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UK Athletics

medals for meadows and relay

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Jenny Meadows
Meadows adds indoor medal to her increasing portfolio
14 March 2010

Jenny Meadows (Trevor Painter) and the men’s 4 x 400m team bagged the Aviva GB&NI team two medals on the last day at the World Indoor Championships in Doha, Qatar, bringing the overall tally to four and leave Britain fourth in the medal table, the leading European nation.

Meadows not only secured a well deserved indoor silver medal to add to the outdoor bronze achieved in Berlin last summer but again broke the 800m British indoor record along the way, confirming her podium status with a time of 1:58.43.

The fast pace was set early on by Alysia Johnson (USA) but it was Meadows who took on the lead with two laps to go, intensifying the tempo and her chances for the record. On the home straight the impressive Mariya Savinova (RUS), who had been biding her time on Meadows’ shoulder for much for the race, took her chance, and the gold, as she kicked for the line and got there first.

Meadows said: “With 100m to go, emotions started overcoming me and I looked at the screen and I could see Maryia coming so I came back harder but she just got it. Having said that, I can’t be disappointed with that time or a world silver medal. Massive thanks to UK Sport and Lottery funding which allows me to train full time and makes a real difference. I’ve got a world bronze, I’ve got a world silver, now I need a gold to complete the hat trick.”

The men’s 4 x 400m team earned GB&NI their final medal of the day, a bronze, in the final event of the competition with a slick operation over eight laps.

Conrad Williams (Linford Christie) started well, brought the team to the line in fifth place and executed a swift exchange to Nigel Levine (Simon Duberley) who ran a superb second leg, fighting off trouble from the Dominican Republic. During that leg the Bahamas and Jamaica both lost their baton’s making it a four horse race.

Levine came through unaffected and passed onto Chris Clarke (Nick Dakin) who received the baton safely and ran a storming two laps, his first senior outing for GB&NI.

Finally it was up to Richard Buck (Michael Khmel) to hold onto third on the anchor leg and keep his team in contention. He switched between third and fourth several times but saved extra for the home straight and used his notorious strong finish when it counted to secure bronze.

Williams said: “Well these medals are like London buses, I feel like I’ve waited ages for one and now I’ve got two. Watching Jenny in warm up spurred me on, we’ve been part of GB&NI’s success this weekend. We had to go out there and commit and we did it!

Clarke added: “That was so nerve wracking. I’m so glad I competed in the heats because that helped calm me down. Michael told me to commit and I did and we got the medal. ”

Levine: “Well I went to work and I did the job. That felt good. You train all year to do something to make your country proud. I can’t wait to do it all over again in Barcelona.”

Buck: “I thought everyone had gone too early in my leg so I held up and then I needed to deal with that gap. As I sprinted towards the line all I could hear was the British supporters and all I could see were the boys waiting for me. There was no way I was going to let a medal go.”

Samson Oni (Trevor Llewelyn) finished seventh in the final of the men’s high jump with a best jump of 2.24m. He started the event in good form clearing both 2.20m and 2.24m but struggled three times with 2.28m thus cutting his championships short. It was a premature end for Oni who set a new personal best of 2.31m at the Europa SC High Jump Meeting just ten days ago.  

He said: “Well that was a rollercoaster of a weekend, I was over the moon to make the final in good shape and all I needed to do in the final was demonstrate the consistency at 2.28 that I’ve been demonstrating all season. But I didn’t do it and to be a champion I need to do that. But being top 8 in the world is a good start to the year. ”

In a straight final without heats the 4 x 400m girls, a new line-up for GB&NI, faced tough opposition from a qualify field including USA, Russia, Jamaica and Czech Republic. Kim Wall (Tony Lester) got the team up and running with a safe two laps before handing over securely to Victoria Barr (Ayo Falola).

As USA, Russia and Jamaica stormed away, GB&NI and the Czech Republic it battled for fourth. 400m hurdler Perri Shakes- Drayton (Chris Zah) took the third leg and managed to come through ahead, despite the increasing threat.  

During Lee McConnell’s (Rodget Harkins) last leg the Czech’s had their way on the home straight moving into fourth and leaving the Brits in fifth position with 3:30.29.

Barr said: “That was a really tough race; it’s hard to go into a final cold without heats. This is a different team and it gives us a springboard now for the summer.”

Shakes –Drayton added: “That’s my first ever indoor 400m and I put my heart and soul into it. It was tough but it’s given me amazing experience on the world stage. I’ve loved being part of the relay team and didn’t realise I would be quite so nervous. In Barcelona I want to be part of this team again as well as doing 400m hurdles.”

Helen Clitheroe’s (Trevor Painter) successful return to the 1500m continued with an eighth place finish in the final. Her time of 4:10.38, close to her season’s best of 4:10.08 set in Stuttgart in early February, was pushed on by the incredible support from Ethiopian fans who filled the stadium.  

She said: “That was the most brilliant atmosphere to run in, I wish I had been closer to the pack because I had such a strong finish. That shows me that I am reasonably competitive in this world class field. I always want more and that race has given me confidence, shown me I have got speed and that kick for the end.”

Six times UK Champion Joice Maduaka (Loren Seagrave), who ran close to her personal best recently at the Aviva World Indoor trials and UK Championships with a dash of 7.29, brought her impressive 2010 indoor season to a close with a fifth place finish in her 60m semi-final heat with 7.35.

4 x 400m
Men's 4 x 400m grab bronze medal in last event of the competition