Bright future for Jersey and CI athletics

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The stats certainly indicate it.

Regional standards, throughout the age groups are the highest ever, with a record number of athletes making the latest regional top 100 rankings.

Jersey alone has an incredible 278 top one hundred South East ranking places over the various age groups – a mind-boggling number – though many athletes have multiple ranking slots over several age groups and disciplines.

Just as impressive is the 51 top ten regional rankings achieved by no fewer than 35 Island individuals.

Last year was the first of the nationwide Power of 10 system which sets targets for athletes with one eye on the 2012 Olympics.

And Jersey and CI athletes are doing extremely well at national level, with several in the leading age group categories, including discus thrower Jamie Stevenson (17), who has made the U20 shot UK Target section, with a fourth place in the national rankings, as well as being second in the senior South East rankings.

Also at this elite level is Lauren Th?rin for the javelin (fifth in the national senior rankings), and the triple Island Games gold medallist is also first and second in shot and discus, respectively, in the South East region.

Another thrower to make the UK Target is 16-year-old discus thrower Zane Duquemin, who is seventh nationally.

Javelin thrower Becky Slater, having just entered the U20 bracket, is already in the Performance Review Category, just one below the elite UK Target grouping, as is 400 metre hurdles star Sophie Twinam.

Also in this category is U20 high jumper Jason Fox who is just 3 cm off the UK Target.

Further down the line at U13 level Shadine Duquemin, Zane’s sister, can boast two national No 1 rankings at shot and discus, obviously repeating that at regional level.

And there are many more excellent prospects.

‘Jersey and the CI has greater strength in depth than ever before,’ said a delighted Jersey athletics development officer Andrew Winnie, who is also the manager of Sportingbet CI Club, who won promotion to the British League this year.

‘This has been down to good coaching and help from our officials, but also to backing from our sponsors who are absolutely vital to keep travel costs down.

We must have high quality competition.

If we get it we will continue to improve.’

The 35 Jersey athletes who have made the top ten of the South East rankings are: U13s – Shadine Duquemin (two first places and placing at U15), Danielle Leerson (2 entries), Maxine Cumming, Teresa Roberts, Molly Jehan, Hannah Jauncey, Laura Huddle, Lauren Le Moignan, Tomas Morgan, Hugo Barrette (3 entries), Marc Alner (2 entries).

U15s – Felicity Johnson-Deeley, Lucy Crossman, Alex McCloud, Kathryn Rothwell (a 1st and 2nd as well as placings at U15 and U20 levels), Francisco Guarino and Rebecca Houze.

U17s – Stephen de la Haye (2 entries), Zane Duquemin (two 1sts), Jenna Murphy, Amy Dingle (three entries), Gemma Dawkins.

U20s – Jason Fox (also senior top ten ranking), Jamie Stevenson (one 1st in two entries, plus a 2nd at senior level), David Felton (2 entries), Becky Slater (also a senior top ten ranking), Sophie Twinham (also a senior top ten ranking), Stephanie Le Cornu, Jenna Murphy, Jennifer Browne.

Seniors – Jo Gorrod, Claire Lidster (2 entries), Lauren Therin (two 1sts and a 2nd), Peter Irving (2 entries), Simon Phelan.

Guernsey also has a highly creditable 27 top-ten rankings in the south-east region and is represented 12 times in the top 25 nationally in various age groups and events.

GIAAC president Rob Batiste said: ‘These results are excellent and show we are going in the right direction in terms of athlete development.

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