9th July 2009


9 July 2009

Sprint sensation Jodie Williams (Herts Phoenix) won a well deserved gold medal in the final of the 100m on the second day of competition at the World Youth Championships in Bressanone, Italy, the first medal of the competition for the Aviva Great Britain & Northern Ireland team.

The 15 year old from Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire blistered down the track to set a new world youth leading time and personal best of 11.39 (0.7 m/s). She was well ahead of her rivals Allison Peter (ISV) who finished second with 11.47 and Aston Purvis (USA) who finished third in 11.48.

Emulating her 2007 World Youth predecessor Asha Philip (Newham & Essex Beagles), who also won 100m gold, Williams confirmed the exciting surge in female British sprinting.

Williams, who holds an incredible undefeated 100m record, said: “It’s amazing it’s just the best feeling ever. Another personal best and a world leading time, I’m so pleased. I didn’t think i would be able to do better than the semis I thought that would be pushing it but then that happened! I’m really in shock.

“This is so important, it’s the first step along the line and it’s such an amazing feeling to have won. I wasn’t expecting to win. It’s been an incredibly hard year so to do this was really hard. It’s the World Juniors next year so I’ll be there. I want to carry on and make athletics my career.”

Team mate Shaunna Thompson (Sale) also ran a good race but the American, former world youth leader Purvis, edged her out of medal contention. She finished fourth with a seasons best of 11.63 (0.7 m/s).

Earlier in the afternoon both girls dominated their semi-final races. Williams cut a formidable figure as she ran to victory in 11.40 (0.4 m/s), which was a world youth leading time before her outing in the final.  While Thompson grabbed a place in the final with her 11.66 (0.7 m/s) run.


Other Aviva GB&NI performances in the afternoon session included:

Nathan Wake (Herts Phoenix) continued his strong and confident running form which was seen in the early stages of competition and bagged a place in the 400m final with a personal best time of 46.86.

He said: “I just wanted to run what would be my perfect race, go out there hard. It all went to plan. It feels great to get a PB, I think the hard works done now I just have to keep it together for the final.”

Greg Louden (Lasswade) had positive outing in his semi-final but his 400m campaign ended at that stage. He finished in 48.71 which was good enough for fifth place.

The Scot ran a good race and was pleased with the outcome: “That was a lot better than yesterday; it was hard to get my head around the false start. I’m tired but relieved. I’m happy with my performance.”

Both British boys in the 800m semi-finals ended their World Youth experience in tough semi-final draws.

Adam Cotton (Birchfield) drew an outside lane for his race. The young middle distance runner found himself in a difficult position during the race with the pace just too much for him. He finished in fifth with 1:52.98.

He said: “I’m not in the final. I went off hard, not bad running but I got tripped on the top bend. I ran strongly at the end of the race. It’s a good experience; I got to the semi-final of a world championship so I can’t really complain.”

In the last of the three semi-final races Rikkie Letch tried to stay with the leading group as they pulled away but he had nothing left as the race drew to a close and subsequently fell back into sixth place with 1:53.98.

Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow athlete said: “My legs just didn’t feel right. They went fast, and then slow, and then fast, then slow, I’ve never run a race like that. It’s a great experience to be with the GB&NI team and when I look back on it I’m sure I’ll be happy.”

Myra Perkins (Flakirk), who impressed in the hammer qualifiers with a fourth place finish out of 35 athletes, failed emulate her early form in final. Her attempts peaked at 52.44m which was not good enough for her to be in contention, she finished in ninth.


For full results visit- www.iaaf.org

More from World Youth Championships visit – www.uka.org.uk