Edinburgh Athletic finish third as weather intervenes

Susan McKelvie won the hammer competition with a throw of 60.93m
Susan McKelvie won the hammer competition with a throw of 60.93m
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The UK Women’s League premier division meeting at Meadowbank on Saturday was virtually ruined by a combination of the weather and unavailability of athletes from host club Edinburgh Athletic, mainly through illness, travel fatigue or injury.

The gale-force winds which swept across the stadium for most of the afternoon were so dangerous that the pole vault had to be cancelled as the landing area was threatening to take off.

The hosts – the British Champions – finished third, just holding off Birchfield. Victory went to London club Thames Valley, who ironically, owed much of their success to some Scottish athletes, notably Banchory’s 2014 Commonwealth Games runner Zoey Clark, who won the 400 metres in an impressive 53.91 seconds and was third in the 200m in 23.62 as well as contributing a powerful 4 x 400m relay leg. Another Scotland Games representative, Falkirk hammer-thrower Myra Perkins, even ran the B 400m.

The only athletes who might have been happy with the weather were the sprinters but EAC seem to have a dearth of these with Stacey Downie the only senior of note and she was back in fifth place in the 200 (24.85 secs) and seventh place in the 400, despite a season’s best of 56.79.

Given the conditions, the two ‘A’ string victories for EAC were remarkable. Susan McKelvie won the hammer with a throw of 60.93m and defeated, among others a 66m thrower. And Scottish cross country champion Maddie Murray won the 1500m in the worst of the gusts in 4:33.71, less than 24 hours after winning the 800m in the Glasgow Miler Meet in a personal best of 2:05.68. She went on to contribute a determined lap for the home 4x400m team who finished second.

Lynsey Sharp and Emily Dudgeon were both unavailable, Sharp training in the USA and Dudgeon at a meeting in Germany where she clocked a season’s best of 2:02.84 where East Lothian’s Jamie Bowie also ran his fastest 400m so far 46.38. Scottish women’s 400m star Kirsten McAslan clocked an outdoor best of 52.43.

In Geneva, meanwhile, Dalmeny’s Allan Smith won the high jump with 2.20m from Edinburgh University student Ray Bobrownicki (2.16m).