Report from www.athleticsweekly.com
World 400m champ steps up to win intriguing 500m battle at Great North CityGames as Andy Turner runs his last 110m hurdles race before retirement
Fans were treated to a number of exciting and intriguing track and field clashes on the Newcastle-Gateshead Quayside on Saturday afternoon as the Puma Great North CityGames again brought athletics action to the streets.
Christine Ohuruogu and Laura Muir were among those to prove they’re street-smart, while hurdler Andy Turner used the event as an opportunity to compete in front of home fans for the last time before he hangs up his spikes.
With the rarely-run 500m featuring athletes from three disciplines – the 800m, 400m hurdles and 400m flat – it was anyone’s guess as to who the distance might most suit. As it was, world 400m champion Ohuruogu seemed to find the extra 100m no real bother, her finishing strength working well as she saw off the likes of European and Commonwealth 800m silver medallist Lynsey Sharp and European 400m hurdles champion Eilidh Child to clock 67.46.
Starting off downhill on the road, the race got off to a fairly quick start and Ohuruogu led as the race went from road to track with 150m to go. By then she’d built a vital lead as Sharp, who had tracked Ohuruogu for the majority of the race, held on for the runner-up spot, beating Child 68.05 to 68.11. Behind them, 800m specialists Jenny Meadows and Alison Leonard ran 68.47 and 69.92 respectively.
“I was very surprised with this performance but also extremely happy,” said Ohuruogu. “I didn’t want to work too hard over the early stages as I didn’t know what to expect. We all joked on the start line as to whether we should do a crouch start or one standing up – in the end I made sure my right arm and right leg were forward!
“I know I can always summon something in the closing stages when I’m focussed and that’s the way it was today.”
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