Highgate Harriers’ Gemma Rous beats her best time to reach British Championships final

Gemma Rous in action for Highgate Harriers. Pic: Dieter Perry

Gemma Rous in action for Highgate Harriers. Pic: Dieter Perry - Credit: Archant

Highgate Harriers’ Gemma Rous chose the big stage for her best run yet on Saturday.

The British Championships at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium proved the perfect platform for Rous to duck under 59 seconds for the first time in the 400m hurdles, clocking a new personal best of 58.79 in her heat.

The new mark was further confirmation of the improvement Rous has made this season, where she has been a consistent point scorer in Southern League meetings.

It gave her lane four for Sunday’s final where she ran her second best time ever of 59.17 to finish fourth in a race won by European 400m hurdle champion Elidh Child.

Elsewhere another Harrier, Danny Russell, tasted success in the Lord Mayor of Norwich City Centre 5km race.


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The international triathlon specialist showed a good turn of foot to outpace all rivals, winning in a time of 15:22 ahead of Norwich AC pair Piers Arnold and Luke Spear.

Several other Highgate runners also featured prominently, John Laybourn finishing seventh in 16:19, Alex Davidson clocking 17:20 to finish 23rd and Over-50 runner Michael Ussher also making the top 30 with his time of 17:33.

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Meanwhile, Highgate coach Chris Rainsford returned from injury in some style to set a new best time of 8:22.95 over 3,000m to finish third at a meeting in Watford.

His was one of a spate of personal best by Harriers at the meeting. Robel Bahelbi set a new mark of 8:28.31 further down the field and Sophie Sheldrake clocked 10:30.02 in the equivalent women’s race.

The club’s youngsters also lowered previous marks in 1500m events. Under-13 runner Theo Machin-Paley set the trend, recording 4:58.58, while Under-17 athletes Oliver Kimp (4:33.94), Tel Pelmont (4:36.16) and Adam Stewart (4:33.59) followed suit.

Under-15 competitor Abel Sinko-Uribe (4:26.22) and Under-20 entrants Alexandra Machin-Paley (4:14.36) and Terry Fawden (4:14.36) were also quicker than ever over the distance.

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