First senior medals for Hayley & Gemma

First published in Athletics

HAYLEY McLean and Gemma Kersey both won their first senior national medals at the England AAA Championships.

McLean, 17, raced to a silver medal in the 400m hurdles while Kersey, 20, picked up a bronze medal in her less favoured event, the 800m.

Both women had to contend with miserable conditions at the event, held in Birmingham, which meant fast times were at a premium.

That was a particular blow to McLean, from Stanford-le-Hope, who is trying to achieve the World Junior Championships qualifying time of 58.50s.

The Chelmsford AC teenager won her heat in 59.90s before returning for the next day’s final, where she finished runner-up to Emily Bonnett, seven years her senior.

McLean will now turn her attentions to the UK under-20 championships and World Junior Championships trials in Bedford next weekend.

She will be looking to run the qualifying time of 58.50s for the World Junior Championships, in Barcelona, during the meeting.

Basildon AC’s Kersey, who favours the 1,500m, looked good in winning her 800m heat in 2m 10.03s, which was just 1.5s outside her personal best over the shorter distance.

The final was a more tactical affair with Kersey finishing a clear third in 2m 10.7s behind winner Jennifer Walsh and Adelle Tracey.

Kersey’s coach Eamonn Martin said: “Gemma was only ninth ranked in the event on time so picking up a medal in what is her lesser event was very pleasing and promising for the next three weeks which are critical parts of the season.”

Kersey will run another 800m tomorrow at Watford in the British Milers Club Grand Prix before running 1,500m in the UK under-23 championships at Bedford and then the Olympic Trials in Birmingham on consecutive weekends.

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