Records tumble as Beagles finish sixth

NEWHAM & ESSEX BEAGLES battled their way to sixth place at their inaugural European Clubs Championships in Castellon near Valencia at the weekend. The first day offered up a feast of top class performances in Beagles first-ever entrance in the competiti

NEWHAM & ESSEX BEAGLES battled their way to sixth place at their inaugural European Clubs Championships in Castellon near Valencia at the weekend.

The first day offered up a feast of top class performances in Beagles' first-ever entrance in the competition they qualified for by winning the British Men's Athletic League in 2008.

Tyrone Edgar showed good early season form in the 100m finishing second in a season's best 10.16, behind Olympic finalist Francis Obikwelu's 10.09.

Edgar had more to offer in the 4x100 relay, with clubmates Ryan Scott, Rikki Fifton and Mark Findley, Beagles a new British club record of 39.37, eclipsing the 39.45 record set by Haringey in 1991, to finish third.


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Performance of the day had to be the return to form of Chris Tomlinson, putting a great series of jumps together leaping 7.99m and 8.07m, before finishing with 8.15, the longest jump in Europe this season, his best jump outdoors since 2007 and the world A standard.

Tomlinson said afterwards: "I am happy with my first outdoor competition, my training is going very well and I feel I can go further as the season progresses."

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Rabah Yousif also returned to form in the 400m after an injury-hit year, to beat a very fine field with a season's best 46.68.

With great performances from the rest of the team, it helped the Beagles end the day in fourth place.

Day two started with rain in the air, but that did not dampen the Beagles spirit, knowing they had to finish in the top six teams to guarantee the GB clubs status in the European A group for 2010.

Abdul Buhari got the day off to fine start finishing third in the discus with a season's best 58.05m, while inter-counties 800m champion 18-year-old Robbie Schofield ran well against much older counterparts to finish sixth in 1.51.29.

Gianni Frankis came home second in the 110m hurdles in a time of 13.85, just missing out on first place, while Rikki Fifton ran a solid 200m for third place in a time of 21.09, but by this stage the Beagles had moved down to sixth place with a real prospect of being relegated with only two events left.

Chris Mackay, who had gone for his early morning run with Keith Gerrard, (sixth in the 5,000m 14.29) and Frank Baddick (sixth in the 1,500m 3.50.99), found himself lost in town and arrived back at the hotel at 11.30am in a taxi.

He still ran well in a strong field, including Rui Silva, who had won the 1,500m the previous day, to run a lifetime best of 8.10.86 to finish sixth.

Heading into the final event, the 4x400m, the Beagles used their wild card, bringing in Mark Findlay.

Andre Fernandez gave the team a flying start, before handing the baton to Paige Haines, who ran a superb leg to bring the team into third place.

Findlay took over to race down the back straight and moved into first place, sett ing up Rabah Yousif.

Yousif set off on the final leg knowing that finishing in the top three would guarantee the team a top-six placing.

With 100m to go, Yousif hit the front to bring the team home in 3.08.35, the fastest British club time for over eight years.

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