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business as usual at the start of day three in zurich

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Dina Asher-Smith
14 August 2014


Last night’s performance by the Great Britain & Northern Ireland team will be etched into the history books for many years to come, however this morning it was very much back to business in Zurich.

In a relatively light session, there was British action in the men’s pole vault and the first round of the men’s and women’s 200m. It was 2014 breakthrough act Bianca Williams (coach: Lloyd Cowan) who set the tone, winning heat one of the women’s 200m in 23.38 to advance to tonight’s semi-finals. Williams made light work of things, despite the field being called back and yellow card being issued to the Russian athlete for twitching in the blocks.

“The start was quite annoying as I was ready to go on the first one. The run was okay though, although I’m a little disappointed with the time, but I did have to reset and go into the second one and not worry.

“Everyone’s really happy with all the medals we’ve achieved in the early stages of this competition, so now we’ve just got to get through the semi’s and into the final tomorrow and there are so many medals that can be attained - by the whole team.”

She was followed home by Jodie Williams (Christine Bowmaker) who won heat two with consummate ease. Her time of 22.88 was the third fastest qualifier of the morning, behind 100m champion Dafne Schippers and her teammate Dina Asher-Smith (John Blackie), who won the final heat in 22.75. Post-race, Jodie said:

“I’m a bit shocked by the time! I thought it was going to be around the 23.3 mark given how I felt, so to run sub 23 like that is good for the confidence! Yesterday was so good and everyone did so well. Ashleigh got bronze in 100m and I’m sharing a room with her, so it was so good and everyone is in a great mood.”

Asher-Smith upset the form book, running a great bend to beat last night’s 100m silver medallist Soumare of France. And after running just 0.01 seconds slower than her season’s best, the junior admitted it wasn’t the race she was most worried about this morning.

“I was more scared for the exam results than my heat to be honest – I was absolutely petrified of not getting into uni, but I got into Kings!”

The men followed on where the women left off, with all three British athletes making it through to the semi-finals later today. James Ellington (Rana Reider) was drawn inside Christophe Lemaitre in heat two, and he tracked the 100m silver medallist all the way to finish second in 20.55 and book his final spot.

Danny Talbot (Dan Cossins) was up next, and he looked extremely relaxed down the home straight, easing down to cross the line first in 20.63. Of a job well done, Talbot said:

“You can’t win anything in the first round – you can only get through or get knocked out – so I just wanted to conserve as much energy as I could for the semi-final later on. My coach and I have been working on the first 30m, and the main aim of the race was to execute that. Thankfully I did that and hopefully I can go on to execute the next 170m now!”

Commonwealth Games 100m silver medallist Adam Gemili (Steve Fudge) moved back up to the 200m, the distance he finished fifth over at last year’s IAAF World Championships. Gemili had time to look left and right with 80m to go, easing to victory in 20.39.

“It was ok, quicker than I thought it would be given I was trying to conserve my energy. I didn’t run the bend as hard as I usually do, and was just trying to relax into the straight. Hopefully I can take this into the semis now and make it through to the final. Once I’m in the final anything can happen.”

Commonwealth Games pole vault champion Steve Lewis (Dan Pfaff) looked full of confidence in pool B of men’s pole vault qualification; first time clearances at 5.40m and 5.50m ensuring he’ll line up in the final on Saturday afternoon.

He said: “It was good. I was definitely in the right head space this morning to make easy qualification and I’ve done it with two jumps.

“I feel like I’ve got a new lease of life and I definitely want to aim for the podium and just think big. It felt good standing on the podium in Glasgow, so I want to try and feel it again!”

In Pool A, Luke Cutts (Trevor Fox) got off to a shaky start, needing three attempts to clear his opening height of 5.30m. The Commonwealth Games silver medallist couldn’t quite replicate his Hampden form, bowing out after three failures at 5.40m.

Full results from all of day one can be seen here: http://www.european-athletics.org/competitions/european-athletics-championships/2014/schedules-results/

Team captain Goldie Sayers (Mark Roberson) lines up in the women’s javelin final this evening, with our male sprint hurdlers looking to emulate Tiffany Porter’s (Reider) performance last night.

GB & NI team performances:

GOLD – Jo Pavey – Women’s 10,000m
GOLD – Mo Farah – Men’s 10,000m
GOLD – Tiffany Porter – Women’s 100m hurdles
GOLD – James Dasaolu – Men’s 100m

SILVER – Andy Vernon – Men’s 10,000m 

BRONZE – Ashleigh Nelson – Women’s 100m
BRONZE – Harry Aikines Aryeetey – Men’s 100m

4th – Dwain Chambers – Men’s 100m

7th – Desiree Henry – Women’s 100m