Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

A Close Call as Calum Takes Bronze Medal

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

A Close Call as Calum Takes Bronze Medal

Article excerpt

Byline: INSIDE TRACK Athletics news with Bill McGuirk

WHILE the World Championships in Moscow is at the top of the agenda as far as athletics fever is concerned one North East athlete's superb performance last weekend has slipped under the radar.

Great Britain cross-country international Calum Johnson has just returned from the World Duathlon Championships in Canada where his efforts were rewarded with a bronze medal in the under-20 contest.

After completing the 5k run, 20k cycle ride and a 2.5k run it took a photo finish to decide on the third place award after Johnson and Mexico's Cesar Saracho dived across the finish line together.

In the end both athletes were given the same time but, after a 10-minute wait the announcement eventually came over the tannoy giving the verdict to the Tynesider.

"Naturally, I'm over the moon to get my first major championship medal,'' said Johnson, who does all of his running training under the guidance of John Stevenson at Gateshead Harriers.

"I've finished outside the medals in two European Championships and in last year's World's I finished 17th so it's a huge improvement and you can see why I am so happy. "The two lads who finished first and second were ninth and 10th last year, while the Mexican boy who I sprinted in with finished in sixth place so I'm definitely going in the right direction.

"I knew I was in good shape before going to Ottawa so I was hopeful of a good performance though I knew to get onto the podium would take something special.'' After the opening 5k Johnson was in fourth place after recording 14min 56secs, the fastest time he's ever ran over the distance and two seconds quicker than his North East Counties 5k bronze medal run in Sunderland prior to going to Canada!

Johnson's bike performance was more than satisfactory and he entered transition two three seconds ahead of the south American but once again his rival was quicker at the changeover and was immediately on Johnson's shoulder as they set off on the final phase. …

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