Ross set for second year with Olympic Ambition programme

The Ambition Programme is one of the British Olympic Association’s unique approaches to achieving performance gains and enhancing British medal success, by providing aspiring Olympians and their coaches with an opportunity to experience an Olympic Games prior to competing in one.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 17th August 2021, 10:18 am
Ross Charlton (centre) with his GB Modern Pantathlon colleagues.
Ross Charlton (centre) with his GB Modern Pantathlon colleagues.

Modern Pentathlete Ross Charlton, a member of Morpeth Harriers since his early teens, is currently about to start his second year at the prestigious Modern Pentathlon course at the University of Bath from which so many of Team GB’s pentathletes have come.

“Many Sporting Bodies send representatives from their sports to get a feel for what to expect at the next Games. For Modern Pentathlon I was nominated alongside Charlie Follett and our coach Russell North.

Obviously because of Covid, we weren’t able to travel to Tokyo this time. However, the BOA did a fantastic job of replicating the atmosphere and experience at the Queen Elizabeth Park, the site of the London 2012 Olympics. This included talks & insights from previous Olympians and a virtual tour of the Tokyo Athletes Village.

It was a privilege to rub shoulders with so many talented athletes from the past, present and future. And of course the week ended perfectly with Pentathletes Kate French and Joe Choong both winning Gold Medals in Tokyo!

So now the focus shifts to Paris 2024. And we’ll all be working as hard as we can to get there.”

In one of the busiest nights for competition since lockdown restrictions were lifted, there were over 500 finishers at the Quayside 5k last Wednesday evening.

In the Junior 3km race, Morpeth’s Joe Dixon figured prominently. Dixon was in fact only beaten by Tommy Shaw of City of York AC, with the U17 athlete finishing in 9 minutes 9 seconds, some seven seconds ahead of Dixon, who did at least had the satisfaction of being first U15 home.

Club colleague Caitlin Flanagan also had a good run, finishing second female U17 in 11: 53.

The evening’s main event was the 5k ‘A’ race, won impressively by host club Gateshead AC’s Calum Johnson in 14:10, with Sunderland’s Liam Taylor second (14:52) and Middlesbrough’s Nathan Baker third (14:56).

Wallsend Harrier Danielle Hodgkinson posted an equally strong time in the Women’s race, winning in 16:20, with Morpeth’s Cat Macdonald behind her in 17:57 and North Shields Polytechnic Harrier Jacqui Penn third (18:16). Rachelle Falloon also showed herself on the comeback trail, finishing 5th Senior Female in 18:36, with sisters Hannah and Lizzie Rank 12th and 14th (19:12 and 19:45).

First Morpeth Harrier home was Leeds-based Phil Winkler in one of his first competitive outings of the year, finishing 7th in 15:16. Andy Lawrence was not far behind in 10th with a clocking of 15:38 and Matty Briggs 12th in 15:42.

There were also some impressive age category wins, with John Butters first O45 in 16:16 and Lee Bennett second O50 in 16:52. In the O65s Dave Nicholson and Gavin Bayne ran 19:0919:25 respectively.