservedly a sports journalism award winner and was both a friend and mentor to generations of Britain's leading athletes.

Neil, a modestly talented middle distance runner who joined Woodford Green AC in 1950, began his journalistic career in the best possible way, learning his trade on a local newspaper – the Stratford Express in East London – and in 1952 he became an editorial assistant to Norris and Ross McWhirter on their marvellous, ground-breaking monthly publication Athletics World. His assignments included being present at Iffley Road on May 6 1954 for a certain mile race. That year he started a lively gossip column in Athletics Weekly entitled "News Commentary" which later, for contractual reasons when he became athletics correspondent of The Times in 1955, was transformed into "On My Travels" by "Roamer".

Track & Field Update

In rounding up Track and Field news over the last couple of weeks as the domestic season winds down ahead of the Doha World Championships at the end of September there were some useful performances from Woodford athletes including medals at the European Masters for Lucy Marshall and Keith Newton and mixed fortunes for Cindy Ofili and Phil Norman as they aimed for places in that GB team for Doha.

WGEL Athletes help Essex to double success

On Saturday 7th September at Horspath track, several WGEL juniors were there to help Essex win the combined (Boys & Girls) U/15's & (Men & Women) U/20's South of England Inter Counties Championships with a convincing score in both age groups. 15 of 17 eligible counties participated.

Denesha Rocastle SAL 5 2019

Denesha Rocastle added 15cm to her Triple Jump PB in taking the win

Tolani Alaba stepped in the last minute to compete in the U20 100m as an U17, and ran a solid time of 11.10s in heat 2 for 5th place, being unlucky to miss out on the final by 1 place. Matthew Adum-Yeboah ran the U20 200m heats, finishing 4th in heat 2 with 22.45s. This made the final and he ran slightly faster to finish 4th in 22.15s. In the U20 women's Hammer, Andreaa Golban came 4th with a throw of 45m 71cm, which was a PB, while Denesha Rocastle was very impressive in the U20 Triple Jump, which she won with a PB of 11m 57cm. The other club athlete to compete was Amelia McDonald, who represented Middlesex. She was 5th in the U20 women's 100m Hurdles in 16.19s, and she took 2nd in the Long Jump with 5m 45cm.

In the U15's Shona Vincent ran the 200m. In her heat she ran well to finish 2nd in 25.56s, while in the final she ran very close to her PB, only missing out by 3 hundredths with 25.33s which gave her 4th place. Danny Raymond, who is still very new to the sport, ran a comfortable 2m 07.68s for 1st in Heat 1 of the 800m, and then finished a very good 2nd in the final in a time of 2m 03.23s.

Medal success for Simbi and Shona

Medal winning performances by Shona Vincent and Simbi Sikiru highlighted the two days of the England Athletics U17 and U15 age group championships, but all the Woodford athletes that competed put in a strong showing in Bedford on 31 August and 1 September.

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