Duo fly flag for region

NORTH EAST duo Chris Tomlinson and Johanna Jackson led the region’s charge in Manchester.

NORTH EAST duo Chris Tomlinson and Johanna Jackson led the region’s charge in Manchester.

British long jump record holder Tomlinson left it late to lift the gold medal, recording a 7.99m effort in the final round after languishing in second place for much of the competition.

Teessider Jackson, meanwhile, pulled out all the stops to set a personal best and a new stadium record in the 5,000 metres walk, knocking nearly a minute off her previous best time for a 5k track race and coming home nearly three minutes clear of her rivals.

Apart from Gateshead-based Tomlinson and Jackson, the region’s leading athletes found it tough going in the Trials for next month’s World Championships.

However, there was a season’s best and a silver medal for Tyneside-born Shirley Webb in the hammer.

Chester-le-Street-based Victoria Barr finished third in the 400m in only her fourth race outdoors at the distance.

After finishing second in her heat, Barr was drawn in lane two in the final and produced a storming finish to record a new lifetime best of 52.85 seconds behind European indoor champion Nicola Sanders (51.35s) and seasoned international Donna Fraser (52.65s).

Despite being on a high after winning the bronze medal in front of the BBC cameras, it was no surprise that, after making the final of the 200m 24 hours later, Barr was to trail home in last place.

Nick McCormick’s hopes of making it to Osaka, Japan, look to be fading after he finished fourth in the 1,500m final in 3min 46.15sec – he won his heat in 3:45.25 – behind Andrew Baddely, whose winning time was 3:43.25.

McCormick’s Morpeth team-mate Dan Samuels (3:52.14) went out in the heats of the 1,500m, as did Chris Parr (Gateshead), who ran 3:48.03.

In the 800m, Drew Graham (Gosforth) and Sunderland’s Gavin Massingham both failed to progress past the first round, a fate which also befell Elswick’s Ashley Gibson and Chester-le-Street’s Freya Murray in the women’s 1,500m, though the Newcastle girl produced a pb of 4:26.93 in her heat.

North Shields Poly’s Karen Johns also missed out on a place in the final of the 800m after being fourth in her heat in 2:07.47.

However, she lined up in the B final 24 hours later and ran 2:06.86.

English Schools’ 100m champion Richard Kilty lined up for experience and went out in the heats after registering fifth in 10.98sec.

In the 5,000m, Morpeth’s Ian Hudspith took 10th place in 14:19.99 and Elswick’s Ryan McLeod claimed 16th in 14:39.99 in a race won in style by Mo Farah.

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