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world juniors day three p.m

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Jodie Williams
Jodie Williams - 100m medal ceremony

21 July 2010

Jodie Williams (coach: Mike McFarlane) won the first gold medal of the IAAF World Junior Championships for the Aviva Great Britain and Northern Ireland team with a brilliantly executed 100m performance, taking victory with a time of 11.40 (-0.7m/s).

The UK junior record holder and world number three had progressed with ease through her semi final earlier in the evening with 11.59 (+1.2m/s), the quickest of the qualifiers, before adding the World Junior title to her 2009 global youth gold.

It was a valiant effort from the 16-year-old who begins her assault on the 200m tomorrow in a bid to match her IAAF World Youth Championships double from 12 months ago.

“I needed to get a good start because I knew both Americans could come through at the end,” she said. “I thought that if I got off to a good start I’d be in with a good chance and that’s just what I did. I knew it was going be a close race and I wasn’t quite sure I could come out and perform again, so it’s obviously a huge relief and the pressure has lifted a bit.”

“I know the day I get beaten will come eventually, but my winning streak has given me great confidence coming here and getting a medal is brilliant,” she said, referencing her unbeaten record of over 140 races. “This is another step up for me. The next step is the World Seniors so this is a stepping stone but it means a lot, it’s a great achievement.”

If there were awards for effort and determination, decathletes David David Guest (coach: Michael Guest) and Ashley Bryant (coach: Ian Grant), fourth and 15th respectively, would have also won gold following a gruelling two day programme.

For Guest, the 1500m marked the conclusion of an incredibly tough competition programme. He had entered the evening session in third (6477) following a 4.60m best in the pole vault prior to the break, but fell short of his target distance in the javelin with a mark of 44.62, dropping down into fifth (6986).

In contrast, his team mate Ashley Bryant (coach: Ian Grant) was going from strength to strength, an outdoor PB in the pole vault (4.20m) backed up by a group winning javelin throw of 65.00m, a season’s best effort and only marginally short of his best ever.

Sadly for Bryant it was never going to be, a harsh consequence of his poor high jump earlier in the competition, but his determination and exceptional form were never in doubt as he finished the ten event programme with 6975 points after a 4:47.86 1500m.

Guest, however, had the opportunity to make the last event count and clocked 4:36.13 to finish fourth overall (7691).

“I knew going into the 1500m that the Swedish guy was 20 points behind me but his PB was 15 seconds faster than mine so I was going into the race looking to consolidate really,” said Guest. “Doing that lap of honour was amazing and finishing fourth in the world, it’s one of the best feelings ever.”

“We were both in Serbia last year and neither of us competed especially well, but we’ve both done so well here,” added Bryant. “I did better than expected and with David coming fourth - and he’s an even better athlete than that - he’s going to do so well in the future."

“I was never going to stop after the high jump; it broke my heart no-heighting but I was in great shape and there was no way I wasn’t going to finish.”

His attitude summed up everything the pair had achieved over the two day competition and both have a lot to look forward to in arguably the toughest of athletics events.

In the individual events, Kate Avery (coach: Bob Ashwood) finished 11th in the women’s 5000m final in a season’s best time of 16:23.97. It was a tough outing for the European junior 3000m silver medallist who had battled back from injury in the months prior to selection.

Marilyn Nwawulor (coach: Harry King/Carol Jackson), in spite of a more confident display compared to her first round heat, failed to make it through from the 100m semi finals after a fifth place finish in 11.95 (+1.7m/s). “I had a better start than yesterday,” she said. “I felt much better and I thought I got up well. I could have probably worked a bit harder in the middle, but it’s been good.”

It was also bad news for Deji Tobais (coach: Simon Duberley) who finished fourth in a stacked men’s 100m semi final with 10.73 (+2.2m/s). The race was won by France’s Jimmy Vicaut, the joint world leader alongside Jamaica’s Dexter Lee (=10.16), with 10.38.

“I wasn’t affected by the DQ,” he said of the loss of Poland’s Grzegorz Zimniewicz for a false start. “I’m so disappointed, I think the major factor was the wind. I didn’t get away well at all, it felt like a minus wind and I couldn’t get away, but it’s been a great Championships and a good experience.”

Sam Bailey (coach: Carol Jackson) was also disappointed, missing out on qualification for the men’s high jump final; he finished one place outside the 12 qualification spots with a best of 2.10m, losing out on countback.

Thursday’s programme commences with the women’s hammer featuring Aviva GB & NI duo Sophie Hitchon (coach: Derek Evely) and Myra Perkins (coach: Alan Bertram) at 09.00 (13.00 UK time).