Graeme and Michael at the Anniversary Games

Graeme Ballard was among the many athletes returning to the Olympic Stadium for the Sainsbury`s Anniversary Games. Following his bronze medal in the previous week’s IPC World Championships he was clearly in fine form and relishing the televised occasion in front of a 60,000 sell-out crowd. His T36 100m Final provided him with an opportunity to excel and he quickly went clear of his rivals to streak home well clear in 12.33 ahead of friend Ben Rushgrove (12.75). The ultimate challenge though will be the Rio Olympics in three years time but he is patently benefiting from his base at Edge Hill University and the coaching expertise of Tabo Huntley.

The previous day had seen Michael Rimmer in a highly competitive 800m race. The United Sates has suddenly developed a string of talented two-lappers and besides providing the winner, Symmonds in 1.43.67, they had a further four athletes in front of Michael who nevertheless recorded a very creditable 1.45.46 in eighth spot. Michael goes to Moscow for the World Championships knowing that only his very best will be enough to mount a challenge to the Americans and the perennial Africans who are currently opting for a lower profile.

Charles Gains

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