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hurdlers on form in tallinn

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David Omoregie
10/07/2015

Ranked one and two in the men's 110mH, David Omoregie (coach: Benke Blomkvist) and David King (James Hillier) sent out a clear message to the rest of Europe that they expect to be occupying the top two steps on the podium after Saturday evening's sprint hurdles final.

Lining up in the first of two heats, Omoregie wanted to be absolutely sure of his final place, after the proposed semi-finals were removed from the timetable. The World Junior silver medallist did just that, winning with ease in 13.84 (-0.2m/s).

“I'm very confident at the moment. I got out well and so was able to step off the gas a bit, but then I felt the German coming so pushed on a bit more. I felt quite relaxed and I'm happy to get through – job done.”

In the second race King followed his teammate's lead, taking victory from lane eight and advancing as the fastest qualifier thanks to a 13.74 (-0.9m/s) clocking.

“That was really good. I've had a few bad races, such as British Champs, but that was really good and I'm very happy with it. I love this weather! Some people hate it but in Plymouth it rains all the time so I'm used to it. With the semi-finals cancelled we're straight into a final and I feel really confident.”

There was disappointment for Khai Riley-La Borde (Ray Gibbons), who in the same heat as King ended up sixth, missing out on a place in the final by just 0.05 of a second.

In the one lap hurdles, World Junior Championship silver medallist Shona Richards (Marina Armstrong) was the sole Brit in action. Lining up in the first of four heats, she made sure of her semi-final spot, running a smart race to take the win in 57.40.

“It's only a heat but I wanted to run strong and just wanted to get comfortable. I've got over 24 hours until the semi-final now, so plenty of time to recover. I've had a bit of a messy season but at the end of the day I've done the training and I've done the work so I just hope I can perform as I know I can.”

Lining up for GB & NI in the men's 800m were Jamie Webb (Adrian Webb) and Theo Blundell (Craig Winrow/Eddie Cockayne) going in the first and fourth heats respectively. Webb was well placed through the bell, but got crowded out over the final 300m to finish sixth in 1.49.95.

“It's always argy bargy and there was lots of pushing, but at the end of the day I just wasn't good enough. I know I'm in good shape and that's no where near how I've been training. Maybe I should have been more aggressive at the bell and hit the front earlier instead of waiting for everyone else to go, but it's all a learning curve.”

However it wasn't all over, as going into the fourth and final heat containing Blundell, the Liverpool Harrier occupied the final fastest losers spot. Luckily for him the final race was a slow one, and so he squeezed through to the semi-finals by the skin of his teeth.

“I'm a bit happier now! I don't feel I really deserve it but I'll try and be a bit more confident now as I think I held back a bit. At BUCS earlier in the season I nearly went out in the heats but ended up winning, so I'll try and take confidence from that. I've been given a lifeline.”

Despite looking in control throughout, Blundell underestimated the speed at which other athletes were finishing and so after a photo-finish was given fourth place in 1.52.97, not quick enough to progress to the next round.

With only one athlete managing to surpass the auto qualifying mark in Pool A of the women's hammer, conditions were clearly tricky. Rachel Hunter (Henry Hunter) was one of the many athletes to hit the net with her first throw, and saving her best until last, the Scot finished ninth with 61.16m. After a long wait for Pool B to come to a close she ended up 18th.

“The first two rounds were terrible, so in the last round I just had to go for it and see what happened. It wasn't really windy but it was a bit wet. It was just a bit of a weird comp and a lot of people were down on their bests.”

After a solid start, Yasmin Miller (Lloyd Cowan) was unable to put together the race she hoped for, finishing fifth in heat one of the 100mH in 13.93, which wasn't enough for a semi-final place.

For full results please head to: http://www.european-athletics.org/competitions/european-athletics-u23-championships/2015/schedules-results/