Wonderful Woodford’s Watts is on top of the world

PUBLISHED: 14:00 05 February 2015

Woodford Green's Sam Watts (pic: Ken Bray)

Woodford Green's Sam Watts (pic: Ken Bray)


Woodford Green athlete Sam Watts is at the top of the world rankings for 200 metres

It is not often that Woodford can claim to have the best in the entire world. Ronnie O’Sullivan in snooker perhaps, but it is not usually in athletics and not usually in one of the blue riband events.

But Sunday saw those dreams come true when Woodford Green with Essex Ladies sprinter Sam Watts stormed to victory in a 200 metre race in an indoor race in Albuquerque, New Mexico in a superb time of 20.69 seconds to put him at the head of the world rankings over the distance for 2015.

However short a time it may last, it is still a remarkable achievement for the athlete, who turns 23 on Valentine’s Day.

Watts currently goes to Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, but he was back training in Woodford over Christmas.

Watts had already shown a glimpse of his current form the previous week when he ran a 46.4 second relay split and he was even better at the weekend.

First, he ran a personal best of 6.84 in the 60m sprint to finish third in his heat, but that was a mere dress rehearsal for his magnificent run in the 200m.

Watts was ranked only 22nd over 200m in the UK last season, clocking 21.05, which was even behind Woodford team-mate Jordan Kirby-Polidore’s best.

But his time of 20.69 ranked him 10th on the all-time UK indoor rankings and - at the moment - first in the world this year!

Meanwhile, also competing across the Atlantic last weekend was Hollie Pattie-Belleli, who took part in three events at a meet in Fayetteville in Arkansas.

The 20-year-old, who is studying at Missouri State University recorded 1.54 metres in the high jump, before clocking 2:20.91 over 800m and then 8.83 over 60m hurdles, the latter two being personal best marks.

Continuing the international theme, US-based Jordan Donnelly was in Europe for work and finished second in an 800m race in Munich with a time of 1.53.15, while Tim Abeyie was in Luxembourg to clock 6.89 for the short sprint.

Lee Valley hosted the London Indoor Games over the weekend, where Robert Wolski competed in the high jump and, whilst still hampered by a back problem, and restricting himself to a short approach, he won with a clearance of 2.10m, and was very close to 2.15m.

Also competing in the jumps were Kitty Eleyae in the long jump where her 5.75m, which was her only valid jump, was good enough to win, and also winning was Tosin Oke with a triple jump of 16.60m ahead of Thasalong Tshireletso who reached 14.21m off a short approach for fourth.

On the Sunday, Olumide Ogunseitan raced over 60m, and was just a touch slower than his recent personal best with 6.95, while Stefan Redmond, did record a personal best in clocking 7.21 to win his race.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ilford Recorder. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Ilford Recorder