Champions on top of the world

Jean Fail - world champion'Athletics'August 11 2011
Jean Fail - world champion'Athletics'August 11 2011

TWO world champions from Rugby & Northampton AC were crowned in California last week.

Angela Copson and Jean Fail struck gold in the World Masters Championships in Sacremento.

Angela Copson - world champion'Athletics'August 11 2011

Angela Copson - world champion'Athletics'August 11 2011

Angela, who only started running five years ago, took both the 5000m and 10,000m titles in the 60-64 age group and won silver in the 800m, knocking two seconds off her personal best.

Jean followed up her recent successes in the British Masters Championships by becoming world champion over the 80m hurdles, also in the 60-64 age group.

Recording a time of 14.56 secs she gained sweet revenge over the Italian athlete who had beaten her in European Championship. Jean was also member of the 4 x 100m relay team who finished 5th in 64.69 secs.

Angela had a hectic schedule of four races in seven days, which started with the final of the 5000m in sweltering heat of 100F. Not surprisingly the race was a slow tactical one with runners from China, Mexico and the USA taking it in turns to lead.

With one lap to go Angela made her decisive move and held on to win by 1.6 secs from the USA’s Edie Stevenson with a time of 21 mins 20.71 secs. Only 5 seconds separated the first three with GB’S Ros Tabor clinching the bronze.

She was back the next day in the second semi-final of the 800m and with the first two qualifying she finished in 2nd place with 2 mins 52.44 secs. The final followed two days later with 12 athletes taking part.

With the temperature still very high, the Rugby & Northampton athlete found Denmark’s Ingerlise Jensen a bit too strong, but nevertheless moved into second place in the final 200m to win the silver medal in a lifetime best of 2.40.54. This knocked more than two seconds off her PB from 2009.

She then, had four days rest before the final of the 10,000m, when the weather was slightly cooler and they were also joined in the field by the over 65 ladies.

Angela took the lead from the start and destroyed the whole field of 19 runners by lapping every single one of them at least once and finished in a time of 41 mins 22.7 secs.

Both Jean and Angela then represented Great Britain in the over 60 4x100m relay, with Angela running the third leg and handing over to Jean on the final leg. They finished 5th in 64.69 secs.