At the England Athletics Combined Events Championships at the EIS Sheffield this weekend, Aiden Davies performed superbly and finished the U20 Men’s Heptathlon in Bronze Medal position overall and with a Northern Gold medal.
In the 7 event competition, Aiden notched up no less than 4 individual P.B.s and an overall Heptathlon PB and Club Record to finish on a very impressive score of 4,983, which puts him no. 24 in the UK All time rankings for a U20M Indoor Heptathlon.
It was an extremely high standard of competition, and Aiden was the youngest medallist with both the Gold and Silver medallist being third year under 20s. He narrowly beat GB and Welsh International athlete, Aled Price, in a close battle for the Bronze medal position which came down to a race off in the last event, the 1000m where Aiden has to beat him by 18 secs to overtake his points lead after 6 events.
The competition was very close on the first day with the lead athlete changing four times in four events. The eventual overall winner, GB International and multiple National Indoor & Outdoor CE Champion, David Hall, started the competition with a massive PB in the 60m sprint, with Aiden taking second place with his own PB of 7.25 secs.
The next event, the Long Jump has been a problem event for Aiden for the last 15 months after switching take off legs, but finally it all came together this weekend. His first jump was taken relatively safely but still resulted in a PB of 6.55m. His 2nd jump was also a PB of 6.64m and the final jump one again with 6.73m. This was the second longest jump in the competition, only beaten by Long Jump specialist Aled Price who jumped an indoor PB of 6.96m, which put him into the overall lead after 2 events.
The third event, the Shot Putt was also a very strong event for Aiden who clocked up his third PB in a row with a final throw of 13.25m. This was the 3rd longest throw in the competition and elevated Aiden into the overall lead after three events.
Things then took a bit of the downward turn for Aiden in the Pole Vault, which is his weakest event. His final vault of 3.37m was not far off his personal best, but was still short of his main competitors who jumped around the 4m mark. This put him back down to 4th position at the end of Day 1, but only 124 points separated the first 4 athletes.
Day 2 started on a disappointing note for Aiden, as he had an untidy 60m hurdles hitting most of the barriers and slowing him down to a time of 8.66 secs, which was down on his rivals in an event that he should have done well in.
The High Jump was always going to be one where Aiden would lose further points on his main competitors, as he has only had one training session jumping off his proper take-off leg, after competing all last year off his other, due to injuries. He managed to just about hold his own though with a jump of 1.80m, which was 10cms down on his rivals but was just enough to give him a faint glimmer of hope of a medal going into the final event, the 1000m.
If he was to do this, he had to run the race of his life and hope one of his rivals had a below par run to be able to overturn one of them. This is where all the winter hill training and South Yorkshire Cross Country runs were to pay off. He paced the race perfectly with 32 second 200m laps, one after the other, leaving the rest of his competitors way behind. His finishing time of 02:41.61 was not only a massive PB and Doncaster AC club record, but also enough for him to overtake Aled who struggled to finish in a time of 03:03.36.
This result puts Aiden up for GB Team selection for the Combined Events International to be held at the EIS at the end of January, where Olympic Gold Medallist Jessica Ennis-Hill has been pre-selected to lead the team, which will also include Commonwealth Games selected athlete and the UK’s No. 1 Decathlete Ashley Bryant – so…………………..fingers crossed and watch this space!
Also competing in the U20 Men’s Heptathlon was Doncaster AC’s Kye Stothard in his first competition after moving up to this age group. Kye finished in a very creditable 13th place with an overall score of 3,890 points, clocking up PBs in High Jump, 60m sprint and 1000m in the process.
In the U20 Women’s Pentathlon, Doncaster AC athletes Lucy Chappell and Beth Taylor also competed.
This was another very high standard competition that was won by Wigan’s Danielle McGifford with a score of 3,934 points – the 6th best of all time in the UK.
Lucy finished the day on 2,934 points which was a PB and Doncaster AC Club record.
She also set a new U20 Women’s Club Record for the High Jump, with 1.60m and achieved a PB in the Hurdles.
Beth finished one place behind Lucy, with 2,768 points which was also a PB score. She also produced a Long Jump PB of 4.68m on the day.