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high five for gb & ni at the European junior championships

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Ojie Edoburun
17 July 2015 

The medals came flooding in for Great Britain & Northern Ireland on day two of the European Athletics Junior Championships, as the team picked up two gold and three silver medals in Eskilstuna, Sweden. 

Ojie Edoburun (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo, Shaftesbury Barnet) and Joseph Dewar (Gladys Bird, Woodford Green & Essex Ladies) were GB & NI’s first athletes on the podium winning 100m gold and silver respectively.

Edoburun, the European U20 ranked number one was flawless throughout the heats taking the victory in 10.36 ahead of his teammate, who finished in 10.46. The third British athlete in the final, Reuben Arthur (Ryan Freckleton, Enfield & Haringey) just missed out on the medals finishing fourth.

“It feels really good that I’ve finally got my first title.  I got the silver in Donetsk two years ago and I feel like I’ve grown a lot since then. I’ve used the experiences from the World Youths and Juniors to put together a really good champs here in Eskilstuna.

“I did feel a little bit of pressure – I was cramping up last night in the hotel so I was sceptical about how my body was going to be today. I just had to stick to what I know, I feel like I’m a championship performer and I tend to bring the best out of myself. I relied on my experience and it prevailed today.

The 19 year old follows in the footsteps of training partner Chijindu Ujah (Tawiah-Dodoo), France’s Jimmy Vicaut and Christophe Lemaitre winning the European Junior crown and knows that this is just the start of his journey.

“I’m a really good statistician so I know all about the sprinters that have come before me. I do know that everyone who has won this champs since 2009 has gone sub-10 so maybe it’s a sign of things to come. Whether it’s this year or next year, I think it definitely will come if I keep progressing and stay injury free.

An elated Dewar added: “It’s crazy stuff – it’s my first GB international championships and I’ve come away with a medal. I can’t really believe I’m going to be standing on the podium so I’m just going to enjoy the rest of the time here and move onto the relay.

“I believed I could do it, but at the end of the day, anything can happen in the final. To be able to do what I knew I could do, I’m really happy. Our relay team is going to be really strong and maybe we can get more medals to show British sprinting is really moving forwards.

It was another British one-two in the women’s 400m with Laviai Nielsen (Frank Adams, Enfield & Haringey) crossing the line to win the European Junior title, with Cheriece Hylton (John Blackie, Blackheath & Bromley) collecting a well-deserved silver. Nielsen took the title clocking 52.58, the second fastest time of her career, while Hylton recorded a new personal best of 53.16 behind her GB & NI teammate. Suffering the effects of a cold, Laviai’s twin sister Lina battled her way through to finish eighth.

The ecstatic Laviai Nielsen said: “I can’t believe it, it’s what I’ve wanted all season. I’ve had so many doubts but on the start line I had to believe in myself and I just went for it. I’m so happy I won; it’s what I’ve been dreaming of all season.

“My coaches and everyone around me have been so supportive and they’ve had more belief in me sometimes than I’ve had in myself. Without them, I wouldn’t be here.

“I was in the call room and I heard the national anthem and I burst into tears because I wanted it too. I’m so proud of him (Ojie Edoburun) because he’s worked so hard, but it definitely pushed me on for the final.”

Following a race which saw her take nearly four-tenths off her lifetime best, Hlyton added: “I’m so happy, I wanted to come out here and run a good time and I came away with a PB so I’m really chuffed. I knew I had to get out hard because the strengths of the other girls was the final 200m. That last bit was a bit tough for me, but I kept it going,”

After battling a torrential downpour to secure his place in the final yesterday, Jacob Fincham-Dukes (Matt Barton, Leeds City) produced the best jump of his life to win GB & NI’s second silver medal of the day. A leap of 7.75m saw the 18 year old clinch second spot, one centimetre in front of Italy’s Filippo Randazzo.

“I wasn't in medal contention going into it, but once a few of the people dropped out in the qualifying it was anybody's medal. In qualifying and the warm up I felt really good so I knew anything could happen today. I definitely needed a PB to get a medal today. A lot of people were on form and I knew I needed to perform with them.”

In the women’s 100m, Daryll Neita (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo, Shaftesbury Barnet), Imani Lansiquot (Joseph Felix, Sutton & District) finished in fourth and fifth place respectively with Neita missing out on bronze by just one hundredth of a second.

Taylor Campbell (Paul Dickenson/Chris Black, Winslow, Slough, Eton & Hounslow) was left ‘massively disappointed’ after finishing sixth in the men’s hammer with a best throw of 75.63m.

GB & NI’s 200m contingent of Elliot Powell (Glenys Morton, Leicester), Tommy Ramdhan (Freckleton, Shaftesbury Barnet), Freddie Owsley (Bristol & West), Shannon Hylton (John Blackie, Blackheath & Bromley) and Charlotte McLennaghan (David Hourd, Notts) all made it through their first round competition.

Haran Dunderdale (Sam Bradley, Sheffield & Dearne) will contest the 3000m steeplechase final on Sunday, but Jack Jibb (Jim Glover, Monroe-Woodbury HS) missed out on advancing to the next round. 

For a round-up from the morning session in Eskilstuna, please visit - http://www.britishathletics.org.uk/media/news/2015-news-page/july-2015/17-07-15-eskilstuna-day-two/

You can find a full list of results and information on the live streaming here: http://www.european-athletics.org/


GB & NI medal tally at the European Athletics Junior Championships:

Gold (2) – Ojie Edoburun (100m), Laviai Nielsen (400m)

Silver (3) – Joseph Dewar (100m), Jacob Fincham-Dukes (long jump), Cheriece Hylton (400m)