Steve Partington on his way to history at the Manx Harriers open meeting in March. His time of 1.29.35 for 20km placed him top in the British merit rankings, compiled for the past 39 years by Peter Matthews and published jointly by Athletics International and Athletics Weekly, for the first time 21 years after first being ranked among the best in Britain. Sadly, his table topping performance was the slowest since 1973 but full credit to this remarkable athlete who scored a double by being ranked as the top 50km walker for the second year in a row in a event described by Peter Matthews as "not quite dead in Britain".
Congratulations also to Peter Kaneen and Carolyn Brown who were ranked 6th in the men's 20km walk and women's combined walks respectively. Martin Aram made the high jump rankings for the 4th year in the high jump in 12th place with two 2.10 performances outdoors and three tremendous indoor clearances of 2.18, 2.16 and 2.15. (Pic ML)
Flashback to 1983, before he even made the rankings, Steve Partington follows Andy Garrett in the Peel to Douglas walk in an event won by Steve's long term coach Allan Callow. (Pic ML)
And that first year be made the rankings in 1985. This picture was at the Manx Airlines meeting which in that year was 30km and qualified Steve for the first of his incredible six Commonwealth Games the following year. He is about to put another lap on Steve Taylor, who failed to make the 1986 or 1990 Commonwealth Games but put up a great show in 1994. (Picture by Gwelda Lambden whose two sons are on video camera duty).
And on to 1989 at the same event. Left to right: Sean Martindale, Mark Easton, Irish Olympic walker Jimmy McDonald, Les Morton and Steve. (Pic by ?)
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