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world juniors day four p.m

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Laura Samuel
Samuel en route to silver

22 July 2010

In a brilliant night for the Aviva Great Britain and Northern Ireland team in Moncton, Canada, Laura Samuel (coach: Glenys Morton) and Andrew Sutcliffe (coach: Julien Raffalli-Ebezant) added silver and bronze to the overall medal tally with podium finishes in the triple jump and pole vault respectively.

Although their ability had never been doubted, their performances were even more impressive based on their global rankings coming into the competition and both were UK firsts at the IAAF World Junior Championsips.

“Coming in I was ranked fifth so I was targeting that bronze medal and I’ve got the silver now, so I’m really happy, woo hoo!” screamed a delighted Samuel who exceeded her own UK junior record with a best effort of 13.75m (+0.9m/s).

“It feels absolutely amazing, I’m on top of the world; as soon as I knew I had it I got my flag out and started celebrating.”

Having fouled in the first round, her safe 13.49m (+1.7m/s) in the second round, bettered to 13.57m (+1.4m/s) in the third, was enough to take her past the cut, but it was her fourth jump which secured the silver medal and a new national best, also good enough to place her fifth on the UK senior All-Time list.

And while her own success was still sinking in, she was excited to hear that team mate Sutcliffe has earned his own position on the podium with an outdoor lifetime best performance of 5.35m.

“It’s still not sunk in yet,” said the Manchester-based pole vaulter. “I wasn’t expecting to get a medal, well, I knew I was capable of it, but I wasn’t sure I could do it…I was ranked just inside the top ten coming into it.”

With Moncton experiencing adverse weather conditions throughout the day, Sutcliffe’s preparations were less than ideal as he spent most of the day waiting to hear whether or not his event would go ahead.

His failed his opening attempt at 5.00m but went from strength to strength thereafter with first time clearances through to 5.35m.

“The atmosphere in here was amazing tonight,” he said. “It was the best night ever. Every time I cleared the bar the whole crowd was behind me, it was so good. I’ve finished fourth on countback in big competitions before, so after I failed at 5.00m I waa giving it everything to go clear on my first attempt at every height. I surprised myself a little bit. I knew I was in good shape but I still can’t really believe I’ve done it. It’s an amazing feeling.”

The evening session had already got off to a great start before Samuel and Sutcliffe had taken to the in field.

Having stretched her unbeaten run in formal athletics races to 150 with victory in her 200m heat this morning, world junior 100m champion Jodie Williams (coach: Mike McFarlane) continued her global success story with a semi final victory, setting up the chance of a glorious sprint double when she takes to the track in tomorrow’s final (Friday 23 July at 20.25, 00.25 UK time).

The world junior leader was understandably exhausted following her 100m triumph late last night and early 200m heat today, but held on to take the win with 23.20 (+1.3m/s), one-hundredth of a second ahead of 100m bronze medallist Jamile Samuel (Netherlands).

“I’m absolutely shattered. I’m going straight to bed when I get in and I’ll sleep all day tomorrow,” she said. “I was coming round the bend and they were pushing me but I just needed to get there for myself to have the confidence going into the final, but I definitely had to push.”

It was two from two for the Aviva GB & NI girls as Emily Diamond (coach: Jared Deacon) also made it through to the final.

In only marginally better conditions compared to the morning session, the aptly-named Stormy Kendrick (USA) won heat three with 23.28 (+1.6m/s), Diamond finishing strongly to secure the second automatic qualifying spot (23.47). “I didn’t expect to get to the final, it was always my aim but I knew I would have to PB to make it – that was a PB so now I can go into the final completely relaxed knowing what I’ve done,” she said. “I knew I had the Trinidadian outside of me and her PB was quicker, so I had to come off the bend harder than I did in the heat to try and catch her, which I did in the end, then hold it!”

There were mixed results for the other Aviva GB & NI finalists over the course of the evening.

Sarah Kelly (coach: Liz McColgan) ran a brave race to finish seventh in the 800m (2:04.80), while Matt Devereux (coach: Steve Rippon) went out of the pole vault final after three failures at 5.10m.

It was always going to be tough for Kelly following a huge lifetime best and outstanding performance of 2:02.89 in yesterday’s semi final.

“I felt better than yesterday warming up but I was obviously going to have yesterday’s run in my legs,” she said. “I knew it wouldn’t be the fastest time so I just wanted to enjoy the experience and to do the best I could. They went off so fast - I was two seconds down on the leaders after 200m but I went through in the time I was meant to – I ran the race how I wanted to run it, I just didn’t expect them all to run so fast!”

“I was closing down, but I had nothing left. I’m happy – I got to the final and finished seventh in the world, I can’t ask for more right now.”

The race was won by Romania’s Elena Lavric in 2:01.85.

As qualifying continued during an evening of finals, the Aviva GB & NI men failed to match the achievement of their female counterparts in the 200m, neither Kieran Showler-Davis (coach: John Davis) nor Danny Talbot (coach: Dan Cossins) making it through to tomorrow’s final. “I felt better than in the heat, but I’m not pleased,” said a frustrated Talbot who finished fourth in his semi final (21.19, +2.1m/s). “I should have won that really, I was fastest going into it.”

Showler-Davis finished sixth in his semi final with 21.18 (+2.0m/s). “I don’t know what was wrong,” he said. “I’m so disappointed.”

Prior to the evening session, and as the rain continued to pour, Dan Pembroke (coach: Kevin Pembroke) took to the field for his delayed javelin qualification. The interruption didn’t overly concern him, however, as he secured his place in tomorrow’s final (Friday 23 July at 20.20, 00.20 UK time) with his final effort of 69.44m.

“I’m very pleased qualify but it wasn’t the best performance,” said the Aviva England under-20 champion. “I came down on my first throw and seemed to dislocate my thumb but it seems ok now.”

“The weather is really holding people back as well – I was waiting around in the training area for a while, but it’s gone ok. The rest of the throws were reasonable and I just need to see how I do tomorrow  now.”

Tomorrow’s morning session begins with Laura Weightman (coach: Steve Cram) in the first round of the women’s 1500m at 09.00 (13.00 UK time).