The first stories of great things came on Day 2 of the Japan Open in Tokyo. Three DIS swimmers were taking part in a two week tour of the Far East with British Swimming. The end of the tough training camps were marked with a 3 day event at the Tatsumi International pool in Tokyo, Japan. The second day of the open saw two medals for DIS swimmers. Imogen Clark swam a great race to win gold in the 50m breaststroke with Sarah Vasey claiming bronze in the same race. On the final day Molly Renshaw achieved silver in the 200m breaststroke.
DIS also had success at the Glasgow International Badminton Championships. Lucy Atkins and Abi Hong proved a strong doubles team; coming away from the Championships with a Bronze medal in the U13 age group. It is great to see them having success in doubles as well as individually this season.
The Loughborough International Athletics meet on Sunday proved to be a great opportunity for DIS athletes to shine. Niamh Emerson was the first DIS athlete to compete, taking part in the high jump as part of the British Athletics Junior team. Niamh was using this opportunity as her season opener for high jump and wanted to get back her competitive mindset after a winter focusing on her training rather than competing. Niamh cleared 1.83m to come third, 6cm short of her personal best but a great result for her.
Alex Knibbs, who made his GB debut in the European Youth Championships last season, was picked to compete in the 4 x 400m relay squad for GB juniors. Alex also featured as a guest in the 400mH where he ran a tremendous race knocking a second off his personal best! Jess Turner continued the winning ways of DIS hurdlers by winner her 400mH race wearing a Loughborough vest and maintaining her championship title. Our talented sprint hurdler, Alicia Barrett, also wearing a GB juniors vest, came 2nd with a great time of 13.18 in the 100mH. Whilst, Emily Coope, the youngest of our athletes on the day, came second in her 100m guest race clocking 12.18. This was Emily’s first time at Loughborough International and great preparation for July when she will compete again in the 100m at the British Championships.
Further South in London Ben Connor was flying the DIS flag at Highgate Harriers Night of 10,000m. Ben had a great race achieving a new personal best of 28.46.45. This 10,000m race incorporates the British Championships, so Ben also took home the bronze medal.
What a talented bunch of athletes we have! Congratulations to all the team at home and abroad.
Derbyshire Institute of Sport (DIS) sprint hurdler Alicia Barrett set three new personal bests on her way to finishing sixth in the World Junior (Under-20s) Championships.
The 18-year-old, from Chesterfield (pictured right, on the left), ran the second quickest time by a junior in a Great Britain vest as she clocked 13.15secs in the final, held in Bydgoszcz in Poland.
Alicia, also on the ICON bursary programme, had earlier finished second in heat two in a new best time of 13.35 behind Tia Jones of the USA (13.04).
She then marginally improved on that in the semi-final with 13.34, which was enough for her to make it through to the final as one of the two third fastest losers.
The closely contested, high-quality final was won by Elvia Herman of Belarus in a new championship record time of 12.85.
Former Derbyshire Schools’ Sport Association Awards Sportsperson of the Year winner Alicia is coached by Tony Minichiello, who also coaches Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis-Hill.
“I am so happy, I can’t believe I have just done that,” she told Athletics Weekly. “Everything went to plan. I don’t think I hit a hurdle. I am very proud, even though I was beaten by a 15-year-old!”
There’s also been a significant success for another DIS and ICON athlete, archer Eva-Henderson-Hirst (pictured below, centre), who won a bronze medal at the European Youth Championships in Romania.
The 17-year-old, from Flagg in the Derbyshire Dales, took a place in the podium in the Recurve Cadet Women Team event in partnership with Eleanor Piper and Alyssia Tromans-Anselll.
As athletes on the DIS, both Alicia and Eva DIS athletes are given extensive support through expert coaching, bespoke strength and conditioning programmes, physiotherapy and nutritional and lifestyle advice.
Derbyshire Institute of Sport swimmer Abbie Wood’s long-term goal of competing at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics has been given a double boost.
The 17-year-old from Buxton has been named among a 16-strong squad who have flown out to Arizona in the USA for a three-week training camp at altitude.
And the former Derventio eXcel swimmer, now representing the National Centre in Loughborough, has also been called up for her second senior international selection.
She will represent Great Britain at the World Short Course Swimming Championships in Windsor, Canada between December 6 and 11, where she will swim the 400m individual medley and 400m freestyle.
In the States, Abbie, on Derbyshire’s ICON bursary programme for 2016-17, will be part of a programme designed to take the performance of Great Britain athletes to ‘new heights’ in the lead up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The trip to the Hypo2 High Performance Sport Centre in Flagstaff is the first in a series of 10 national camps between now and the Tokyo Games targeting 200 metre-plus swimmers of the right age and performance profile to be able to excel in four years’ time.
“We believe there are some significant gains for a group of swimmers that we need to explore further and ultimately perfect ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Games,” said Chris Spice, British Swimming’s National Performance Director.
“British Swimming will implement a testing programme prior to, during and post each altitude exposure to ensure we’re maximizing the positive effects such training can have on an athlete.”
“Flagstaff is just the first in the 10-camp altitude programme. We will be holding two a year in October and then either January or February, for three weeks at a time.”
Abbie was supported by the DIS to secure overnight accommodation to the British Summer National Championships, where she took gold in the 400m individual medley for 17-18 year-olds.
She has previously been helped with specialist coaching and strength and conditioning support – which helped her win a European Games gold medal in 2015 – before her move to join a world class training programme in Loughborough.
The call-up for Abbie follows good news last week for fellow DIS swimmer Imogen Clark, who has been selected to swim in a British squad in Ontario, Canada.