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three gb & ni medals on day two in tampere

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Gemili & Tobais

12 July 2013

Adam Gemili (coach: Michael Afilaka), Deji Tobais (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo) and Jodie Williams (Stanley Madiri) won GB & NI’s first medals of the European Under 23 Championships in Tampere, Finland, this evening.

Gemili crossed the line in a time of 10.20 to win the men’s 100m, with compatriot Tobais following him home in second place with 10.29 and Samuel Osewa (Clarence Callender) running 10.58 for seventh place. Gemili, who was crowned world junior champion in Barcelona last summer, was delighted to have added another major title to his collection.

“It’s great to win gold, that’s what I came here to do. This is the main championships of the year for me so to come here and win gold is a brilliant feeling.”

Gemili’s time of 10.20 was just outside his season’s best of 10.18 but the 19 year old insists that although his race wasn’t executed perfectly, winning the gold medal was more important.

“The time is a little disappointing because I didn’t execute my race as well as I could, but I’m happy with a gold medal. My start was what let me down today, I was behind at the start and I had to just stay calm and execute the rest of my race and I did that and luckily came through.

“With how I’ve been training I think I should have a quicker time in me this season but it’s not to be today so I’ll have to move on to the next race. To win gold was the main thing, it’s more about the performance than the time and I’m happy.”

Tobais was pleased to have won his first major international medal the day after breaking his personal best with a time of 10.27 in the semi-final.

“I stumbled so badly, but other than that the rest of the race was good. I set myself up even though I did stumble and to run 10.27 and then 10.29 at a major championship, I can’t really complain too much. It could have been a better executed race but I’ll take the silver.

“It’s only the second time I’ve done an individual event so I can’t complain at all. For me to win a medal is one of the things you dream of as a kid growing up and through all the age groups from under 13, so for me to finally win an individual medal is great.”

Three hours later, Gemili returned to action in the 200m heats and won his race in 20.46 to qualify comfortably for tomorrow’s final. He will be joined in the final by Danny Talbot (Daniel Cossions), who secured automatic qualification with a second place finish in a time of 20.68 in heat two, and David Bolarinwa (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo), who reached the final as a fastest loser thanks to a time of 20.84 after finishing third in his heat.

In the women’s 100m, Jodie Williams ran a time of 11.42 to win silver behind Dafne Schippers of The Netherlands while fellow Brit Rachael Johncock (Afilaka) was fifth in a time of 11.68. After missing much of 2012 with injury, Williams was pleased to return close to her best form and add another international medal to the 100m and 200m golds she won at the IAAF World Youth Championships in 2009.

“I’m really pleased considering the year I had last year, it was this exact weekend that I ended up in a heap at the end of the track and didn’t even finish the race so it was a hard year for me being injured since April and not being able to run all year.

“So to come back here and get a medal is great. Obviously I’m a competitor and I came here to win it but today I think it was just a bit too soon and Dafne (Schippers) was the better athlete, so well done to her.”

Jodie Williams recovered quickly from her excursions in the 100m to win the first 200m heat in a season’s best time of 23.09, the fastest of all three heats. The other two heats were also won by British athletes as Ashleigh Nelson (Afilaka) took the second heat in a personal best 23.34 and Bianca Williams (Lloyd Cowan) also set a personal best winning the third and final heat in 23.24. All three will line up in the final tomorrow evening.

Ashley Bryant (Ian Grant) finished in fourth place in the decathlon after completing his final three events in the afternoon sesson. Bryant remained in fourth place after clearing 4.50m in the pole vault and launching the javelin to 65.46m, the second furthest of all decathlon competitors. In the 1500m, the final event of the competition, the 22 year old finished seventh with a time of 4:30.97 to cement fourth place with a final total of 8070 points, a personal best by 85 points and an IAAF World Championships B qualifying standard.

In the women’s 10,000m, which took place in brutally hot conditions, Rhona Auckland (Joyce Hogg) finished in ninth place with a time of 35:17.50.

Both Sebastian Rodger (Stephen King) and Niall Flannery (Nick Dakin) progressed from the 400m hurdles semi-finals. Rodger won the second heat in a personal best 49.57, the quickest time of both semi-finals, while Flannery finished second in the first heat in a time of 50.13 to also make it through to the final as an automatic qualifier.

Jax Thoirs (Pat Licari) completed a good day for GB & NI as he secured qualification for the final of the men’s pole vault with a best clearance of 5.35m. Only 12 athletes remained in the competition at 5.35m so Thoirs was not required to attempt the automatic qualifying mark of 5.40m.