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Fillery and McCartney win in Manchester

There were several club athletes competing at the Manchester international, representing four of the competing teams. However among the overall winners was Cameron Fillery in the 110m hurdles, competing as a guest, in 13.80. Competing for Northern Ireland, Ellen McCartney won the pole vault in 4.12, just 3cm short of her PB despite difficult conditions and competing against several athletes who had jumped higher this year. Another in the Northern Ireland vest, in a welcome return to high level competition and competing for the first time since rejoining WGEL first claim, was Adam Kirk-Smith. Adam ran an intelligently paced raced, allowing a front group following a fast tempo to break away before closing strongest of all to finish 3rd in 8:49.74, his fastest since 2018 when finished 8th in the Commonwealth Games.

Youcef Zatat was the only WGEL athlete competing for the National Athletics League team. He showed he is recovering from the injury that kept him out of the Olympic trials, with his 17.66 enough for 2nd (behind Tokyo Olympian Scott Lincoln, who is a former Woodford HCA and whose 20.81 was his best in this country). Competing for the England under-20 team, Precious Hamilton made her international debut and took 3rd in the junior women’s discus in 40.16. Another in the England U20 vest, Nabil Tezkratt, ran an impressive first leg in the junior 4x400m to set up an easy win. Despite running leg 1 and in a long stagger race for the first time, Nabil’s split of 48.50 was the fastest of any athlete in the junior race. Yemi Mary John also led out her England under 20 4x400m team, and like Nabil while being drawn on the inside ran past the other teams despite the long stagger, though her quartet lost out to a Scottish junior record. Mary had earlier run a close third in the senior event in the individual 400m, representing the Great Britain under 20 team, just failing to come through at the end, in 54.03, as the top 2 with 53.96 could only be separated by thousandths.