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GB & NI leading the way in sweden

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Nielsen Laviai
16 July 2015

It was a case of 100% for a Great Britain & Northern Ireland in the opening session of the European Athletics Junior Championships as nine out of nine athletes secured their passage into the next round.

Laviai Nielsen (coach: Frank Adams, club: Enfield & Haringey) sporting the blue bib courtesy of her European number one ranking did not let that pressure get to her, as the 19 year old went through to tomorrow’s 400m final as the fastest qualifier clocking a time of 53.52. Twin sister Lina Nielsen (Frank Adams, Enfield & Haringey) will join her after finishing second in the opening heat in 54.35, while Cheriece Hylton (John Blackie, Blackheath & Bromley) goes through as the second fastest qualifier after running 53.52 in heat three.

Afterwards Laviai Nielsen said: “I’m somewhat happy and unhappy. I felt really good as I’m in the best shape of my life but  I was expecting a quicker time than that just so I knew I had it in me. I’ve been injured so I just wanted to know that I haven’t lost anything, but I’ll take it and hopefully I can go through quicker tomorrow.

“I hope we can do a 1, 2, 3 tomorrow, that would be really cool as we’ve got a really strong 400m this year, which is really exciting.”

Ojie Edoburun (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo, Shaftesbury Barnet) underlined his status as European U20 number one as the sprinter cruised through his heat to go through to the semi-finals as the fastest qualifier. Edoburun, who won 100m bronze at the Sainsbury’s British Championships earlier this month eased down in the closing stages to clock 10.32 which secured his place in this afternoon’s semi-final. GB & NI teammates Reuben Arthur (Ryan Freckleton, Enfield & Haringey) and Joseph Dewar (Gladys Bird, Woodford Green & Essex Ladies) also won their heats clocking 10.39 and 10.47 respectively going through as the second and third fastest qualifiers.

In the women’s equivalent, Darryl Neita (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo, Shaftesbury Barnet) successfully navigated her way through to the next round winning heat one in 11.51, while Imani Lansiquot (Joseph Felix, Sutton & District) followed her teammate clocking a new personal best of 11.56.  

Taylor Campbell (Paul Dickenson/Chris Black, Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow) the joint captain for the championships led by example as he threw himself into the final, which takes place tomorrow. A throw of 73.37m was enough to secure automatic qualification and believes there is much more to come as he targets a place on the podium.

The British junior hammer record holder said: “It makes it easier knowing I’m in the final and can now relax a little bit. The throws were easy ones and I was working on the technical elements. Now that’s there, I’ll go into the final and go for it.

“The throw is there and now it’s about applying the right force and getting the speed. To guarantee myself a medal I think I’ll need to go in and around my personal best.”

Emma Achurch (Steve Arnold, Leicester WC) kicked off proceedings for the GB & NI team in Eskilstuna finishing in 22nd place in the 10,000m race walk final. The 18 year old clocked a time of 50:51.58 in a race which saw Russia take all three of the podium positions. While disappointed with her final position, Achurch is determined to build on what has been an extremely positive experience for her.

The race walker explained: “I would have liked to have liked to have gone closer to 50 minutes, but I enjoyed it and gave it my best. The girls at the front are on a different level but just to be competing with them was an honour. It’s just a little gutting I couldn’t get a little bit closer to them. My PB is definitely nowhere near the front, but it would have put me closer to the pack, so in a way I wish I could have been in a bit better form.

“Being in this environment just makes you realise how far you can get if you devote yourself to the sport. It’s been a difficult year with balancing exams but hopefully next year, I’ll be able to devote more time and be the best I can be. You never know what the future may bring and I’m driven now to be selected for events like this again.

“I’m going to support everyone now. I was just as excited competing as I was to come out here and watch the athletics and wave the British flag. We’ve got such a strong team out here and hopefully the medals will follow.”

You can follow a live stream from this afternoon’s session and all the results here: http://www.european-athletics.org/