There were truly outstanding performances in the throwing events at the Norfolk Championships at Sportspark in Norwich.

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In the under-20 age group Sophie McKinna put the shot out to 15m 45 which was of course a new county record. But more significantly was a qualifying distance for the World Junior championship in Barcelona later in the summer. The Geoff Capes-coached athlete, indicated that she was very pleased with this outstanding early season performance. This throw also puts the Great Yarmouth AC athlete well clear at the top of the national rankings.

Michael Painter is another with his sights set on the World Junior Championships. He had an outstanding time winning the treble of shot, discus and hammer, all at the expense of training partner Callum Brown.

Both athletes are aiming for the under-20 hammer event as their main event of the season. Michael threw the outstanding distance of 68m 82 at Sportspark followed closely by Callum who threw 67m 17. Both beat the old county hammer and discus records. It was hard luck on Callum to beat two records and still not win. However, Callum Brown has beaten the world qualifying distance of 71 m at an earlier meeting. If it is any consolation Brown has been picked to represent Great Britain juniors in the Loughborough international match next weekend.

Another record fell in the high jump where Chris Baker jumped 2m 10 in far from perfect conditions. Chris is another with international aspirations, hoping for selection for the GB under-23 team later in the season. The previous county record holder Denis Costello was happy to present Chris with his trophy.

As always one of the attractions of the county championships is the chance for young athletes, making an early appearance in the sport, to compete at the same time as internationals.

In an enormous programme of events there were many good performances. Tom Hook front ran a double in the unde-20 800m and 1,500m and will surely run much faster later in the season. Clieo Stephenson impressed with a fine double in the sprints running 12.4 secs in the 100m and 25.5 secs in the 200m. Another sprinter to do well was Richard Taylor from Great Yarmouth who clocked an impressive 22.1 secs in the 200m. In the under-17 age group Lucy Ann Wilson cleared a fine 1m 62 in the high jump.

Dominic Burnham from Yarmouth was another to complete a sprint double with his 200m time of 23.8 secs being the best. In the under-11s Lucy Koeningsberger impressed with an 11.1 record in the 80m.

The second part of the Norfolk AAA Championships takes place at Lynnsport tonight. As a result of the Sportspark event sprinters will be selected to represent Norfolk in the Bedford International Games and teams will represent the county in the Southern Inter County championships at Abingdon on May 26.

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