Three of Bolton’s talented young athletes travelled to Bedford to compete in the 2022 England Athletics National U20/U23 championships.
U23 athletes Hannah Kelly and Olivia Kimbowa competed in the 400m. Hannah won this event last year and as defending champion had a lot to live up to. Despite a slight injury to her hamstring suffered 10 days earlier She was still extremely confident of competing well. She breezed through her heat to make the final as the fastest qualifier.
Medical student Olivia who was busy studying for an exam between races was drawn in the same heat as Hannah. She ran a valiant race finishing 5th just outside her outdoors seasons best.
Last up was Rebecca Weekes also competing in a one lap race but with the added problem of 10 hurdles to negotiate. 400m hurdles is an incredibly technical event and Rebecca didn’t hit the first hurdle as she wanted to and it threw her off her rhythm. However she battled right to the end of the race and came a creditable 6th in her first U20 championship.
The Sunday dawned even hotter than the previous day so rehydration and conserving energy was the order of the day. Hannah lined up in the final in lane 4 with her main rival, Natasha Harrison, one lane outside her. Hannah used all of her 200m speed to power through the first half of the race to be leading going into the second bend. She continued her momentum and was comfortably ahead coming into the straight. The win was never in doubt and it was a very proud moment for Hannah to retain her title and be crowned EA U23 national champion for the second year in a row.