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world juniors day five p.m

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Jodie Williams
Jodie Williams - 200m final

23 July 2010

Jodie Williams (coach: Mike McFarlane) added 200m silver to 100m gold in the IAAF World Junior Championships in Moncton, Canada this evening, taking the Aviva Great Britain and Northern Ireland team total to four.

With her tough competition schedule eventually taking its toll, it was a hard night for the 16-year-old who at last saw her 151-race unbeaten run come to an end with a 23.19 (-0.5m/s) second place finish.

“It’s been a long time. I knew it would come to an end one day and that’s it, it’s come to an end tonight,” she said at the post-race press conference.

“I’ll be happy later on, but at the moment there’s still great shock at finishing second and losing my unbeaten run.”

The USA’s Stormy Kendrick took the 200m title in 22.99 with Jamile Samuel – the Netherlands athlete who had finished third in the 100m and had competed in the 4 x 100m relay heats only two hours previously – in third (23.27).

“I had 12 hours sleep last night because I was absolutely shattered after the 100m,” said Williams. “Six races in four days is an awful lot and not having enough sleep the night before last wasn’t good, but I’m happy to be a medallist today. Stormy ran really well and I just couldn’t catch her. I think the expectation was way too much, but I did all I could.”

Emily Diamond (coach: Jared Deacon), the second Aviva GB & NI representative in the 200m final, ran a solid race to place sixth in 23.62. “My legs died after the bend – I tried to get my legs to go fast but they just wouldn’t listen to me, but I’m happy, sixth is good, better than expected.”

Setting the Aviva GB & NI team up for the evening, both men’s and women’s 4 x 100m relay teams made it through to tomorrow’s finals (Saturday 24 July from 16.30, 20.30 UK time).

The women finished second – an automatic slot – with 44.62 behind the USA who ran a world leading time of 43.56. “It’s my first race since I had the injury and now I’ve got that out my system I’m definitely ready for the final, definitely,” said Shaunna Thompson (coach: Bob Gaisie). “I was so nervous going out, but I loved it, I haven’t had a good season so far but that race just made up for it!”

The team was: Rebekah Wilson (coach: Morris Condon), Jennie Batten (coach: Roger Walters), Twinelle Hopeson (coach: Josef Hopeson-Sowah) and Thompson.

The men had to endure a few tense moments before it was confirmed that they’d also progressed to the final. They finished third in a fastest loser position with 40.07 in a close heat won by Japan (40.04).

“It’s really blown away the cobwebs away,” said first leg runner Jordan Huggins (coach: Mike McFarlane). “I’m pretty happy with it, I caught the guy next to me and the change was ok; there’s always room for improvement and I think we probably know already where we can go, but we’ve qualified for the final and we’ll take it from there.”

The quartet was: Jordan Huggins (coach: Mike McFarlane), Sam Watts (coach: Gladys Bird), Deji Tobais (coach: Simon Duberley) and Junior Ejehu (coach: Ayo Falola).

There was disappointment for Jack Green (coach: June Plews) in the 400mH final and Dan Pembroke (Kevin Pembroke) in the javelin final as they finished fifth (50.49) and 11th (68.12m) respectively, although Green could take some comfort from a lifetime best performance in the biggest race of his career so far.

Taking all performances into account, it was a bittersweet evening, but at only 16 years of age, Williams now has the chance to become the first athlete, male or female, to defend a 100m sprint title when the 14th edition of these Championships take place in Barcelona in July 2012.

Whether she’s still competing as a junior in two years time, only time will tell.