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UK Athletics

Sian Edwards battles to sixth in World Junior Championships

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The Norwich Union Great Britain and Northern Ireland team continued as they started in the morning session on Tuesday 15 August, with athletes progressing, more personal bests bringing the days total to five, and places in finals confirmed for more athletes in the opening hours.



Asha Phillip (Newham & Essex Beagles) picked up from where she left off this morning with a superb run in the 100m semi-final, securing her place in Wednesday’s final.

The 15 year old made sure of her place with another excellent start, and was only narrowly pipped for an automatic qualifying position by the Lithuanian runner – who was credited with the same time of 11.68. It meant a short nervy wait for the self-titled “baby of the team” but after two more heats the word was in that she had won a much-deserved place in the final – equally fourth fastest qualifier against girls almost four years older than herself.



Emma Jackson (City of Stoke) galloped away to in her heat in style and made it to the semi finals in what was the last event of the night. Despite taking the lead with 200m to go and no-one looking likely to get close, she held her form down the home straight and almost jogged over the line in a personal best of 2.05.68. Danielle Christmas (Crawley AC) made sure she kept plenty in reserve choosing to settle for 4th position in her heat. Despite the leaders being within easy reach, the 18 year old eased off keeping a careful eye around her to ensure she was safely through in 2.08.53.



Sian Edwards (Kettering Town Harriers) showed guts and determination far beyond her tiny frame when she gamely battled it out with faster opposition over 5000m in the late evening heat. Several times during the race, the large lead group squeezed inwards forcing Edwards out the back door, and several times she fought back, overtook and regained the lead in an effort to keep the erratic pace even. But even Edwards could not keep up with the Kenyan double act who finally turned up the pace with three laps to go. Despite the excellent effort she finished in 15.47.87 in sixth position 3000mSC. Ruth Senior (City of Norwich) ran a perfectly paced race to give herself every chance of making Thursday’s final and came away not only with that final spot, but a hefty improvement on her PB – Great Britain’s 4th of the day. Having already improved by 20 seconds this year proved no barrier – and she took a 12 second chunk off her previous best of 10.24.91 to go to 10.12.50, and sixth on the Power of Ten senior rankings for the steeplechase in 2006. Despite a stumble at the penultimate water jump she hung on well to take 4th place in her heat and automatically qualify.




As if to play a game of anything you can do we can do better, Wade Bennett Jackson (Belgrave Harriers) and Harry Aikines Aryeetey (Sutton & District) ensured there was a strong GB presence in tomorrows final by easing through their semi finals.

Wade faced a short delay to find out whether he had gone through as fastest loser – his heat dominated by the start-line fidgeting of Canadian Justyn Wariner. Clocking 10.48 was enough to see him progress following the remaining two semi-finals had been run. Aikines Aryeetey quickly followed suit with a dominant race where he started well for the first time since his back injury in June and powered through to win in a season’s best time of 10.38 seconds. The two were further boosted by the elimination at the semi final stage of one of the title favourites from the USA, Willie Perry – he could only manage 7th in the third semi final.


High Jump

Robbie Grabarz (Bedford & County) suffered setbacks in his efforts to reach Thursday’s high jump final, but squeaked through in 12th place to secure yet another final place for Great Britain’s tremendous Tuesday at the Chaoyang Stadium.

Failing twice at his third height of 2.10 before clearing, he then sailed over 2.14 at his first attempt – a clearance that later made the difference on count back. Despite failing at 2.18 he will have taken some confidence with the way he cleared 2.14 on route to the qualifying spot.



Mark Mitchell (Forres Harriers) and James Brewer (Cheltenham Harriers) both put their qualification for the 800m semi finals down to the time they had spent at the preparation camp at Macau. The evening humidity at the stadium hardly made a dent in their efforts as both had trained in damper conditions at the Macau stadium – and both qualified for the semis albeit in different ways. In the first heat, Mitchell sat at the back of the pack and found an opening with 300m to go. Working hard round the bend he easily took second in the home straight to qualify as of right in 1.50.08. Then Brewer took to the track for his heat where he took the lead at an early stage and patiently led the field through to the home straight where he relaxed and finished third in 1.49.90 - also an automatic qualifying spot.