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world juniors day two a.m

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Ashley Bryant
Ashley Bryant in the 100m

20 July 2010

World leader David Guest (coach: Michael Guest) and Aviva Great Britain and Northern Ireland men’s team captain Ashley Bryant (coach: Ian Grant) opened their decathlon accounts with PBs on the first full day of competition in the IAAF World Junior Championships in Moncton, Canada (19- 25 July).  

Bryant, in a solid start to his two-day competition, finished second in heat one of the 100m with a lifetime best of 11.02. His impressive start was matched in heat three by Guest who recorded his first ever legal sub-11 mark with 10.90, also for second.

“I’ve been going to break that PB for a long time,” said Bryant. “It’s not a surprise for me to get a PB, but maybe a surprise to take three tenths of it. I can’t perform in small competitions, it takes something like this to get me going which is never a bad thing – it couldn’t have been any better a start.

Guest, the top ranked with the senior implements going into this week’s competition, was equally happy. “I’m very pleased with that,” he said. “I came in here with a PB of 11.05 this year and I wanted to get a good time, I can’t ask for more than that.”

While the decathletes prepared for their second event of the day, Sarah Kelly (coach: Liz McColgan) made sure of her place in the semi final of the women’s 800m with a solid performance to finish fourth - an automatic qualifying spot - in her heat with 2:07.72 .

“That felt much harder than it was meant to – we went out really quickly, that was my PB pace,” said Kelly, who broke Scottish age group records over 800m and 1500m in 2009.

She settled into a comfortable position in the middle of the group at the break, but as they passed through 400m in 1:01.87 she had to take the long way round into the back straight to make sure she was safe.

“The race settled down but I had to make sure I was up there rather than leave it until the last minute - I didn’t want to leave it to a sprint finish. The girl in fifth was a bit behind me so I was able to settle down and let the first three race each other to the line.”

Uganda’s Annet Negesa (2:04.20) was the fastest qualifier for tomorrow’s semi final (Wednesday 21 July) which takes place at 10.30 (14.30 UK time).

In the only other endurance event of the day, Harry Ellis (coach: Phil Hicken) found the intense heat and fast pace too much in the men’s 1500m, finishing eighth in 3:46.83, not quick enough to progress through to Thursday’s final.

Back on the in field, the Aviva GB & NI decathletes continued to excel.

Bryant, with a lifetime best performance of 7.11m (-1.6m/s) in the long jump – his first ever jump in excess of 7.00m - was in the form of his life, while the consistently impressive Guest was only one centimetre short of his legal best with a best effort of 7.36m (+1.2m/s) in round two.

The pair went on to record solid performances in the shot putt with 13.56m and 13.14m respectively to finish a satisfying morning’s competition.

“It wasn’t a great performance in the shot putt, but it was ok,” said Guest, while Bryant was more upbeat: “I’m never too high up on day one but for me to be placed this high so early on is great.”

They continue their campaign with the high jump at 18.30 this evening (22.30 UK time).

In the men's pole vault, while the overall performances weren't exceptional, both Andrew Sutcliffe (coach: Julien Raffalli-Ebezant) and Matt Devereux (coach: Steve Rippon) progressed through their qualification groups to Thursday's final with clearances of 5.15m and 5.05m respectively, Sutcliffe's clearance the joint best of the day.

Concluding the morning session, Deji Tobais (coach: Simon Duberley) was a comfortable winner of his men’s 100m heat in 10.49 (+0.8m/s).

“I felt comfortable and I didn’t want to expend all my energy in my first race,” he said. “The heat out here isn’t unbearable, but it has the potential to be, so I thought I’d take it easy. I felt really good and it was easier than I thought it would be, so I’m really happy with it.”

Defending champion Dexter Lee (Jamaica), the joint world leader with a best of 10.16, cruised through his heat in 10.39 (+1.3m/s).

The semi final takes place tomorrow evening (Wednesday 21 July) at 19.00 (23.00 UK time).

Today’s evening session commences at 18.30 (22.30 UK time).