Sharman denies Turner fifth national hurdles title
WILL Sharman stormed from behind to end Andy Turner's hopes of a fifth 110m hurdles title at the Aviva UK Championships at the Alexander Stadium.
WELL TIMED: Will Sharman overtakes Andy Turner in the closing metres to deny him a fifth 110m hurdles national title in Birmingham (Getty Images)
Turner has long dominated domestic sprint hurdling, although it was Sharman who surprised himself and British team officials by finishing fourth at last year's World Championship final in Berlin.
However, the experienced Turner has returned to the top of the domestic rankings in 2010, defending his title at last week's European Team Championships in Bergen.
But despite a sluggish start, Sharman chased his rival down in the closing metres to equal his season's best 13.45 seconds - two hundredths ahead of a disappointed Turner.
MEN'S 110M HURDLES
1. Will Sharman - Belgrave 13.45, 2. Andy Turner - Sale 13.48, 3. Lawrence Clarke - WSE Houns 13.75
Full results click here
"When I knew Andy was up for a fifth title I just couldn't let him have it," said Sharman, now ranked third in Europe behind Latvia's Stanislavs Olijars and Poland's Artur Noga.
"I'm happy with the performance but I still think I can really improve on the time.
"Andy will be back though and with all his experience he is still the one to beat at the Europeans as far as I'm concerned.
"However, we’re all so close together in Europe. We are only separated by a few hundredths and you cannot afford mistakes."
But while Turner slipped up, Michael Rimmer was successful in securing his fifth consecutive title with a dominant display in the 800m.
In a slow-paced and tactical race that didn't come alive until the closing stages, Rimmer always looked like he was running within himself, shifting up a gear to cruise away from second placed Gareth Warburton in 1.47.22.
"After last week's European Team Championships I felt really unwell and it was touch and go this morning whether I'd be able to compete," said Rimmer.
Rimmer will now aim to tune up at a couple of IAAF Diamond League meetings before he heads to the European Championships in Barcelona looking to deliver on the medal promise he has long displayed.
He is currently ranked third in Europe behind Poland's Marcin Lewandowski and Russia's Yuriy Borzakovskiy but is confident he can improve dramatically on his eighth place finish in Gothenburg four years ago.
"Everything is looking good but the next few weeks are going to be crucial for my preparation," added Rimmer.
"After all the past problems with injury and illness I just want to stay fit and healthy, then I know I can be right in contention in Barcelona."