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LANGford wins bronze as Gb & ni add to medal tally

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Kyle Langford
Langford crosses for bronze

13 July 2013

GB & NI completed the medal set as Kyle Langford (coach: George Harrison) broke his personal best for the second time in Donetsk to win bronze in the 800m at the IAAF World Youth Championships.

In trademark style, Langford surged from the back of the pack to put significant pressure on the top two, but was edged out for silver by Russia’s Konstantin Tolokonnikov by just 0.03. The 17 year old believes he will leave Donetsk a stronger athlete, and the experience will bode him well for future competitions. 

“It’s been an amazing experience, there’s so much I’ve learnt on this trip and gained mentally as well. It’s definitely a big confidence boost knowing I’ve come out here and got a bronze medal.

“The support from my teammates was great in the stadium, especially Liam Dee down the last 200m it was great. The rest of the crowd just gave me that extra boost coming down the home straight.

Despite his podium finish, Langford was left a little disappointed after being so close to winning silver at the RSC Olympiyskiy Stadium.

“I’m a little disappointed, I don’t know why I stopped running through the line – I thought I ran through it, but I obviously didn’t. My concentration was a bit poor, but I’ll learn from my mistakes and come back from it.

“However, I bettered my PB, I can only take praise away from it and as I said learn from my mistakes.”

Another athlete who made their final bow was Bobby Clay (Peter Mullervy), who ran a personal best time of 4:16.41 in the 1500m to finish fourth. The 15 year old knocked nearly two seconds off her previous best despite being pushed off course by eventual winner Ethiopia’s Tigist Gashaw on the final lap.

Clay said: “It’s really hard to reflect on it, because I’m happy I got a PB and my race plan, but I’m heartbroken I didn’t get the bronze.

“When I finished I was crying because I was sad, and crying because I was happy. I’ve never been so angry in my life, because I suddenly remembered that I’d been pushed and that could have been the difference in getting the bronze.

“My aim was to be the first European in the final, and I was, so I’m pleased, but it’s niggling in the back of my mind that I could have got bronze, but it makes me hungry for it next time.”

After taking his 200m personal best down to 21.09 in yesterday’s heats, Thomas Somers (Geoffrey Barraclough) went event better as he went through as the fastest qualifier to tomorrow’s final. Somers, who ran a time of 21.05 believes there is plenty more to come from him, as he battles for a podium finish in Donetsk.

“I had a great start, but I felt my straight let me down a little bit. It's something I can work on heading into tomorrow's final and hopefully that can help take me to a medal. I want to hopefully run 20.9 - it's a big ask, but I'm definitely up to the challenge.

“The main focus was to come out here and get a PB, and I've done two in two races, so I can't ask for anything better really. I need to concentrate on getting a good start and put pressure on the guys in the race, trying to make them catch me as opposed to the other way round.”

In the women’s equivalent, Shannon Hylton (John Blackie) qualified through her semi-final in a time of 23.94. Running into a -1.4 headwind, Hylton looked comfortable as she secured second place in her heat behind Germany’s Gina Luckenkemper (23.72). The 17 year old is now hoping for a strong finish, as she sets her sights on a place in the top five in tomorrow’s final.

“It was a good race - I went out from the blocks really well. On the home straight I felt a bit of a wind, started to fade towards the end and didn't drive through on the line. I'm through to the final and I'm happy about that.

“I think I need to PB in the final in order to do well, but I'm happy with how I ran, I just need to be stronger at the end. I hope to come in the top five, PB and run a good race.”

After two personal bests on the first day including a World Youth leading clearance of 1.90m in the high jump, Morgan Lake (Eldon Lake) was unable to finish in the heptathlon after being withdrawn on medical grounds suffering from a combination of nausea and stomach cramps.