Athletics...and although bad weather prevented any record breaking performances at Wednesday's (16 May) opening meeting?
Athletics...and although bad weather prevented any record breaking performances at Wednesday's (16 May) opening meeting of the British outdoor season, there were some warming performances from international athletes who dominated the major track events. Britain did have one important victory-when Dave Moorcroft won the inaugural running of the Bannister Mile, commemorating the 25th anniversary of Roger Bannister's first sub-four minute mile. But the biggest cheer of the evening was reserved for the remarkable Kenyan Henry Rono who powered to victory in one of his world record events -- the 3,000 metres.
SYNOPSIS: The Kenyan party which arrived in Britain two days earlier (14 May) had a good night. James Maina won the 800 metres and two of their athletes, James Atuti and Billy Konchella dominated the 400 metres.
Atuti, Kenya's No.1 was in lane four. On his outside, in lane seven was one of the latest Kenyan discoveries, the lanky Billy Konchella. Konchella has only been running for a year, and was brought to London to gain international experience. In the end it was victory for the more-experienced Atuti in 46-point-39, secs with Konchella running just outside his personal best despite the miserable conditions.
There was a shock in the 100 metres when Jamaica's Don Quarrie in lane four, could only finish third to Ghana's Ernest Obeng. Quarrie got his revenge later in the 200 metres.
The feature race of the evening was the Bannister Mile, with the record-breaker himself, now Sir Roger Bannister, at Crystal Palace to present the prizes. The runners were determined to turn in another sub-four minute performance, and after the early pace-makers had dropped back it was Britain's Dave Moorcroft - who led into the last lap.
And it was still Moorcroft-fit from a winter's racing in New Zealand in the lead at the tape-finishing in 3 minutes 56-point-6 seconds.
At the bell for the start of the last lap of the 3000 metres, Britain's Nick Rose was still sticking doggedly to Henro Rono's shoulder. But Rose had to answer when the Kenyan sprinted away down the back straight, finishing in a time of 7 minutes 46-point-4 seconds.