Sprinters Shine if Loughborough Sun
On a glorious day where the Paula Radcliffe Stadium was basked in sunshine, there were many personal and season’s best performances by GB & NI juniors and some of the UK’s top athletes.
The star of the show was undoubtedly Dina Asher-Smith (coach: John Blackie) who stormed to victory in a lifetime best of 11.20, ahead of England representative Jodie Williams (Christine Bowmaker).
“I’m in so much shock! I had no idea that I could run 11.20 – I’m just speechless! I just wanted to go out there and see how I faired in such a high quality race, as I tend to tense up sometimes; my focus was just on execution. And I guess that performance just came with execution!
“The World Junior Championships in Eugene is my focus this summer, but I’ve no idea which event I’ll run yet. It’ll depend on how I’m feeling through the season, how trials goes and then where I’m ranked in the world.”
In the men’s equivalent, IAAF World Youth silver medallist Ojie Edoburun (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo) took third with a 10.49/+0.3m/s clocking.
However it was two wins out of two for Asher-Smith, as the World Championships relay bronze medallist stormed down the back straight to put the junior 4x100m team into the lead, which they held all the way to the line.
Morgan Lake (Eldon Lake) was another star performer, winning the women’s high jump in a new lifetime best and British Junior record of 1.93m. Afterwards she commented:
“There were beautiful conditions, a beautiful day. The warm-up was a bit short but I felt strong and bouncy. I wasn’t expecting that at all. My training this week has been ok but nothing amazing so I wasn’t expecting that at all. I’m not really sure how far I can go but I wasn’t thinking of 1.93!”
Lake also competed in the long jump later in the day, finishing fifth with a best jump of 6.06m
There was a further win in the sprints for IAAF World Youth fourth placer Tom Somers (Geoffrey Barraclough) who outran his senior counterparts to stop the clock at 20.84/+0.6m/s, comfortably inside the required standard for Eugene. In the women’s race there was another great run by a John Blackie coached athlete, as Shannon Hylton took second behind Jodie Williams in World Junior qualifying time of 23.30/+0.9m/s.
There were also strong GB & NI performances in the 400m hurdles, with Marina Armstrong coached duo Shona Richards and Jacob Paul finishing second and sixth respectively, with Richards inside the qualifying time for Eugene.
For Richards, it was a massive lifetime best, her 56.84 clocking the second fastest ever by a British junior, and afterwards she said:
“Coming round the bend I couldn’t’ see anyone, and I heard my name on the tannoy a few times and I just thought you’ve got to stick with it, even though the lactic was starting to tingle! I’m really happy!”
David Omoregie (Mike Guest) continued his record breaking form to take the junior 110mH race in a new British record of 13.29, the fifth fastest junior time in the world ever. Fifth at the European Junior Championships last summer, Omoregie has his eyes firmly fixed on a medal at this year’s World Junior Championships.
“Obviously it’s a really good time, and I think it’s the joint fastest in the world at the moment. I’m so happy with it; compared to last year I’ve just come on so much and it’s all credit to my coach – I’ve just got to keep it going all the way to Oregon now!”
In the match hurdles races, Yasmin Miller (Lloyd Cowan) took an impressive second place with a 13.48/+0.7m/s clocking, whilst Rushane Thomas (Piotr Spas) was sixth in 14.50/-0.8m/s in the men’s match race. That race went the way of England’s Lawrence Clarke (Malcolm Arnold) in a swift 13.56/-0.8m/s.
IAAF World Youth Champion Sabrina Bakare (Jane Dixon) finished fourth in the women’s 400m in a time of 53.46, a season’s best.
Sean Molloy (Mark Hookway) was fifth in the men’s 800m in 1.50.23 whilst in the women’s 1500m, Bobby Clay (Peter Mullervy) just missed the qualifying standard she was chasing when finishing third in 4.18.98.
Zak Miller (Paul Shaw) was fourth in the men’s 3000m, setting a new personal best of 8.15.41, with Bronwen Owen (Andrew Henderson) fifth in the women’s race, third of the match scorers. In the steeplechase, Katie Ingle (Margaret Riley) finished fourth in 10.24.43, just four seconds shy of the World Junior mark.
In the field, Taylor Campbell (Paul Dickenson) threw a massive lifetime best of 74.05m to win the men’s hammer, although he was throwing a lighter weight than the rest of the field. Kimberley Reed was seventh in the women’s hammer competition won by Sophie Hitchon (Tore Gustafsson), the junior once again surpassing the Eugene qualifying mark with a 61.76m throw. Campbell’s throw was also a World Junior qualifying mark.
There was also a win for Lucy Bryan (Charles Preston) in the pole vault, as she sailed over 4.25m with her final attempt to eclipse the Eugene mark by 10cm. In the men’s shot put Kai Jones (Lukasz Barzyk) hit 18.11m in the fifth round to take third.
In the men’s high jump, Chris Kandu (John Herbert) equalled the Eugene qualifying height and in doing so finished sixth. Whilst in the men's javelin, Freddie Curtis (Petteri Piironen) went one place better, throwing 69.02m for fifth in the men's javelin, just shy of the Eugene standard.
Back on the track, the relays brought the day to a fitting end, with a win for the GB & NI juniors in the women’s 4x100m the pick of the bunch.
Outside the GB & NI junior team there were impressive performances for Chijindu Ujah (Tawiah-Dodoo) who won the guest 100m in a lifetime best 10.17/+1.0m/s, Sophie Hahn (Joe McDonnell) who won the ambulant 100m in a new T38 world record 13.04/+0.3m/s and for Kelly Massey (Stephen Ball) who won the women’s 400m in 52.29, a new lifetime best.