Army Athletes Set Out To Impress In Aldershot Ahead Of Inter-Services

Individual honours and team selection for next month's Inter-Services Athletics Championships have been up for grabs in Aldershot...

Individual honours and team selection for next month's Inter-Services Athletics Championships have been up for grabs in Aldershot.

The Army's athletics championships saw athletes from all cap badges take to the track.

The meeting is a chance for many to go for glory but also a gauge of form ahead of the Inter-Services.

Lance Corporal Michael Major, from 3rd Battalion, Parachute Regiment (3 PARA), has made great strides in his event, the men's 800m.

He was one of the runners-up last season but eclipsed that result with first place this time out, much to his delight. LCpl Major told Forces Network:

"I'm very pleased because the lads that came second and third today actually beat me last year... and I've run a PB [personal best]. It shows I'm improving, which is the biggest thing for me."

The selectors of the Army athletics squad will have been delighted with the emergence of future track and field stars from within the ranks.

Teenage Gunner Alice Miell recorded PBs to win a number of events, including the 'B' string women's 100m and the women's javelin - not bad in her debut Army season.

Captain Becky Hannah from the Army Air Corps lapped several fellow competitors to take the women's steeplechase. It's the first time she's ever run in the event.

She said: "I'm really chuffed... I entered the race just because I've always fancied trying the steeplechase."

"I've been a distance runner and just thought I'd change and give it a go."

Danielle Hodgkinson has been a mainstay for the Army athletics squad for several years.

British Army athlete Danielle Hodgkinson

The 5,000m winner also helped the Army Medical Services to victory in the women's 4x400m relay and will prepare for next months Inter-Services by taking part in the British Athletics Championships. She said:

"You've got to go amongst a high field to get better... I'm looking forward to it.

"The Army's got to win... We'll do everything we can."

But if there is one athlete the other two services will fear most, it's Private Alhagie Drammeh.

The sprint sensation was in fine form with victory in the men's 100m, 200m and his specialist event, the 400m.

Despite disappointment at missing out on the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, he still has plenty to focus on.

The Gambia sprint champion said: "You just have to leave it behind and crack on.... [and look to] whatever is ahead.

"Now, I'm preparing for the African Championships... [the] Grand Prix... in Stuttgart in Germany... [the] Inter-Services. I'm looking forward to those." 

Pte Drammeh and his Army team-mates face the Royal Navy and RAF at the Aldershot Military Stadium on July 18.

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