Jewish athletes win big at UK meeting

By Brian Sacks, August 19, 2010

Two Jewish athletes performed with distinction at the Diamond League event at Crystal Palace. In the top UK meeting of the year, Richard Goodman of Stanmore won the Under 20 3,000m while Jillian Schwartz of Israel came second in the pole vault.

Competing against older and faster runners, Goodman, 17, did not start his race as favourite. A hamstring injury two weeks beforehand had restricted his preparation to strength work in the gym and two speed sessions in the week before the race.

Goodman said: "I was just happy to be on the start line and I did not expect to win. It was a big field and I went to the front straight away to avoid the risk of being tripped. The early pace was slow and uneven and no-one really wanted to lead. At the halfway point I felt I couldn't wait any longer and decided to split the field with a sub-30-second 200m."

Goodman opened up a 30 metre lead with this dramatic surge and maintained it to the end of the race. His time of 8:12.94 cut 13 seconds off his PB.

"I think my strength work was paying dividends," he said. "I was hurting but I had a packed stadium cheering me on and the atmosphere was electric. I felt 'This is where I want to be'. The last lap felt like a victory lap and I was waving to the crowd at the end."

Schwartz finished runner-up to Fabiana Murer of Brazil, who is ranked second in the world this year. She was satisfied to place above UK record holder Kate Dennison and world No. 3 Svetlana Feofanova of Russia.

Last updated: 12:07pm, August 19 2010