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UK Athletics
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Young Guns sHine

Lucy Boggis
8 March 2009

Day two of this combined events international between France, Spain and Great Britain at UWIC promised more improved performances that the crowd were treated to on day one, particularly with more debuts to come with the women entering the fray.

Both Daniel Gardiner (Leeds City AC) and Francis Baker (UWIC) continued to lead the way for Great Britain with more consistent performances coming into the business end of the championship. A personal best in the U20 pole vault for Gardiner of 4.30m and Baker, at 4.60m in the U23 event bolstered promise of a high placing for both individuals in their respective competitions.

Baker finished the competition in second place, with a personal best points score of 5,490pts

Not to be out done by their team mates, Ben Gregory produced something special for the crowd at UWIC, another lifetime personal best for Great Britain, this time in U20 pole vault. The final height cleared was and this was celebrated by Gregory like it was all he ever wanted.

The women were chasing lights themselves as the personal bests continued to fall again.  Liverpool Harriers Katarina Thompson was the pick of the bunch with superb clearance of 1.82m in the U20 high jump competition, surpassing her previous best of 1.81m.

Lydia Chamberlin (Lincoln Wellington AC) proved that she was unfazed by the occasion of her first international competition, posting a PB in the U23 high jump competition, clearing the bar at 1.73m.

The young pair of Gardiner and Thompson were the outstanding stars of the second day, both achieving what they had set out to do in their performances in the earlier events, by winning the men’s and women’s U20  competitions. Thompson set a new lifetime best in the pentathlon by the end of the day, totting up a total of 4,092pts

It was a Great British 1-2 in the U20 competitions, with David Guest (Bridgend AC) pushing his compatriot Gardiner close for that first spot, but finished on a points score of, second overall, further demonstrating the a strong traditions of young multi event talent within the UK. Guest’s feat was even more impressive with the knowledge that the Welshman clearly enjoyed the occasion of his first international.

Guest and Gardiner had even more reasons to celebrate as the theme of rewriting the history books continuing right to the end, both posted personal best scores in an indoor heptathlon, the former scoring 5,398pts, the latter scoring 5,482pts.

Lucy Boggis (Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers) produced a gladiatorial PB in the U23 shot put, 11.78. Boggis demonstrated a series of assured performances to clinch a 2nd place overall in the Under 23 Women’s competition, performances that led to a PB score of 3,940pts.

With so many performances of a lifetime this weekend, little more could be asked of such a willing bunch of athletes looking to better themselves on every occasion. And with so many of the British juniors in particular standing out in Cardiff, it seems that talent is a blessing.