Hastings talent breaks county championships record

Elise Lovell
Elise Lovell

A highly talented athlete from Hastings broke a 12-year-old championship record at the 2019 Sussex Track & Field Championships.

Elise Lovell won the women’s 400m hurdles at K2 Crawley in a time of 61.46 seconds, beating the previous record of 61.7s set by Leanne Buxton in 2007.

The former Hastings Athletic Club talent, now representing Havant AC, was also two seconds inside the qualifying time for the British Championships.

See also: * Hastings Runner achieves club’s best ever result in popular race
* Hastings Runners 5 Mile Race picture special
* Great Britain international smashes course record in Hastings race

And Lovell would have gone even quicker had she not hit the final hurdle so hard that she nearly came down.

Her achievement is all the more impressive given that the 400m hurdles is an unfamiliar event for Lovell, who had only previously done three hurdles training sessions with her coach.

Historically a multi-eventer, the 27-year-old has struggled with an Achilles problem for the last couple of years, making it difficult to do the seven disciplines that make up the heptathlon.

But Lovell has taken to the difficult stride pattern required for the hurdles remarkably well and duly clocked a time which was four or five seconds quicker than her coach expected.

Despite not having much left in her legs after the long jump, Lovell went on to win the women’s long jump - always one of her strongest events - as well.