Bernice strikes gold in the Steel City

Bernice Wilson
Bernice Wilson

SPRINTER Bernice Wilson has claimed two 60m championship bests at the Northern English Championships in Sheffield at the weekend... beating the record previously set by Jessica Ennis.

And not only did she beat Great Britain heptathlete Ennis’ 7.36 sec record in her home town, but Bernice also left with the gold medal.

The Wyberton athlete triumphed in the heats at the English Institute of Sport with a time of 7.35 secs, pipping the previous record set by Ennis.

Bernice then shaved her time down to 7.34 in the final, taking a gold medal in spite of barely recovering from a recent bout of flu.

And she narrowly missed out on the chance to compete against Ennis, the golden girl of UK athletics, as she pulled out of the final after a twinge at the back of her knee.

Bernice’s time was just short of the qualification time needed for the upcoming European Championships. After coming second in the 60m in her opening race of the indoor season at Sport City, Manchester, on January 3, Bernice entered Saturday’s competition as number one in the UK, number three in Europe and sixth in the world on performance. She was one of three success stories among the athletes coached by Dr George Skafidas at Boston’s Princess Royal Sports Arena.

Triple jumper Daniel Bergin took a bronze medal while Kaine Walker took silver in the under 15 boys 200m.

Daniel, who is on a special sports scheme at the university, took the medal with a performance he didn’t consider his best - after a night of illness. Kaine is a new member of Dr Skafidas’ group and was only competing for the second time, following his debut at Sport City two weeks ago.

He was recommended to Dr Skafidas by a PE teacher at Banovallum School, Horncastle, after Bernice Wilson attended a prizegiving there.

He also came fourth in the 800m and sixth in the 60m.

David Mitchell, who was also competing in his second competition, running a personal best of 24.38 in the senior men’s 200m heats.