By Alan Ramage
EUROPEAN MASTERS INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS - DAY 3 (MORNING)
There were mixed fortunes for the 800m athletes this morning in Madrid. In the women's heats Jacqueline Etherington (Cambuslang) ran an excellent race in the F35s, sitting behind two Spaniards before unleashing a kick with 200m to go which took her to victory in a time of 2mins 25.01secs, qualifying for tomorrow's final with the second fastest time behind a fellow Brit. In the F60 heats, 3,000m bronze medallist Phyllis Hands (Motherwell) found it tough going today, finishing 5th in her heat with a time of 3mins 15.68secs, narrowly missing out in the final. In the F55 race, Sharyn Ramage (Edinburgh) and Lynne Marr (Cambuslang) finished 6th and 7th in the same heat with times of 2mins 58.07 and 3mins 26.92 respectively, both failing to reach the final. Clare Barr (Motherwell), the current British Champion, has had a long wait however goes in the F50 800m straight final tomorrow.
In the Men's races, Benjamin Hands (Motherwell) , made up for Phyllis' disappointment, finishing 3rd in his heat in a time of 2mins 19.15 to progress in to tonight's semi-final. In the M50s event, Andy Ronald (Falkirk) ran an excellent race, easing down in the last 50m to qualify in 2nd place with a time of 2mins 15.45secs. Unfortunately his clubmate Craig Johnston, who actually ran slightly faster than Andy with a time of 2mins 14.96secs found himself in a faster heat and failed to progress, finishing in 5th place. Finally, in the M35s, debutant Colin Welsh (Gala) progressed to this evening's semi-final without too much difficulty, winning his heat in a time of 2mins 02.54secs. Unfortunately, Alastair Dunlop (Kirkintilloch) didn't recover from injury in time to make the start line of the M60s 800m.
EUROPEAN MASTERS INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS - DAY 3 (EVENING)
Colin Welsh (Gala) will join Claire Barr (Motherwell) and Jacqueline Etherington (Cambuslang) in the 800m finals tomorrow evening after coming through the M35 semi-finals, qualifying as fastest loser in 3rd place with a time of 2mins 01.07secs, his Highland Games background proving beneficial in his second race of the day. Unfortunately, two races in the same day proved too much for Benjamin Hands (Motherwell) in the M55s semi-final where he finished 9th in a time of 2mins 25.55secs, whilst in the M50s, Andy Ronald (Falkirk) finished 7th in his semi-final with a time of 2mins 16.07secs, both failing to progress to their respective finals.
In the M55 Triple Jump, William Skinner (Aberdeen), competing in his third event in as many days finished 17th with a jump of 8m 89cm.
Tomorrow sees the 800m finals whilst the sprinters move on to the 200m heats and semi-finals.
EUROPEAN MASTERS INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS - DAY 4
The 800m finals saw three Scots go for medals, however all faced tough competition, particularly from the Spaniards. First up was Claire Barr (Motherwell) in the F50s race, and after a cautious start came through strongly in the last lap to finish 6th in a time of 2mins 38.03secs. In the F35 race, Jacqueline Etherington (Cambuslang) struggled with the fast early pace set by a fellow Brit, however hung on well to finish 7th in a time of 2mins 27.22secs. Last up in the finals was Colin Welsh (Gala) in the M35s, again a race dominated by the Spaniards, finishing 8th in a time of 2mins 01.28secs.
In the 200m events, the M70s event saw James Smith (Motherwell) come through his heat this morning, finishing 2nd in 30.58secs. The semi-final this evening saw him fail to progress when he finished 5th with a time of 30.29secs. Clubmate Fiona Steele suffered the same fate, qualifying from this morning's heat with a time of 29.11secs, before finishing 3rd in her semi-final with a time of 29.71secs. Unfortunately, Bob Douglas (Livingston), also fell at the semi-final stage in the M60s race, qualifying from his heat this morning with a time of 28.20secs, before being eliminated, finishing 6th in a time of 29.83secs. Linzi Marsh (Pitreavie), running her F40 semi-final at 22.10hrs, also failed to qualify for the final, finishing 6th with a time of 30.46secs, having qualified from this morning's heats with a time of 28.80secs. The heats this morning saw Robert Phin (Springburn) finish 3rd with a time of 29.58secs and William Skinner (Aberdeen) finish 5th in 29.20secs, both failing to progress to the semi-finals.
The penultimate day of the championships sees the 1500m finals take place where six Scots are down to start.
EUROPEAN MASTERS INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS - DAY 5
The penultimate day of the championships saw the series of 1500m finals. Rather unusually, all races went as straight finals however were seeded per times declared. In the M55 race Benjamin Hands (Motherwell) finished 5th in the B final with a time of 4mins 48.91secs, which ranked him 13th overall once the A final had taken place. In the M50 race Craig Johnston (Falkirk) also went in the B Final however unfortunately pulled out with 400m to go due an Achilles problem. In the women's event both the F60 and F55 went as A races only, with Phyllis Hands (Motherwell) and Sharyn Ramage (Edinburgh) finishing 6th and 11th with times of 6mins 34.48secs and 6mins 04.99secs respectively. In the F35 race, Jacqueline Etherington (Cambuslang), running her fourth race in five days, finished 11th in the A final, however with someone in the B final running faster, finished 12th overall in a time of 5mins 07.15secs.
The last day of the Championships tomorrow sees the 5k Cross Country, (although having jogged round it myself), not sure it can be called cross country, and the 4x200m Relays where the Scots will be looking to add some team medals to the only medal won so far by Phyllis Hands (Motherwell) on the first day of the championships.