23rd June 2013

Gb & Ni Finish Third In Gateshead

23 June 2013

The GB & NI team finished third in the European Athletics Team Championships this weekend after picking up a further three victories on a wet and windy day two in Gateshead. The British team collected a total of 338 points, behind Germany, who were second with 347.5 points, and Russia, who took the title with 354.5 points.

GB & NI won both the men’s and women’s 4x400m relays, the final two track events of the day, to finish the championships in style. The women’s quartet of Eilidh Child (coach: Malcolm Arnold), Shana Cox (George Williams), Meghan Beesley (Nick Dakin) and Christine Ohuruogu (Lloyd Cowan) led from start to finish as they crossed the line in 3:28.60, nearly a second clear of Russia.

Child, who got the British team off to a great start on leg one, said: “My coach told me to get out there, set it up and give the girls the best chance possible. We just wanted to get full points for the team and we are delighted we could do that.”

The men’s 4x400m team was equally dominant as Michael Bingham (Williams), Conrad Williams (Linford Christie), Rhys Williams (Adrian Thomas) and Richard Buck (Steve Fudge) raced to victory in a European leading time of 3:05.37.

Rhys Williams, continuing his excellent 2013 form on leg three, said: “The last time I did this was in 2006, so I made the most of the opportunity and really enjoyed it. The team did really well.”

Tiffany Porter (Rana Reider) also picked up a maximum 12 points for GB & NI in the 100m hurdles as she stormed to victory in a time of 12.62, quicker than her European leading mark of 12.74, although there was an illegal following wind of +2.6m/s.

She said: “I’m really pleased with that race. I’m feeling good, I’ve been working on certain elements of my race and it’s all coming together. I’m pretty confident about the rest of the season.”

19 year old Emelia Gorecka (Mick Woods) ran impressively in the women’s 5,000m as she held off experienced German Sabrina Mockenhaupt to finish second. The race started slowly and picked up in the closing stages, with the world junior 3,000m bronze medallist crossing the line in 15:40.52 to win an excellent 11 points.

Goecka said: “This was an amazing experience and an amazing crowd for my senior GB & NI debut. I’d have liked to have been closer to the Russian but it was all about getting the points today.”

Sophie Hitchon (Tore Gustafsson) got day two off to a great start as she set a new British record, launching the hammer out to 72.97m in the third round to add 99cm to her previous best. The throw was good enough for third place and 10 points for GB & NI, and the 21 year old was delighted with her series of throws.

“I’m so happy to have thrown an A standard today. I had three consistent throws after the first one. I’ve been chasing that 72 metre barrier for a while now so I’m really pleased to have finally got it.”

After fouling in her first two jumps, Shara Proctor (Reider) leaped to 6.43m in the third round to move into second place. Although she was only one centimetre short of Eloyse Lesueur’s winning jump, she slipped to third after the fourth round, winning 10 points.

Anyika Onuora (Reider) picked up nine points for GB & NI as she finished third in the women’s 200m. Her time of 23.12 was just seven hundredths behind second placed Myriam Soumare of France.

In the men’s 800m, Andrew Osagie (Craig Winrow) finished strongly but couldn’t quite catch Poland’s Adam Kszczot and had to settle for third in a time of 1:47.41. Meanwhile in the men’s long jump, Nathan Douglas (Aston Moore) performed well to also finish third. His jump of 16.45m in strong wind and rain won a valuable 10 points for GB & NI.

Danny Talbot (Dan Cossins) finished third in the second heat of the men’s 200m. The 22 year old placed fourth overall because the winner of the first heat, Serhiy Smelyk of the Ukraine, ran slightly quicker than Talbot’s 20.67 but he still collected nine points for his team.

In the first track event of day two, Williams Sharman (Jerzy Maciukiewicz) finished fifth in the second heat of the men’s 110m hurdles in a time of 13.48 to collect eight points. 2011 world silver medallist Hannah England (Bud Baldaro) was edged out to fifth place in the women’s 1500m in a time of 4:11.02.

In the men’s discus, Brett Morse’s (Andy Brittan) first round throw of 59.45m was followed by two fouls meaning he finished in fifth place. Despite difficult conditions in the women’s shot put, British junior record holder Sophie McKinna (Geoff Capes) placed seventh with a best throw of 16.37m.

Lee Doran (David Parker) threw over 70m three times in the men’s javelin, his best of 73.77m put him in eight place to win five points. In the women’s high jump, 20 year old Isobel Pooley (Fayyaz Ahmed) was one of seven athletes to clear 1.85m and finished ninth on count back.

Andrew Sutcliffe (Julien Raffalli-Ebezant) finished ninth in the pole vault with a best height of 5.20m. The 2010 world junior bronze medallist’s fourth failure of the competition came at 5.40m and he ended with four points.

In an incredibly close men’s 3,000m, with ten athletes in contention in the final 100m, David Bishop (James Thie) eventually ended up in seventh with 8:06.18. Rob Mullett (David Leach) suffered a foot injury during the men’s 3,000m steeplechase but still managed to finish in 11th place in a time of 9:18.75.

British Athletics Head Coach Peter Eriksson believes that this was a successful weekend for the GB & NI team and praised the performances of the younger athletes on the team.

“I think it was good; we had more points than we expected and a lot of the youngsters stepped up with really great performances. We were unlucky with a couple of injuries to Holly Bleasdale and in the men’s 3,000m steeplechase but we did the best we could.”

“All of the youngsters really stepped up, with Emelia Gorecka today and Jessica Judd and Charlie Grice yesterday putting in excellent performances.”

Click here for full results from Gateshead.