Competition at Lee Valley also sees British records for John Wright, Steve Linsell, Don Brown, Peter Giles and Carol Parker

Denied an opportunity to compete in the European Masters Indoor Championships next week because of the coronavirus, athletes were in record-breaking form on the opening day of the British Masters Championships at Lee Valley.

Kathleen Stewart did not actually beat anyone in the combined W60-W80 400m, finishing 14 seconds down on her only opponent W60 Hilary West, but her 90.37 clocking not only improved her own British W80 record of 92.56 set last month by over two seconds but also eclipsed the world record of 91.10 set by Italian Emma Mazzenga six years ago.

Also in record-breaking form in the two-lap event was European outdoor champion John Wright.

He won the 400m in an impressive UK best of 56.93 and also won the 60m in 7.93.

Steve Linsell set a British M55 high jump record of 1.71m as he cleared it at his third attempt while Carol Parker set a British W50 shot record of 12.63m, to eclipse 1970 Commonwealth discus champion Rosemary Chrimes’ mark from 34 years ago.

European masters athlete of the year Evaun Williams won the W80 hammer with a 31.97m throw and also won the shot with a 9.55m throw and the weight with a 12.75m throw.

Don Brown, European masters sprinter of the year, improved his week-old British M55 record in the 60m hurdles to 8.91 (97.64%).

He also came close in the flat 60m metres as he won by two metres in 7.61 to just miss Ron Taylor’s 30 year-old record of a hand-timed 7.6 but it was easily the fastest ever electronic time, and arguably better, as Taylor’s best was a mere 7.76 on automatic timing.

Multi world and European champion Irie Hill won the W50 pole vault in a championships record 3.45m but missed out on setting a world record 3.55m.

Peter Giles, as well known for being in a rock band with famous guitarist Robert Fripp as well as his running, won the M75 1500m gold in a British record 5:36.94 (89.72%). The previous record of 5:42.26 was set 23 years ago by Jimmy Todd.

Up ahead the M65-plus race was won by Dave Wilcock in 5:03.95 (88.86%). The former world and European masters medallist, who won the masters M60 race at the World Indoor Championships in Portland, looks a sure-fire bet to set a UK 800m record on Sunday based on his additional 400m win in 62.66 (88.38%).

Three of Britain’s world indoor 1500m champions, who had all planned to run in Braga before its cancellation this week, all took gold medals.

M45 Dean Richardson front ran a 4:10.25 for the fastest time of the day to score 91.80% while Mark Symes won the M50 race after a slow start in 4:21.50 (90.71%).

British masters athlete of the year in 2019, Clare Elms, had to run in the combined W50/W55 race instead of the faster younger race and running solo, won by 20 seconds from W50 champion Lisa Webb.

Her time of 5:01.34 was a championship record and scored 99.38%.

Other winners included 2017 world masters champion Louise Rudd (W45), who won the overall W35-W45 race in 4:52.10 (89.05 %).

Gary Ironmonger kicked to victory in the M55 1500m in 4:38.41 (90.32%) ahead of former world and European masters champion Simon Anderson (4:39.14).

Steve Smith, who won a world masters M45 title over 1500m 14 years ago, showed a return to form to win the M60 race in 4:47.30 (89.06%).

Over the hurdles, Jane Horder won the W60 race in 9.96 (and the flat 60m event in 9.19) while Tony Bowman won the M80 race in 12.59.

Tony Wells won the M70 race in 10.74 and M45 Joe Appiah won his event in 8.47 but just lost out in the 60m to Ciaran Harvey’s 7.46 as he ran 7.47.

M40 Mensah Elliott took his event in 8.21.

Di Norman gained four gold medals on the opening day. She won the W45 60m hurdles in 9.52 (93.38%) and the shot with an 11.35m throw. She also won the overall women’s high jump with a 1.50m clearance and the W45 long jump gold with a championships best 4.95m.

She had to settle for second in the W45 400m as Sharon Wilkinson won in 60.60 to Norman’s 62.42. Fiona de Mauny won the W35 400m in 59.22.

Jason Carty missed his recent British record in winning the M50 60m in 7.22 in beating a high quality field including Darren Scott (7.41) and Guiseppe Minetti (7.52) while Dominic Bradley won the M40 race in 7.05 from Elliott.

Victor Novell won the M70 race in 8.93.

Vanessa Grant was the fastest woman overall with a 7.90 victory in the W35 event.

In the throws, John Watts won the M80 hammer with a 37.91m throw and also set a championships record 10.98m in the shot and won the weight with a 20.06m throw.

Also impressing was Lucy Marshall who won the W35 hammer with a 53.80m throw and the weight with a 15.51m effort.

Last week Melanie Garland lost her UK W55 long jump record to Jo Willoughby’s 4.82m leap and just missed out on regaining it with a 4.81m win.

Second was 1984 Olympic medallist Sue Richardson (nee Hearnshaw).

» Look out for our social media updates and further online coverage this weekend, with full reports in next week’s magazine

» For more on the latest athletics news, athletics events coverage and athletics updates, check out the AW homepage and our social media channels on TwitterFacebook and Instagram