Street Athletics Finals 2016
Street Athletics returned for a 12th year to Manchester’s Albert Square to watch the City’s fastest young people compete on a specially laid track over 60m for the Street Athletics Finals. Girls and boys competed across 5 age groups (U11, U13, U15, U17 and U20) with the aim qualifying for a spot in the National Final the following day.
Local music and dance acts kept the large crowd entertained between races, which included Elizabeth Joy, and ASH dance group.
On Saturday, 24 September, the 4 competing teams arrived; Manchester North, Manchester South, Kirkby in Ashfield and Battersea, all ready to battle it out for the Street Athletics National Champion title. A group warm-up was led by GB 800m athlete Jenny Meadows’ coach Trevor Painter, before the U13 heats began. The City’s music and dance talent again kept the crowds and competitors entertained between the races, and included football freestyler, Oli Hayes. The electric atmosphere meant it was impossible for the Lord Mayor, Carl Austin-Behan borrowing Linford’s Puma trainers to not accept a challenge against Councillor Luthfur Rahman. The victory went to the Lord Mayor who duly returned Linford’s trainers but repaid him by helping presenting the amazing prizes and team trophies at the end of the day.
There were some nail-bitingly close races with some impressive times and the photo finish results being given due consideration at times. The pressure was on for the Manchester North team, who were competing to win their third consecutive Street Athletics title. However, despite some outstanding performances from all 4 teams and a late charge from the Battersea Team, there could only be one winning team on the day; and 2016’s Street Athletics National Champions are Manchester South.