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World Junior Championships- Five athletes progress

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Day One- Afternoon session



Rick Ward (City of Norwich) got off strongly in the first of the men’s 800m heats. He led at the start and managed to stay top three throughout, crossing the line in second place with a time of 1.51.73, earning him passage to the semi-final.


He said: “I was waiting for one of them to take the lead, no one did, so I took it. I didn’t go into the race with this plan but I reacted to the chance and took it. I felt really strong and I’m happy.”


In the second of the men’s 800m heats Chris Smith (Wirral) led with one lap to go, however he fell down the pack towards the end of the race and crossed the line in sixth place. His 1:53.36 effort was not enough to take him to the next stage of competition.


He said: “I’ve worked so hard to get here, I just really want it. It was a really hard race, even when I went into first I got pushed out of the way.


“It’s been a fantastic experience whether I go through or not, it’s my first International.”


In a strong 800m field Alison Leonard (Blackburn Harriers) finished third with a time of 2:06.26. Her effort is enough to take her through to the semi-final.


Lynsey Sharp (Edinburgh AC) will join Leonard in the semi-final of the 800m. She snatched fourth place and automatic qualification with 2:08.80.


James Shane (Basildon) ran well in his first International outing, he finished fifth in the first of three men’s 1500m heats but his 3:49.71 effort was not enough to qualify to the next stage of competition.


In a difficult 1500m heat David Forrester (St Helens Sutton) led for the first lap but found himself in difficulty in the middle of the pack throughout the rest of the race. He managed to push on, finishing fifth in his heat, crossing the line in 3:47.64 and qualifying as a fastest loser.


He said: “It’s my first international so I got knocked about a little bit. I didn’t want to lose my cool so I just tried not to let it phase me. I know if I was in the top six a fastest loser place was pretty much guaranteed.”

Ashlee Nelson
Nelson hopes to continue great form in the final of the 100m




Ashlee Nelson (City of Stoke) progresses to the final of the women’s 100m. She is now a real prospect for a GB & NI medal having dominated her semi-final race, finishing comfortably in first place with 11.43 (-0.7m/s).   


Elaine O’Neill (Woodford Green Essex Ladies) ran a new season best of 11.75 (-0.5m/s) in the second of the women’s 100m heats. The high-class field produced two personal bests and two seasons best, the fastest of the bunch 11.38 from Jeneba Tarmoh (USA). O’Neill crossed the line in fifth place but ends her World Juniors campaign here.


In the first GB & NI final of the competition Emily Pidgeon (Gloucester) finished eighth in the 5000m. She struggled with the slow pace of the race, taking charge at the front for a time before becoming a victim of the inevitable Ethiopian and Kenyan push. She clocked 16:41.29, a respectable time following illness and missed training earlier in the year. 


The Loughborough student said: “It was just so slow and then really quick. I didn’t want to lead everyone but someone had to do something, the Canadian girl helped me out, we worked together which was good. It’s kind of what I was expecting, all in all I’m pleased.


“It’s a shame it’s my last World Juniors, I’ve never done this competition before, It’s amazing. It’s a massive stadium, you could hear everything all the way round. I could hear the crowd going mad for the Polish shot putter!”