Shaftesbury Barnet will be strongly represented in the Commonwealth Games next month. Seven athletes have been named in the England team, and the total should exceed double figures with the announcement of the Scottish and Welsh squads.

Competing for England will be Anthony Whiteman (1500m), Nick Nieland (javelin), Shani Anderson (100m, 200m, and 4x100m relay), Abi Oypitan (200m and 4x100m relay), Natasha Danvers (400m hurdles and 4x400m relay), Julie Dunkley (shot) and Taneisha Robinson-Scanlon (triple jump). Jo Fenn, who lives in Barnet, runs in the 800m.

Catherine Murphy (400m) and Robert Mitchell (high jump) are likely to be competing for Wales, and Nick Smith (100m) and Lee McConnell (200m) for Scotland.

Anderson, Danvers, Dunkley, McConnell and Murphy represent Britain in the European Cup in Annecy, France, this weekend.

Shaftesbury's Larry Achike, Commonwealth champion in Kuala Lumpur four years ago, won't be defending his title after finishing a disappointing third in the England trial at Mancheser on Sunday.

With Olympic champion and world No1 Jonathan Edwards pre-selected, and Phillips Idowu opting for the long jump, victory seemed a formality for Achike, who has a personal best of 17.30m and has jumped 16.45m this season.

But he could only manage third place with 16.32m, behind Steve Scolen (16.41m) and Tosin Oke of Cambridge Harriers (16.33m). Scolen will be representing Wales, and Idowu is likely to join Edwards in the English team.

Achike will be out to fare better in next month's trial for the European Championships, which take place in Munich in August.

Whiteman has recaptured the form that brought him a Commonwealth bronze medal in the 1500m four years ago.

Content to run at the back, he threaded his way through the field and looked the likely winner until overhauled by Michael East (Newham and Essex) in the closing stages.

East clocked 3min 46.89sec and Whiteman returned 3min 47.28sec.

In the javelin, Nieland hit form with a winning throw of 80.05m, beating Mark Roberson (78.80m) and Mick Hill (78.15m), who had gained three silvers and a bronze at previous Games.

Semi-finalist in the Sydney 2000 Olympics and World Student Games champion in Beijing last season, Danvers produced a tremendous performance to lead all the way in the 400m hurdles in 56.44sec.

She also did well in the 100m hurdles, when finishing a close second to Diane Allahgreen in 13.20sec.

Abi Oyepitan missed the trial, but her good performances last season when she won the 100m in the World Student Games was the fastest woman in Britain at 11.29sec, secured her place.

Anderson ran well for second spot in both sprints, clocking 11.51sec for 100m and 23.32sec for the 200m.

Dunkley confirmed her No1 ranking in the shot when close to her personal best with 16.37m, well clear of M Augee (Bromley), who threw 15.87m.

June 21, 2002 13:00