62nd Hammer Circle Re-union
Costello Stadium, Hull – 18th & 19th October 2014
On 2nd of August 1952 many of the country’s leading hammer throwers took part in an invitation meeting at Alperton in Middlesex.
After the meeting the throwers agreed to establish a new association, called the Hammer Circle, to advance and promote hammer throwing in the UK. The first president was Malcolm Nokes who was the Empire Games hammer champion in 1930 and 1934 and he is still Great Britain’s only Olympic hammer medallist. He won bronze at the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris.
The Hammer Circle meets annually at different locations in the United Kingdom. This year the re-union meeting was held at the Costello Stadium in Hull on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th October.
90 throwers and family members attended the get together, which is the most enjoyable weekend of the Hammer season. The ages of the contestants ranged from under 15 year olds to veterans in their 50’s and above.
The entire weekend was superbly organised by Diane and Dave Smith, the coaches of the Hull Hammer Squad.
The throwers spent the weekend together in serious but friendly competition in both hammer throwing and weights throwing. They all enjoyed a social get together and evening meal on the Saturday at the Hallmark Hotel in North Ferriby.
Six Olympians attended the re-union, they were:-
Barry Williams Munich 1972
Paul Dickenson Montreal 1976 and Moscow 1980
Chris Black Montreal 1976 and Moscow 1980
Dave Smith Seoul 1988
Paul Head Barcelona 1992
Alex Smith London 2012
The results for the members of the Hull Hammer Squad who competed in the event are as follows:-
Olivia Stevenson (under 15 girls)
The 2014 season has been a tremendous one for Ollie. She has won silver medals at the England Championships and the English Schools Championships and in addition to this she also won two gold medals at the Northern Championships, winning not only the Hammer competition but also the Discus.
At the re-union she was the winner of the U15 competition with a throw of 52.59m.
She was also the winner of the overall ladies weight throw, registering 18.28m with the 12lb short hammer.
Grace Sanders (under 15 girls)
A fairly new member of the training group, Grace is in her first competitive season and is still learning her trade.
She took 2nd place in her competition with a throw of 30.09m. Which was a new PB
Maggie Okul (under 17 women)
Maggie has also had another successful season, winning bronze at the England Championships and two gold medals at the Northern Championships, where she successfully defended the under17 and under 20 titles she had won in 2013.
She took 2nd place in the U17 competition with a throw of 47.07m, and was the winner of the U20 weight throw with an effort measuring 14.14m.
Alice Barnsdale (under 17 women)
Alice is a member of the Lincoln Wellington Club and travels from Lincoln to Hull for training with our squad.
She took 2nd place in her competition, where she set a new PB of 46.75m.
Diane Smith (V 50)
Diane is of course one of the hammer squads coaches but she still competes in the senior league matches for the club and she does so with distinction.
She competed in the senior women’s competition where she threw a season’s best effort of 38.46m.
Alex Smith (Senior Men)
Olympic finalist in 2012, Commonwealth silver medallist in 2010, Northern Champion 2014. He is a man who commands the utmost respect in his sport and is a role model for all of the young athletes at our club.
Alex won the senior men’s competition with a throw of 65.01m.
James Bedford (Senior Men)
England Champion in 2012, Inter Counties Champion 2013, Northern Silver Medallist 2014 and a former Junior International, Another huge inspiration for all our up and coming throwers and like Alex (his training partner) a great guy as well.
James took 2nd place in the senior men’s competition with a throw of 59.92m.
John Twiddle (V 45)
John is the 2014 British Throws Pentathlon Champion and the 2014 Yorkshire Veterans Champion at both Hammer and Discus.
He won the V45 Hammer Competition (veterans aged 45 or over) with a throw of 39.05m.
John was also the winner of the 15.88 kilo weight throw, with a distance of 11.33m.
Darren Gibson (V 50)
Darren was the winner of both the Northern and the Yorkshire veterans Championships in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
He was placed 2nd in the V50 competition at the re-union with a season’s best effort of 42.56m.
Anthony Gillatt (under 20 Men)
Ant hails from Scunthorpe and has been training with the Hull Hammer Squad at Costello for the last two seasons. He is progressing very well and has represented his county at the English School Championships.
He was the runner up in the under 20 competition with a throw of 55.23m.
He took 2nd place in the 11.34 kilo weight throw, where he set a new PB of 17.24m.
‘Chris Preston’ Winter Handicap Team Competition
Last but by no means least the Hull Hammer Squad were the winners of the team competition.
We put out a formidable team which consisted of Alex Smith – James Bedford Maggie Okul and Olivia Stevenson.
They beat 19 other teams nationwide to win the title.