Hospital nightmare ruins Steve's hopes of indoor medal at Sheffield
STEVE Mitchell certainly won't forget the 2013 British Indoor Championships – as he spent the night in Sheffield hospital.
The 24-year-old Bristol & West AC runner's weekend had begun badly when he was sent crashing to the track in the heats of the men's 1,500m and limped across the finish line last in a time of 4mins 09.77secs.
Following a protest Mitchell was reinstated, while Notts AC's Chris Warburton, who had collided with Mitchell on the last lap, was disqualified. That decision gave the 2012 England 1,500m champion something to look forward on Sunday, but sadly Mitchell's weekend proved to be cursed.
"I really banged my knee when I fell and when I went to bed in my hotel on Saturday night I just couldn't sleep," said Mitchell.
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"Eventually I got up to go to the toilet, but I couldn't even walk then, so at 1.30am I ordered a taxi to take me to A&E at Sheffield Hospital. That was an interesting experience on a Saturday night as the drunks and people involved in fights were brought in!
"You certainly saw a few sights and I reckon I was the only one there with a knee injury from running!"
Mitchell was in A&E until 7am, only returning to his hotel for breakfast and then calling the organisers to pull out of the 1,500m final.
"I had a splint on my knee and was given crutches, but fortunately I was able to see the physios and doctor at the championships and they gave me another good examination," added Mitchell.
"I am now trying to arrange an MRI scan back in Bristol to confirm the full extent of the damage."
While absolving Warburton from any blame, Mitchell's frustration at a wasted weekend wasn't helped as he watched the final won by Matthew Fayers in 3:47.77.
"I was gutted not to be in that final because I think there was a great opportunity there to win a medal especially as I felt so good in the heats until that fall – but now I will never know," said Mitchell.
There were better fortunes for clubmate Dave Bishop as he won the 3,000m title with a superb sprint in the final 50 metres, while 17-year-old Lucy Bryan, a former Easy Runner athlete of the month winner, took a superb bronze in the pole vault.
There was an impressive personal best and Bristol & West club record of 47.94secs for Omar Simpson, who was fifth in the 400m.
Several local athletes were in Birmingham for the Midland Counties Indoor Championships and there were new Bristol & West club records from 17-year-old rising star Chris Stone (under-20 men's 200m & 400m), launching him into the top ten in the UK rankings, Anicia Skeates (under-17 women's 200m) and Rownita Marston (under-15 girls' shot).
British Indoor Championships – men: 60m hts: Leon Reid (B&W) 7.00; 400: 5 Omar Simpson (B&W) 47.94 (PB); 3000: 1 Dave Bishop (B&W) 8:06.98; 2 Tom Humphries (C&S) 8:07.11; 3 Phil Hurst (Els) 8:07.28; PV: 6 Cameron Walker-Shepherd (B'field) 4.90. Women: 60 hts: Bethan Wakefield (B&W) 7.88; HJ: 10 Hayley Pitman (B&W) 1.72; PV: 3= Lucy Bryan (B&W) & Zoe Brown (Ireland) 4.20.
Midland Counties Indoor Championships, Birmingham (all Bristol & West AC unless stated) – men: PV: 1 Luke Bailey 4.20; HJ: 1 Adam Wall 2.00. Under-20 men – 200: 2 Chris Stone 21.76 (club record); 400: 1 Chris Stone 49.11.
Senior women: HJ: 1 Amelia Hempleman-Adams 1.65. Under-17 women: 200: Anicia Skeates (B&W) 25.82; 60H: Skeates 9.33. Under-15 girls – SP: Rownita Marston 10.10.
Richard Peter's hopes of running a fast mile indoors in Boston over the weekend were scuppered by the blizzards sweeping the north-east coast of America as a foot of snow fell on the city and the Valentines meeting was cancelled. But Olivia Sadler did compete, clocking 4:42.25 at the Lafayette Rider Games in New York.