Blackburn Harriers had three athletes competing at the Britsih National T & F Championships this weekend in Birmingham – Holly Bradshaw in the Pole Vault – Sophie Hitchon in the Hammer and Alison Leonard in the 800m.

Holly won the British title with a clearance of 4.50m, her second clearance at that height and win in the last couple of weeks which ensures that she is on the plane to Beijing for the World Championships in August.

Pole Vault Results HERE

Afterwards, speaking to the Club Holly said that “I’m so happy to be back competing after so long but to be British Champion 2015 feels amazing. It was great to be back competing in front of the British crowd again. I’m looking forward to the next 7 weeks leading into Beijing, time to make some final adjustments and get back representing my country out in the World Champs”.…………..Thanks for all the support I’ve had from the club. It’s really helped me through my tough times and I’m so glad to be back”.

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Sophie Hitchon with just seven competitions under her belt this season so far, including wins at the Loughborough International with 71.02m, the Payton Norton International (USA) with 69.20m, the season so far has seen Sophie progress to a distance of 71.89 in the European Team Championships where she finished 5th. At the British Championships Sophie won the National title in the Hammer with a throw of 71.10m and will be representing GB at the World Championships in Beijing in August.

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Hammer Results HERE

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(Sophie the Champion with proud Dad and Family around her – Mum’s on the camera)

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In the 800m Heats, Alison – who is currently 4th in the Women’s National Rankings over 800m with 2.00.50 qualified comfortably in 2nd place alongside Emily Dudgeon with a time of 2.04.08. In the Final Alison placed 3rd (2.03.26)  “I’m disappointed with 3rd but put everything in and still have a chance to make the Beijing team, I just need to concentrate on running well and keep.my fingers crossed.”

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800m Results HERE

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The World Modern Pentathlon Championships took place in Berlin this year and Blackburn Harrier Samantha Murray was the reigning Champion going into the competition. This year Sam finished 5th overall, placing 1st in the Swim, 3rd in the Ride and 3rd in the Combined along with the fastest run of the top ten. Another great performance from Sam on the world stage, with her looking forward to making the selection for the Rio Olympics in 2016.

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(Images courtesy of Pentathlon GB CE / photographer Nigel! wink emoticon)

The day after the Championships Sam said “I finished 5th place yesterday in the 2015 World Championships. My day began with a p.b in the pool with a time of 2.07,53. This put me in the lead. Sadly, I couldn’t follow suit in the fencing and this is ultimately why I lost out on a podium finish. I tried and kept trying but me and an epee just weren’t getting along. I
won 12 hits in the fence out of a possible 35! (OUCH mentally and physically after i’ve been jabbed right in my patella tendon). I dropped to 19th place overall. The podium was out of reach however I was still going to focus hard for the final two events and do my very best. I drew a horse called Black Jack for the show jumping- strong, powerful and had an impressive jump; we worked well together and he jumped excellently for me, thus I had zero jumping penalties and just 2 time faults in the ride. This score helped me to climb the table and put me in 11th place overall, 65 seconds from the leader and home favourite, Lena Schoneborn. In the combined event (run/shoot), I had the 3rd fastest time of the day, fastest time in the top ten and am very pleased with my run and shooting performances! From starting in 11th place I ran up to finish in 5th position. It was a test of my determination and grit to turn my day around after such a disheartening fence- but perseverance- as I’ve learnt before is essential as an athlete (or anyone trying to achieve in life!!!) Everyone has their day- it just wasn’t meant to be for me yesterday! I’m happy for all 3 medallists- they are all great sportswomen and had great performances yesterday.
Here’s to next time! 

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