Steph Twell and Stephen Scullion impress in Houston – weekly round-up

PBs galore as Twell moves to fifth on the UK all-time list, while Scullion secures Olympic qualification

A round-up of some of the top recent athletics results from around the world.

Chevron Houston Marathon, USA, January 19

Ireland’s Stephen Scullion ran a PB of 2:11:51 in windy conditions to just miss the Olympic qualifying time of 2:11:30, but with the Houston event being a gold label road race, his top five finish also counts as a qualifier.

The 18mph winds “hurt me a lot”, Scullion later wrote on social media, adding: “It made me angry that I needed to run fast, but I had to relax and not make excuses.

“That’s 3 marathons in 15 weeks. Takes its toll on the body. I was hurting over the last 10 days or so, a few niggles popped up and I wasn’t surprised, it’s hard to jump back into 20+ mile runs 2-3 weeks after your last marathon. My body is excited for some down time.”

He went through halfway in 65:49.

Scullion finished fifth in a race won by Ethiopia’s Kelkile Gezahegn in 2:08:36.

Askale Merachi completed an Ethiopian double, winning the women’s race in 2:23:29.

Aramco Houston Half Marathon, USA, January 19

Hitomi Niiya returned to road racing in style as the 31-year-old smashed the Japanese half-marathon record with her winning time of 66:38.

Niiya finished fifth in the 2013 World Championships 10,000m but then took time away from the sport and the event in Houston was her first individual road race in more than 10 years.

She won ahead of Kenyans Brillian Jepkorir (68:08) and Caroline Kipkirui (68:13).

Britain’s Steph Twell (pictured, top) was also among those to impress as she ran a big PB of 68:54 to finish eighth and move to fifth on the UK all-time list when it comes to results recorded on record-eligible courses. Her previous best was 70:51.

“Thrilled with a strong start to 2020,” Twell, who is aiming for Olympic marathon selection, told AW. “I came to Houston to race in a competitive field before I begin my London (marathon) build-up. A fantastic event and one made more special with so many athletes on their 2020 pursuits.”

Her fellow Scot Sarah Inglis also moved up the British all-time rankings as she took exactly two minutes off her PB with a time of 70:22. Those times move the pair to second and third respectively on the Scottish all-time list.

Ethiopia’s Jemal Yimer won the men’s race in 59:25 as the top nine all went sub-60:00.

A world record was broken as Britain’s Matt and Andrew Leach ran the fastest ever father-and-son combined time, clocking 2:14:05.

Matt ran 62:55 and his father Andrew, the 2019 European M55 10,000m champion, clocked 71:10.

Tata Mumbai Marathon, India, January 19

Ethiopia’s Derara Hurisa won in a course record and Indian all-comers’ record of 2:08:09 on his marathon debut, despite racing in borrowed shoes, while his compatriot Amane Beriso won the women’s race in 2:24:51.

“I mislaid my shoes while travelling from Addis Ababa to Mumbai earlier in the week so I borrowed some shoes from my friend Abraham Girma (also running in Mumbai), so I only tried them on for the first time yesterday,” said Hurisa.

Royal Gazette Bermuda Triangle Challenge, January 17-19

Britain’s European 5000m silver medallist Eilish McColgan first won the Butterfield Front Street Mile women’s race in 4:45 and the next morning clocked 33:28 to claim the BF&M 10km title.

Both races took place in very windy conditions on tough courses.

In an Instagram post after her mile win, McColgan said: “First up was the Street Mile on Friday evening with 67km/h gusts of wind! I pushed hard after the first 400m to try and get a gap, so I was happy to come away the win – but it’s been a long time since my legs have filled with so much lactic! The wind, 180° turns and inclines on the course made it a tough one.”

Reflecting on her 10km win, she added: “The sun made an appearance for yesterday’s 10km! Still blowing a gale but it was nice to come away with another win! The time was my slowest ever, but actually the fastest winning time for 23 years. I found the hills and windy conditions on the course really tough!”

Bermuda has been a happy hunting ground for Brits, with AW’s own Paul Freary winning the mile there in 1995 when he beat Steve Cram into second place. Freary then went on to win the island’s international half-marathon five times.

Lviv, Ukraine, January 18

World silver medallist Yaroslava Mahuchikh improved the world under-20 indoor high jump record to 2.01m to also equal the Ukrainian indoor record.

Clemson Invitational, USA, January 17

Britain’s Lorraine Ugen long jumped 6.74m for a world lead and a mark which is further than her 2019 best.

London Games, Lee Valley, January 18-19

CJ Ujah achieved a 60m qualifying mark for the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Nanjing, running 6.61.

Theo Etienne clocked 6.63 in second to also record a qualifying mark, while Oliver Bromby was third in a PB of 6.68.

Ujah ran 6.62 later the same day, with Andrew Robertson second in 6.66.

Spencer Thomas ran 1:50.93 and Khahisa Mhlanga 2:05.21 for 800m wins.

Yasmin Miller clocked 8.26 to win the 60m hurdles ahead of Heather Paton with 8.35.

Amy Hunt claimed a 60m win in 7.36 ahead of Ama Pipi who clocked the same time, with Hunt also running 7.38 to win a second race later on in the day.

Toby Makoyawo won the junior 60m, with the 17-year-old clocking 6.74.

BMC Cardiff Open, January 19

Piers Copeland won the 800m in 1:49.80, while Francesca Brint took the women’s race in 2:11.42.

George Mills clocked 3:44.68 to win the men’s 1500m.

Lotto Cross Cup, Hannut, Belgium, January 19

Britain’s Andy Vernon and Stephanie Barnes placed second and third respectively in the senior races.

Vernon was five seconds behind Germany’s Samuel Fitwi, while Poland’s Anna Gosk won the women’s race ahead of Romania’s Roxana Barca.

Cross Internacional de Italica, Spain, January 19

Kenya’s world 5000m silver medallist Margaret Kipkemboi won the senior women’s 9.1km ahead of world under-20 cross country champion Beatrice Chebet.

Kate Avery gained a top-10 finish, with her fellow Brits Dani Chattenton in 14th, Jessica Gibbon 19th and Hannah Irwin 25th.

Georgia Hayes won the under-20 women’s race ahead of Spain’s Angela Viciosa Villa.

Josh Cowperthwaite was second and Henry McLuckie third in the junior men’s race.

In the senior men’s race, Ethiopia’s Tadese Worku won the 9.9km event ahead of USA’s Olympic 5000m silver medallist Paul Chelimo.

» See the January 23 issue of AW magazine for more from this week’s athletics and running events

» For more on the latest athletics news, athletics events coverage and athletics updates, check out the AW homepage and our social media channels on TwitterFacebook and Instagram

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