23rd August 2010

Iwas World Juniors (1)

23 August 2010

The Aviva Great Britain and Northern Ireland team had an excellent start to the IWAS World Junior Championships in Olomouc, Czech Republic (20-26 August 2010), winning a total of eight gold medals, four silver medals and two bronze medals on day one of the competition.

Jade Jones (coach: Ian Thompson/Tanni Grey-Thompson) – the youngest member of the team – was one of the most impressive performers on the track with double gold in the T54 100m (19.70, -1.7m/s) and 1500m (4:11.17).

Her performance was matched by Dan Lucker (coach: Jenny Archer) who also achieved an impressive double over the two events, clocking 16.87 (-3.1m/s) and 3:40.15 in the 100m and 1500m respectively, while in the women’s T53 100m and 1500m, Nikki Emerson (coach: Ian Thompson/Tanni Grey-Thompson) finished fourth (20.17, +0.5m/s) and third (4.19.19).

In the T46 1500m, newcomer Joe Allen (coach: Martin Rush), one of the most recent additions to the team, was equally impressive with victory in a new lifetime best of 4:22.40. Having clocked 2:08.23 for 800m in his second ever track race in last weekend’s London Disability Challenge at Crystal Palace, the cross country expert further proved his track credentials with his first global title.

Allen’s performance was one of five PB’s from Aviva GB & NI athletes on the first day of competition and was matched by Vicky Silk (coach: Anthony Hughes) and defending champion Nathan Stephens (coach: Anthony Hughes) with gold medal winning performances in their respective javelin events.

Silk won the mixed F40/F46 classification with 20.65m, taking the victory ahead of her team mate Hollie Arnold (coach: Shelley Quarin) in second 31.51m, with Holly Neill finishing third in 20.16m, also a PB.

For Stephens, it was a welcome return to international competition following a shoulder operation in March. He made his domestic comeback with a PB – at the time – and IPC World Championships ‘A’ standard of 38.62m at the recent UKA Disability Athletics Challenge event at Crystal Palace (15 August), but increased that mark to 38.98m in the Czech Republic yesterday (22 August).

Aled Davies, training partner to Stephens in Cardiff (coach: Anthony Young), won the IWAS World Junior title with a 41.30m effort in the F42 discus, while the final field event medal came from Sean Clare (coach: Shelley Quarin/Jane Clare) with bronze, and a new lifetime best, in the F40 discus (26.11m).

Completing an excellent day of competition for coach Anthony Hughes, Joshua Morgan finished sixth in the F46 discus with 31.53m.

Back on the track Ola Abidogun (coach: Steven Thomas), who will be hoping to be named in England’s team for October’s Commonwealth Games in Delhi when it’s announced later today, battled a strong headwind to take gold in the T46 100m in 11.72 (-2.5m/s).

Conditions remained tough throughout the day’s programme, but the Aviva GB & NI performances continued to impress, with silver medals for Jonnie Peacock (coach: Hayley Ginn) in the T44 100m (12.46, -3.5m/s), Will Smith (coach: Jenny Archer) in the T54 100m (17.92, -2.3m/s) and Sally Brown (coach: Phillip Tweedy) in the T46 100m (13.33, +1.3m/s).

Back in the UK, and continuing the progress of British athletes in the countdown to the IPC World Athletics Championships in January 2011 and the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Hannah Cockroft (coach: Peter Eriksson) further reduced her own T34 400m World Record with a time of 63.97 at the Tartan Games in Gateshead.

The IWAS World Junior Championships continues later today and a daily session report will follow.

For the timetable and additional information, check out the official event website at: http://www.iwas2010.org/index.html