Joshua Hale continued his fine run of form by successfully achieving a Bronze medal in the Inter Boys 400m at the English Schools Championships. Hale, who won all six 400m races leading up to the championships, finished 2nd in his heat with a time of 50.27 seconds. This set him up for a semi-final run the following morning; being 5th fastest on paper, only the first three and two fastest losers reach the final. This was a surprising achievement given the fact that he was carrying a grade one thigh strain. Physiotherapist Mike Garmston insisted on getting in the elbow and completing a few active assisted exercises pre-race, which we did and proved highly successful.
The following morning Hale then finished 2nd in his semi-final in a new personal best time of 49.90, consequently setting him up for the 400m final one hour and fifty minutes later. As the final had been moved forward two hours, we both knew that this would suit him due to the demands of his rugby training games at Worcester Warriors. We came to the conclusion that he had to go for a medal in the final. It wasn’t impossible at all quite the contrary.
Hale was seeded lane 5 come the final, but luckily had a 48 second runner in lane 6 to aid his performance. Within the first 100m of the race, the favourite Ben Pattison past Josh in lane 4 and went on to win the race in 47.80 seconds. With 100m to go in the race, Hale was in fourth position and a good 15 metres behind third place. Josh maintained his posture, pumped his arms cheek to cheek holding peak velocity, and dived through the line to secure third place and achieve a well deserved Bronze Medal. I was absolutely shocked – yet again Josh continues to strive to be the best, focusing on nothing but victory. The ultimate warrior!
I think Hale has undoubtedly improved since doing extra technical and speed work with local athletics coach Michael Plummer at BRAT club. Hopefully we can continue this relationship through the next couple of years and see whether the path will be Rugby or Athletics for Josh.
Full Results at ESAA