Double blow for Tynedale athletes at world event
Published at 07:41, Wednesday, 21 August 2013
THERE was double disappointment for Tynedale athletes as their dreams of bringing home medals from the World Duathlon Championships were ended in frustrating circumstances.
Injury put paid to Bardon Mill resident Barry Jameson’s goal of achieving a major championship clean sweep, while a puncture wrecked the good start made by Richard Parker, of Hexham, at the event in the Candian capital Ottawa.
But there was good news for one local athlete as One Life Racing member Cliff Thornton finished 13th in the 65-69 age category, pre-qualifying for next year’s championships as second Brit finisher.
At the start of the season, Jameson had targeted age group golds in all six majors in triathlon and duathlon, and he was flying when he ticked the opening four off his list.
With only the two biggest ones remaining –both world championships – Jameson’s pursuit of flawless glory was ended prematurely when he pulled up with a hamstring injury after the first running leg.
He said: “I was devastated that I had to stop knowing that the six majors was my optimum goal for the season.
“But now I have to refocus and hope that I get my fifth goal at the World Triathlons next month, and that would be a good substitute.
“It was so frustrating because I was in good nick going into the championships, but it is one of those things where you pick up an injury at the worst possible time.”
Going into the 55-59 age competition confident of medaling, he got off to a great start among a field of 29 duathletes.
His time of 42 minutes and 23 seconds put him in fourth, two minutes off that of eventual winner Keith Woodward, of USA, and a minute-and-a-half behind fellow Brit Christopher Owens.
But his involvement in the keenly contested race ended there, the injury denying him from getting on the bike and pushing on for his fifth gold of the year.
While the veteran athlete was disappointed he could not carry through his goal of making it six from six, he should not be too disappointed given that he has already proven that he is the best in Europe in his age group.
There was heartbreak for fellow Tynedale Harrier Richard Parker too as he was unable to complete his race as a mechanical failure ended his involvement.
A barnstorming start saw him lead his 50-54 category, his time of 36 minutes and 14 seconds in the run just one second better off than gold medalist Andy Ames, of USA.
He went into the competition full of confidence after a gold medal in the British triathlons, the popular athlete in peak physical condition throughout the year.
Yet it was to all turn sour, a puncture on his bike denying him the thrill of experiencing the cycle and second running stages.
It was the more experienced of the trio, Thornton, who was the only local man to come back full of joys.
After fighting back from a long illness, the One Life Racing member performed admirably to finish in 13th place in a final time of two hours, 37 minutes and 22 seconds. He started well and was out of the running leg in eighth place after posting a time of 49:25, a quick transition setting him up nicely for a top 10 placing.
Thornton remained on course but fell down the pecking order on the cycling leg when he finished in 1:18:28.
All that remained was the shorter distance running finale, and his time of 27:14 saw him cross the line in 13th overall.
Published by http://www.hexhamcourant.co.uk
This week in... 1968Friday, December 6, 1968...
Prudhoe workers were queuing up at the town's employment exchange to put their names down for jobs at a new £15million wood pulp factory.
Plans for the factory, which would occupy the former ICI site, had been passed by Northumberland County Council, and it was hoped that when it opened it would turn Prudhoe into a boom town.
Many of those registering for jobs had been unemployed since the ICI plant closed down the previous July.