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York athlete in line for World Indoor Championships after weekend win
RICHARD BUCK enhanced his chances of making the British 4x400m squad for next month's World Indoor Championships with victory in the domestic 'B' final at this weekend's British Indoor Grand Prix in Birmingham.
Buck, who is a member of the City of York Athletics Club, clocked a season's best indoor time of 46.09secs to win a race which effectively doubled as a relay trial for the World Indoor Championships in Poland.
The 27-year-old finished sixth hundredths of a second clear of Michael Bingham, who will also hope to make the British relay squad, with Jamie Bowie a further four tenths of a second away in third place.
Buck, who was part of the British 4x400m squad at the 2012 Olympics, will discover whether he has been selected for the World Indoors when the team is announced tomorrow.
Middlesbrough long jumper Chris Tomlinson was also in action at the British Grand Prix, but could only finish eighth in the long jump.
Tomlinson's final jump of 7.63m was his best of the competition, but he finished 51cm adrift of Russian Aleksandr Menkov.
Olympic champion Greg Rutherford finished third as he made his first competitive appearance since last year's outdoor World Championships in Moscow, and was delighted with his mark of 8.00m.
“That was absolutely brilliant from my point of view,” said Rutherford. “I felt really good. There are a few things I've got to iron out, but that's the best opening I've had to an indoor season ever, and maybe the best opening to a season at all.”
There were four British winners of the open events in Birmingham, with the stand-out performance coming from Laura Muir, who set a new Scottish record as she triumphed in the 1,500m.
James Dasaolu eclipsed Jamaican Nesta Carter and veteran Kim Collins in the final of 60m, but requires a scan on a potential thigh strain after pulling up as he crossed the line.
Nigel Levine held off a strong finish from Olympic silver medallist Leguelin Santos to claim victory in the 400m, while a rejuvenated Holly Bleasdale triumphed in the pole vault.
“That was my third consecutive jump over 4.70m, and if you'd told me this time last year that I'd be in this position, I'd have been really happy,” said Bleasdale. “I felt a bit rusty and things were a little bit stiff, but if I can jump 4.71m on a bad day then I know the 4.80s and 4.90s will come.”