Richard Kilty tasted victory on his homecoming as huge crowds massed on Stockton on Tees’ High Street for the Great North CityGames.
The Teesside Tornado was involved in both the 100m and the 150m races on the pop-up track in the centre of Stockton and, while he took the win in the shorter distance, he was forced to settle for third place in the 150m behind 4x100m relay teammates Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake and Harry Aikines-Aryeetey.
There were also victories for Olympic and World champion Allyson Felix in the women’s 150m, Paralympic champion Jonnie Peacock in the men’s IPC 100m and Sophie Hahn in the women’s IPC 100m on a day when the spotlight fell on Stockton on Tees, who hosted the Great North CityGames for the first time in the event’s 11-year history.
Britain’s widest high street proved to be an excellent stage for the specially-erected track, long jump and pole vault arena as thousands of spectators descended on the market town for its big day, and the crowds were treated to some scintillating athletics action.
The day started with the men’s pole vault, and Charlie Myers was denied victory on his home patch. The Middlesbrough athlete missed out on first place on countback, clearing 5.45m with Cole Walsh taking the win. Pal Haugen Lillefosse was third clearing 5.30.
Kilty was given the opportunity to race at his best distance in front of the home crowd and took the chance with both hands, shaking off concerns over a hamstring injury to record a time of 10.57. Sam Osewa was second in 10.80 and Sam Miller third in 10.80.
In the women’s long jump, Abigail Irozuru took the win with a mark of 6.66, a games record. Quanesha Burks’ 6.62 was enough for second while Olympian Tianna Bartolleta was third with a jump of 6.02.
Jonnie Peacock continued his good form as he looks forward to the IPC World Athletics Championships in Dubai, clocking 11.53 on route to victory in Stockton. Felix Streng was second in 11.75 with Michail Seitis third in 11.99.
Meanwhile, Sophie Hahn smashed the CityGames record to take victory in the women’s IPC 100m in a time of 13.07, with Marlene van Gansewinkel second in 13.73 and Sophie Kamlish third in 14.13.
The 400m races started on the road and finished on the track through the High Street, and Holland’s Tony van Diepen took the victory in the men’s race in 47.40. USA’s Tyrell Richard was second in 48.20, just pipping Britain’s Martyn Rooney in third.
USA’s Jaide Stepter won the women’s race in 54.10, with British pair Amy Allcock and Jesse Knight in second and third respectively, recording times of 54.30 and 54.50.
In the hurdles, Damian Czykier repeated his victory from Manchester last year, easing home in 13.93, ahead of Britain’s David King in 13.94 and Jake Porter in 14.32 finishing third.
Queen Claye won the women’s race in 13.08, from Britain’s Cindy Ofili who finished second in 13.11 while Tiffani McReynolds was third in 13.20.
It was an all-domestic affair in the men’s 150m, with Kilty up against Mitchell-Blake and Aikines-Aryeetey. Kilty was not to take a second win of the day, however, and Mitchell-Blake took the win in 15.43, with Aikines-Aryeetey second in 15.50 just pipping Kilty into third.
It was a much more decisive victory in the women’s race as Felix took control and led from the gun, blasting away the opposition to finish in 17.37 ahead of Britain’s Ashleigh Nelson in 17.49.
Earlier that morning, the Elite Mile events took place in NewcastleGateshead, with Jordan Williamsz taking the victory for the third consecutive year. The Australian pipped compatriot Ryan Gregson to the win by a whisker, with both recording times of 4.10.95. Sweden’s Suldan Hassan was third in 4.11.68.
In the women’s race, Elish McColgan earned a straightforward victory, easing home in 4.32.04 ahead of Britain’s Melissa Courtney in 4.33.73 while Amy Griffiths was third in 4.38.95.