Athletics: Learmonth winds down with victory

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Scottish 400 metres champion Guy Learmonth (Lasswade) beat a strong field to win the 800 metres in 1:48.34 in the Flanders Cup meeting in Leuven, Belgium, on Saturday night – then announced it would probably be his last race of the season.

After a slow opening lap of 54.5 seconds, the 20-year-old Loughborough University 
student took command with a fast final 300m to defeat Onke Jan-Gerham (Germany) and England’s Ed Aston (1:48.61).

“I’m pleased with the win but not with the time, though I’ll probably call quits on the season now,” said Learmonth, who was keen to reduce his personal best from 1:47.14.

Double Scottish 800m and 1500m champion Mark Mitchell (Forres) finished second in the mile in a personal best of 4:01.23, with Capital physio Ali Hay (Central) just behind him in 4:01.87. England’s James Brewer won in an excellent 3:56.56.

Meanwhile, Josh Kerr 
(Edinburgh AC) showed what a fine prospect he is when he captured the AAA of England under-15 1500m title with another strong run at Bedford on Saturday.

His winning time of 4:05.87 was marginally outside his UK-best time set in winning the Celtic Nations international in Aberdeen six days previously.

Promising rugby winger Ben Robbins (Edinburgh), who was overlooked by the Scottish 
selectors for Aberdeen, was third-fastest qualifier for the Under-17 400m final with a time of 49.54.

He improved this to a personal best of 49.44 for fifth place in yesterday’s final, which was won in the fast time of 47.91 by Ben Snaith (Cambridge).

Another Edinburgh sprinter, Morro Bajo, took the bronze medal in the 200m in 21.97 to add to his fourth place in the 100m in 10.88 on Saturday. Jermaine Hamilton (Orion) won the 200m in a fast 21.58.

Rachel Robertson (Lasswade) won a bronze in the Under-17 long jump with a leap of 
5.31 metres and there was a bronze for Central’s 
Kathryn Gillespie who finished third in the Under-17 800m in 2:10.19.