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emerson stars on opening morning of heptathlon

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Niamh Emerson

17 July 2015 

Day three got off to a great start for the Great Britain and Northern Ireland team with PBs in the heptathlon and multiple athletes progressing to finals over the next few days.

The Girls heptathlon got underway with British duo Niamh Emerson (David Feeney/Amber Valley) and Michelle Hughes (Tony Benton/Havering) starring in the opening events. Both achieved personal bests in the 100m hurdles with Hughes winning her heat in 13.91 (+0.7) and Emerson also recording a PB of 14.18 (-1.2).

Both returned in the blistering midday sun with Emerson leaping another personal best in the high jump, improving her best to 1.79m and ending the morning on 1919 points and positioned nicely in fourth. Hughes jumped 1.64m to stand on 1774 points in 19th place with the shot put and 200m to come later this evening.

Scot George Evans qualified for the Boys discus final after his second round effort of 58.53m was over the automatic qualification mark. After opening with 56.46m, the Shaftesbury Barnet athlete confirmed his participation in Saturday’s final.

After his comfortable qualification, Evans commented: “It was nerve-wracking – I wasn’t too nervous until I stepped into the circle and felt a bit shaky. However, the first round was a good start, felt pretty solid. The second throw was just a few centimetres over the automatic qualification mark but that is all you need.

“Nerves on a final throw would have been high so it was nice to get it out of the way early and I’m looking forward to preparing for the final now. I’m going to rest now and focus on getting into the top eight in the final and getting the big throws out.”

Toby Harries (Jon Bigg/Brighton Phoenix) and Cameron Tindle (Henry Gray/Edinburgh) impressively qualified to the Boys 200m semi-final tomorrow as they won their respective heats. Both approached the heats confidently and finished in times of 21.12 and 21.19 respectively.

Harries, who was racing from lane eight said: I drove reasonably well and ended the race well so I’m happy with that. I conserved a bit of energy straight after the bend and got to hold off a bit in the closing stages. I’ll get ready for tomorrow now and try to make that final.”

Edinburgh’s Tindle was in lane one but was not fazed: “I executed my plan – I tried to come up strong and chase for the first 50m and then relax down the home straight. Being in lane one didn’t make much of a difference in the heats, it was just about getting the job done.”

William Battershill (Kirk Salmon/Erme Valley) advanced to the Boys 2000m steeplechase final as he occupied the final qualifying spots as one of the fastest next qualifiers. The south-west athlete ran a lonely race as the top two split the field up early on, however, he covered the last 100m strongly to progress to Sunday’s final.

The Erme Valley athlete said afterwards: “It was hotter and quicker than I ever thought. Unfortunately I ended up between two packs so I couldn't take advantage of the other guys and tuck behind them so I was basically running on my own. I gave it everything and I'm glad to qualify for the final.”

Joel Leon Benitiez (Alan Richardson, Notts) endured a long morning in the pole vault competition but made the 4.95m automatic qualification mark on his first attempt at the height. This secured his passage into the final which will be held on Sunday afternoon.

Naomi Ogbeta (Tom Cullen, Trafford) narrowly missed out on a place in the Girls triple jump final by one spot. She jumped 12.75m, equal to the twelfth placed athlete Elena Drozhilina but the Russian had jumped further on her second biggest jump, so the Briton just missed out.

Full results can be found here: http://www.iaaf.org/competitions/iaaf-world-youth-championships/9th-iaaf-world-youth-championships-2015-5408/timetable/byday

Follow @BritAthletics for updates on the Brits during the evening session which begins 23:00 UK time. Highlights can be found on British Eurosport 2 – please check listing for broadcast times.