Athletics: Pickering makes grade as best time accelerates schedule

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The Independent Online

Craig Pickering has a summer packed with challenges - not least that of three impending A-Levels. But the 18-year-old Buckingham schoolboy put himself ahead of timetable in his athletics career here yesterday as he defeated a field of senior internationals in the 100 metres in 10.22sec, knocking two-tenths of a second off his personal best.

Nobody was more surprised by the performance than the athlete himself. "I'm overwhelmed," he said. "When I saw the time I felt like crying. I thought I would be running closer to 10.45."

Pickeringhad aimed to run around 10.30 by the end of this season, a time he believes will be enough to win this year's European Junior Championships. He will now revise his target.

Janine Whitlock had her 37th British record in the pole vault, raising her best to 4.45m. Whitlock, however, is still seeking to appeal against her ban from next year's Commonwealth Games following the two-year doping suspension she returned from this season.

The Olympic heptathlon bronze medallist Kelly Sotherton had a decent outing in two events, high-jumping 1.79m and clocking 13.45sec in 100m hurdles.