ATHLETICS: King will be hoping to continue his impressive early season form

PLYMOUTH international hurdler David King will be hoping to continue his good early season indoor form when he competes at the World Tour Silver ISTAF Meeting in Berlin on Friday evening.

Olympian King set a new season’s best of 7.66 seconds for the 60m hurdles at the World Indoor Gold Meeting in Karlsruhe, Germany, at the weekend.

That was just 0.03 seconds off his PB and he also beat fellow Brit and 2018 world champion Andy Pozzi in the final.

“It was my first big race of the year, and it was fun,” said King afterwards. “The signs are that there is something big coming.”

King ran three times under 7.70 seconds in three meetings in January, having not managed it once during the previous two indoor seasons.

The City of Plymouth athlete has the qualification standard for the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade in March, but to automatically guarantee a spot on the Great Britain team he needs to compete and win his event at the British Indoor Championships in Birmingham at the end of this month. However, two other spots are available on the team.

Meanwhile, four of City of Plymouth’s up-and-coming hurdlers were in action at the weekend.

Nicolas Maczugowski and Adam Dingley, who have both just moved up to the under-17 age group, were in action at the London Indoor Games at Lee Valley, Toby Clayden competed at the Welsh Championships in Cardiff, while Emily Bee was running over the barriers in America.

Bee, representing Youngstown University, clocked 8.96 seconds in the women’s 60m hurdles at the YSU Mid-Major Classic. It was her third run under nine seconds in the last two weeks, having clocked 8.87 the week before. Bee and her former team-mate Sammie Harris, who opened her season last month with an 8.93 second run, are both ranked in the UK’s top senior 40. despite having just moved up to the under-23 age group.

Maczugowski set a new 60m hurdles PB and secured the standard to compete at the age group nationals by running 8.56 seconds at Lee Valley. That ranks him 13th in the UK under-17 rankings. Dingley is ranked 21st after he ran 8.75 seconds in the same competition.

Maczugowski also clocked a 60m flat PB of 7.34 seconds. He had already secured his national spot in that event on his previous trip to Lee Valley.

Clayden, who is currently ranked 33rd in the UK senior men’s 60m hurdles rankings, ran 8.95 seconds in Cardiff.

Meanwhile away from the track, Tavistock’s Ben Neale and Plymstock Road Runners’ Rich Shelley impressed at Tuesday night’s Exmouth 5.

Neale came fourth overall and second in his category in the five-mile event with a time of 26 minutes and 16 seconds.

Home athlete Tom Merson was the runaway winning but Neale came just seconds behind South West Road Runners duo of Ollie Thorogood and Sam Hopton.

Shelley was 11th overall and first over-50 in 28.19 minutes.

This weekend is a busy one for endurance athletes of all ages with the South West Schools’ Cross Country Championships at Chippenham, the BUCS Championships at Greenford, the South West Veterans’ Championships at Sidford and the popular Newquay 10k, which has attracted a number of Armada athletes.

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