A week after Hurricane Laura struck America, another one of it’s very own kind struck Manchester’s Sport City, in the form of Morpeth Harrier International Laura Weightman, who took her fifth UK Women’s 1500m title, thus equalling Rita Ridley (formerly Lincoln’s) record of wins, achieved in 1967,68,69,70, and 71.
After winning her Friday night heat in a fairly modest 4m17.01s, Weightman returned as firm favourite on Saturday, and cast aside any doubts by winning very clearly from Blackburn’s Jessica Judd, posting a finishing time of 4m09.76s.
Judd had won the Women’s 5000m title on the Friday night, about forty minutes before entering the cauldron again to win her 1500m heat, but she was clearly no match for a determined Weightman, who won by a near three second margin, after attacking at the bell, before powering away with 300m remaining, before putting in a final thrust over the final 200m.
Following the race, Weightman, coached by Steve Cram, said that she had been very pleased with her race, and that despite the disappointments of the pandemic, she had managed to put them well behind her, and felt that at 29, she had achieved more than she had wished for in a strange season.
Another Morpeth Harrier who managed to get through to a final, was Women’s 400m Hurdler Nisha Desai.
At the age of 36, she was the oldest of the athletes competing over the two heats on Friday night.
In finishing fourth in her heat in 61.57s, she qualified for Saturday’s as a fastest loser,
where she finished eighth in 64.76s.
Despite that, she felt pleased that she was still good enough to
match up against younger rivals to make the final eight.
Two former Morpeth Harriers were very much up against each other in Saturday’s Men’s Shot Putt Final.
Despite fouling two of his six allotted Putt’s, Andrew Knight, now competing for Southampton,
produced a best of 15.07m, to finish sixth in a competition, very clearly won by City of York’s Scott Lincoln,
who managed to make a mark with all six attempts, to win with a best of 19.65m,
which was almost three metres better than Stratford’s Lewis Byng,
who is still 18 years of age, the same age as Knight.
One place behind Knight in seventh place, was his former Morpeth colleague Craig Charlton.
Charlton, now competing for Woodford Green & Essex Ladies,
produced a best of 14.87m, managing to foul three of his six attempts.