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Benjamin out of Commonwealth Games
01 Feb 2006 16:34

While Tim Benjamin (Belgrave Harriers) has been forced to withdraw from the Wales Team for the Commonwealth Games, his club mate Tim Bayley has made a breakthrough in the USA - and England’s tourists continue to hit the high spots on their tour of Central Europe.

It was announced on Wednesday 1 February that Benjamin, the UK’s top-ranked 400m star last summer, has decided not to go to Melbourne because injuries having led to him missing “a significant amount of crucial winter training”.

Bayley, a 23-year-old graduate at Iona University in the USA, was described by local reporters as the “surprise sensation” when he clocked 2:21.65 over 1000m in the Terrier Classic meet in Boston on Friday night, 27 January. It earned him second place, only 11-hundredths of a second behind his Iona team mate Richard Kiplagat (Kenya).

At the third match of England’s mid-European tour, in the Austrian capital of Vienna on Tuesday 31 January, Mark Findlay (Newham and Essex Beagles) won the 60m in 6.69 seconds, the second time in three days he has beaten the UKA / IAAF entry standard for the World Indoor Championships in Moscow. Having clocked 6.62 behind World and European Indoor Champion Jason Gardener in Karlsruhe on Sunday, he powered to Vienna victory ahead of Ryan Moseley (Shaftesbury Barnet), who clocked 6.76, and Craig Pickering (Milton Keynes), last summer's European Junior 100m Champion, who recorded 6.79.   

And three more England athletes achieved lifetime bests.

Kate Dennison (Sale Harriers Manchester) won the pole vault with 4.35m, adding 4cm to the PB she established only a fortnight ago to celebrate news that she has been added to the England Team for the Commonwealth Games.

Richard Buck (Nestle Rowntree), the 19-year-old who is in England’s 4x400m squad in Melbourne, made a nonsense of his indoor best of 48.19. He clocked 47.09 to win his heat and then triumphed in the final. Taking the lead as the contests broke from their lanes, he held off David McCarthy (Ireland) by 12-hundredths of a second.

Rikki Fifton (Victoria Park Harriers and Tower Hamlets) took seven-hundredths off his 200m best when winning comfortably in a time of 21.27.

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