Ted Chamberlain completed a Northern Indoor-Outdoor 800m double by winning gold at the Senior/U20 North of England Track and Field Championships at Sportcity on 4th June.
Buoyed by his Northern Indoor title in January and a solid start to his outdoor track season, Chamberlain was confident ahead of his latest 800m venture in Manchester.
Yet this was an even stronger field than the one Chamberlain faced in Sheffield back in January.
Northern Indoor 800m silver and bronze medalists Matt Mustard (University of Sheffield) and Vale Royal’s Sam Stephens had seen promising improvements recently, both reducing their personal bests, cutting the gap on Chamberlain’s personal best of 1:51.74.
Leeds City’s Eddie Hunter – the 2023 Yorkshire County champion over 800m – and Sale Harriers Manchester’s Adetomiwa Oladiti – the defending Northern Outdoor 800m champion – were the fastest men going into the competition with lifetime bests of 1:50.13 and 1:51.62 respectively.
This was a meaty field for Chamberlain to overcome.
23-year old Chamberlain relaxed into the competition, running 1:57.37 in his heat, qualifying automatically for the final in second without really breaking sweat, despite there being a blanket finish between first and fourth. Only 0.09 seconds separated heat winner Eddie Hunter from fourth-placed Joseph Hudak of East Cheshire making it a close-run affair.
Recovering physically while maintaining concentration was the next challenge for all the athletes left in the competition with the final taking place less than two hours after the heats.
It was twenty five degrees trackside, and things were hotting up.
Eight men lined up for the final, each athlete determined to win.
Hunter took on the pace in a steady 56 seconds through 400m followed by Stephens and Morpeth Harriers’ Matthew Waterfield with Chamberlain frustratingly boxed in behind the pair.
The race remained extremely cagey until 200m to go when Oladiti passed Hunter. As the pace picked up, Stephens struggled to hold on, giving Chamberlain enough space to make his move with 120m to go.
Chamberlain kicked hard, splitting the field and holding off a late charge from Hunter to win his second Northern 800m title in 1:52.95.
Hunter took home silver, with defending champion Oladiti claiming bronze.
Chamberlain was visibly delighted with his victory, with a grin as wide as the Etihad Stadium looming over Sportcity. He’ll be looking for an equally strong performance at this weekend’s Loughborough BMC Grand Prix when he races over 1500m.