11th July 2012

British Duo Make It Through To World Juniors 800m Final

11 July 2012

Two perfectly executed performances by Emily Dudgeon (coach: Stuart Hogg) and Jessica Judd (Jeremy Freeman) saw the Aviva Great Britain & Northern Ireland 800m duo advance to tomorrow’s eagerly awaited final on day two of the IAAF World Junior Championships in Barcelona (10-15 July).

In the second of the three semi-finals, Dudgeon took control of the situation early on, leading the pack through the opening stages before finding herself in a three-way battle for the two qualifying spots with Ajee Wilson (USA) and Sonja Mosler of Germany.

The Scottish athlete held on to claim a deserved victory in a time of 2:02.32, a new PB.

“I knew that I had to run quickly and that I needed to get in a good position early on the back straight, as yesterday there was a bit of pushing around,” she said. “I felt comfortable and I had enough space in the last 200m to just go for it. I am really pleased.”

Dudgeon also said she satisfied with her performance at the World Championships so far: “I enjoyed that and I felt good after yesterday’s first round. I knew it would have been a different race today. I came here to run faster than I had ever done before and make the final and I did just that. I have nothing to lose tomorrow.”

Judd also took the lead early on in her traditional fashion, but her quest to reach the final almost ended in disaster as the Chelmsford athlete was tripped at the 400m mark. Luckily, she stayed on her feet and was able to speed on to claim victory from Winnie Nanyondo of Uganda. The British athlete was even able to slow down in the last ten metres, still recording the fastest time of the semi-finals stage with 2:02.30.

“I wanted to control it from the front as I know tomorrow is going to be a very different race,” she said. “My aim before the race was to get to the final so I took the lead, took it easy for a while and then raised the pace on the back straight. That was actually a bit earlier than I was planning, but already by the final bend I knew I was qualifying.”

For the youngster, who won a bronze medal in this event at the 2011 World Youth Championships in Lille, making her way to the final is already an achievement – although one she expected. “There are going to be so many good girls in the final, and to be only 17 and in a World Junior final is just unbelievable. I would have been so upset if I hadn’t made it through.”

With the two British competitors getting in the final with the two fastest times, hopes will be high for a good result in tomorrow’s showdown (21:15 local time).

Action resumes this afternoon with six athletes flying the flag for the Aviva GB & NI team in the evening session. James Gladman (James Hillier) will resume his 110m hurdles charge (18.30) and Elliot Safo will return for the long jump final (20:20) before Adam Gemili (Michael Afilaka), Chijindu Ujah (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo), Sophie Papps and Rachel Johncock take care of unfinished business in the 100m (men: semi-finals 19:00, final 21:45; women: semi-finals 19:00, final 21:00).

Full results are available through the following link.