Dominic Smith claims Bronze at English Schools & qualifies for U20 GB Team

Dom Smith (MJP) was again successful in qualifying for Berkshire Schools in the Senior 400m at the English Schools Athletics Championships in Gateshead this week. Last year, he came 6th in the Final with a time of 48.5 and has been running there or thereabouts for the past year with a number of illness-related disruptions in training to contend with. His coach, Rodger Hughes, has the highest regard for Dom’s natural ability, but he arrived at Gateshead at the weekend without a recent run of good form and so there was some uncertainty about his prospects. A tactical approach in the Friday afternoon heats saw Dom qualifying for the Final – he took the first 250m fairly easily, then came from behind to finish in second place comfortably enough in a time of 48.82. In the Final the following morning, Dom drew Lane 7 and so had to run ‘blind’ for the first 250m, but with 150m to go Dom unleashed a burst of speed which carried him past all but two of his competitors finally to break the long-standing school record of 48.5 with a time of 48.18.

As well as winning Bronze, Dom has been rewarded with selection for the U20 European Championships as part of the GB 4 x 400m relay team.