13th March 2010

Ennis Opens Second Day

13 March 2010

World heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis (Toni Minchiello) opened up the second day of competition at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Doha, Qatar with wins in the 60m hurdles and high jump.

She ran blistering hurdles in 8.04, her first event of the competition, and finished a length ahead of nearest rival Hyleas Fountain (USA).

After a near flawless progression in the high jump from 1.75m through to 1.87m, with just one fail at 1.84m, the City of Sheffield athlete won the competition with a last chance achievement at 1.90m. She then jumped alone for 1.93m which was just beyond her grasp.

The morning session ended with Ennis throwing a season best of 14.01m in the shot and leading the pentathlon into the final two events with 3021 points to Dobrynska’s (UKR) 3003.

The men’s relay squad stretched their legs for the first time in the opening round of 4x 400m and made it through to the final. World silver 4 x 400m medallist Conrad Williams (Linford Christie) began proceedings  with a good start and kept tight on the shoulders of the leading three before passing the goods to European U23 400m silver medallist Nigel Levine (Simon Duberley), who chased an increasing gap for  his two laps.

Aviva GB&NI senior debutant Luke Lennon- Ford (Rodger Walters) did well to keep hold onto fourth place after his start was impeded by other athletes waiting for the change-over. He handed over to 400m European Junior Champion Chris Clarke (Nick Dakin) who ran strongly and kept the team in fourth place to the line (3:09.59) despite a constant threat from Czech Republic.

 Williams said: “It’s an inexperienced team and we’re working on a lot so that was pretty good. I’m the senior member of this four so I’ve had to draw on my experience from Berlin, run a steady first and get the guys on the right course. It’s a real honour for me to be the senior team member.”

Lennon-Ford: “I really enjoyed my first senior experience and I’m honoured to be selected. If we’ve done the job, a stronger team can go out and do some damage.”

Youngster Andrew Osagie (Craig Winrow) impressed during his 800m semi-final with a mature and tactically astute outing against a quality field. He secured a favourable position on the inside of the pack early on and looked comfortable throughout. However on the home straight he was narrowly beaten to third place which would have meant automatic qualification, instead he finished in fourth with 1:51.29.

He said: “I am so angry; I knew Ismail (SUD) would have come through strong so I should have got myself ahead earlier on. It was silly. However this is my first senior champs and if you’d have offered me fourth in the semi at the start I would have taken it. I felt very comfortable out there and wasn’t fazed.

“I’ve got a good plan for the year, I’m in a good group, with a good coach and I want to compete at both the Europeans and the Commonwealth Games. Thanks to everybody who’s supported me, from Aviva, to Kelly Holmes and the teachers at St Mary’s who have kept me motivated.”