Central AC were well represented at the Senior and Under-20 England Indoor combined events championships in Sheffield earlier this month as brothers Tom and Matt Chandler were chasing selection for Great Britain against the best all round athletes from throughout the UK.
Tom Chandler was competing in the Senior Men’s Heptathlon 3 years after earning his Great Britain debut at junior level. The 21 year old from Balfron, now living in Uxbridge, graduated from University last year and started his first full time job meaning he has to face the challenges of balancing full time work with the training demands of decathlon. He is also currently in transition between training groups so knew it would be a challenge to try and get into the reckoning for selection for the senior GB team. But he stuck to the task and sprinted to 7.55 seconds in the 60 metres, followed with a 6.48 metre Long Jump, 11.34 metre Shot Put and 1.83 metre High Jump to finish the first day with 2,609 points for 21st place. In the second day he ran 8.95 seconds over the 60 metre Hurdles, had a strong 4.20 metre Pole Vault before finishing with 2:48.09 in the 1,000 metres. In spite of the extra demands placed on him he had managed to score 4,825 points, within 200 of his personal best, and place 15th overall and a very respectable 6th in the Under-23 category against the best all round athletes from throughout the UK.
Afterwards Tom commented “I’m just getting to grips with working full time and training and how difficult that is becoming. I was just not competition-sharp, fitness wise and was just not reacting off the floor and it showed. But I’m looking forward to summer now with a new coaching set up which should put me in good stead for outdoors!” Hopefully we can see him back to his best for the summer.
Matt Chandler was contesting the Junior Heptathlon and had the perfect start as he sprinted to a personal best 7.54 seconds in the 60 metres. He followed this with 6.53 metres in the Long Jump then another personal best of 10.57 metres in the Shot Put. He was then looking to make his move in his strongest Pole Vault event however things didn’t go to plan as he managed only 3.80 metres, well down on his 4.32 metre club record. This gave him an uphill struggle to get into contention for the medals and GB selection. But he started well when he returned for the second day started with 8.88 seconds in the 60 metre hurdles then he equalled his personal best in the High Jump with an excellent 1.92 metres, the 3rd highest jump of the day to pull him up to 7th place. He then finished with another personal best 2:50.38 to retain 7th place for an excellent personal best final score of 4,751 points. Matt was able to take the positives and negatives from the competition commenting “My immediate reaction was I was a bit disappointed with the pole vault which ended my chances at the GB vest but a couple of days later I realised I still managed 4 PBs so very mixed emotions from the competition.” Matt will next be in action at the Scottish championships at the Emirates in February.
Also competing in the Junior Heptathlon was second claim Central athlete Joel MacFarlane, representing Arbroath on the day, who set a personal best 5,113 points for the bronze medal. This earned Joel his second selection for Great Britain in the upcoming international after making his debut at the event last year.