Wakefield Harriers

Thomas Atkinson Wins England Athletics U17 800m Title

10th August 2008 - Alexander Stadium at Birmingham

Thomas sprinting to victory on the EA U17 800m.

Thomas along with his Coach have recently changed race tactics. Instead of front running, relying purely on Thomas's strength and trying to hold on to win races, which in National competitions very seldom works. So, the New race tactics were to stay back off the leaders and make a late move for the front and utilise his fast fininshing speed. To the race... Thomas set off and immediately dropped to the back of the field, three athletes began to gain a slight lead over the rest of the field, at the half way mark the leaders had a 10 metre lead, that soon became 20 metres as the front three kicked for home. Thomas was still in 6th position, tucked in from the very strong winds at track level, Thomas noticed the leaders moving away but didn't panic, he had faith in his own ability and blistering finish. If Thomas was to follow the plan, he was soon to make his move, and on schedule at the 200 metre mark he made his move, sprinting past the athletes in the chasing pack, he was now in 4th place, the next position he had to go past was the Bronze, by 120 metres from the finishing line Thomas eased past third place, where after the race he stated that "only the Gold was now going to be good enough once I had taken the Bronze". Thomas again put in an almighty burst of speed closing the remaining 10 meters on the two leaders, over the next 50 metres Thomas passed the leaders to move into the Gold medal position with a fantastic grand-stand finish, holding on to the line for the Gold and his first National Title. A fantastic finish and race, although a little nerve racking for parents...

Thomas now moves onto the Inter-Counties, where he will be representing Yorkshire in the 800m and Medley Relay, after which he will move onto the UK School Games, which replicates the Olympics with a number of different events including Athletics, Thomas will be competing for the Yorkshire & Humberside Region, where he hopes to add to his haul of Local, Regional and now National Titles.

Thomas would like to thank his Coach, David Fryer, Whitcliffe Mount School and his Local Sponsor Printees of Batley for their continued support.

Yours in Sport
Chris Atkinson