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U20 Trials Report

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Galliers, Ayanful, Tobais and Robertson at Bedford
Galliers takes victory at Bedford


27 June 2009

In the race for places to attend the European Junior Championships in Novi Sad, Serbia 23-26 July, GB’s top junior athletes pulled out all the stops in warm Bedford on day one of the Aviva U20 championships and European Trials.

Amongst those taking titles, and hoping to have secured selection were:

In the men’s hammer, UK Junior record holder Peter Smith (Kingston Upon Hull) continued his excellent form with a championship best performance of 74.45 in taking the title and potentially a place in the team for Serbia.

Sophie Hitchon (Blackburn Harriers) made it an impressive double for the Hull based throws group when she easily won the women’s hammer also with a championship best of 61.36m.

Andrew Sutcliffe (Sale H) timed his season’s best to perfection in clearing the qualifying height for the European Juniors in the pole vault. His 5.10m clearance not only winning the championship title but hopefully enough to make his way to the major championships. It was a theme that was repeated later in the afternoon for Sally Scott (Gateshead Harriers) in the women’s pole vault, with Scott winning the match as well as clearing the European mark of 4.05m in taking victory.

Multi-eventer Daniel Gardiner took a useful victory in the men’s long jump competition with 7.29m to boost his hopes of a strong decathlon outing should he get the nod for the European Championships, whilst in the women’s discus, Shaunagh Brown (Blackheath & Bromley) didn’t quite exceed the European standard of 48m with her winning throw of 47.79m, but has already thrown 50m this season.

In the men’s javelin, Matthew Hunt (Kingston Upon Hull) took victory in 69.69m – ahead of the qualifying standard of 69m in a closely fought competition.

In the men’s and women’s 100m races, the final was a climax to a thrilling day’s racing which saw more athletes achieve the qualifying standard for the European Juniors during the heats and semi final stages on their way to the final.

In the women’s race Torema Dorsett (Enfield & Haringey) came into the reckoning in the first round with 11.61. The in the following men’s heats and semi finals, Eugene Ayanful (Woodford Green Essex Ladies) came into the reckoning with 10.52 in his heat and an impressive 10.44 in his semi final. He was closely tracked by Sale’s Andrew Robertson who clocked 10.50 – also slipping inside the European Junior mark for the first time. Then Deji Tobais (Windsor Slough Eton Hounslow) completed the trio of qualifications with 10.43 in his semi final.

In the finals, there were victories for Jodie Williams whose 11.48 winning mark took her to third on the all time list for under 17s. Second was Dorsett in 11.66 and third Jenny Batten (Stroud) – the times for all three made all the more impressive considering the 1.7m/s headwind they faced.

The men’s race was won by Max Galliers (Windsor Slough Eton and Hounslow) in 10.54, a tense affair with four of the eight starters now possessing European qualifying times. Galliers who started excellently, held off the fast finishing Ayanful and Tobais to take the national title and put himself in the hotseat for the European Juniors – also into a headwind of 2.3m/s

Qualifying highlights include:

In the men’s 400m, Chris Clarke (Marshall Milton Keynes) was the class act in both his heat and semi final, opening out a huge lead and easing over the line in both occasions.

Alison Leonard (Blackburn H) and Rowena Cole (Coventry Godiva) both led from start to finish in their 800m races headed for Sunday’s final. Leonard, 4th place at last year’s World Juniors looked easy in 2.09.12, as did Cole in winning her race in 2.07.49.

In the men’s 1500m, the Sunday final looks to be one of the races of the championship, with favourites Niall Brooks and Simon Horsfield (East Cheshire) victorious in their respective heats. Brooks (Sale H) qualified in 3.54.88 with Horsfield clocking 3.54.65 in his race.

In the women’s 1500m, favourite Stacey Smith (Gateshead Harriers) was the fastest qualifier for the final – winning her heat in a controlled 4.30.48

Niall Flannery (Gateshead Harriers) led qualifiers for the 400m hurdles final on Sunday morning, with 54.13 in winning his heat.

For results please follow this link