17th July 2015

Lawrie Shines In 400m Hurdles Heats

17 July 2015 

It was a near perfect start for the Great Britain & Northern Ireland contingent in action on the second day of action at the European Athletics Junior Championships in Eskilstuna, Sweden. Eight of the nine athletes secured their route through to the next round of competition despite some nervy moments in the field.

Jack Lawrie (coach: John Macdonald, Pitreavie) provided one of the highlights for the team in the morning session going through to the the 400m hurdles semi-final as the fastest qualifier. The Scottish athlete looked composed throughout as he clocked 52.91, just 0.14 outside his personal best, which he set in Mannheim a few weeks ago.

“I’m really pleased – the aim of today was to get out win the heat and get a good draw for the semi. I know it’ll be tough, so I wanted to give myself as much as an advantage as I could. I really feel I’m ready to compete at this level, so it’s just a matter of producing the times so I can show that.

“I definitely wanted to win the heat, but I’ve got a little bit left in the tank. That wasn’t far off my personal best and it felt a lot easier, so I’m really looking forward to the next round.

Kyle Langford (George Harrison, Shaftesbury Barnet), Spencer Thomas (Jon Bigg, Brighton Phoenix) and Daniel Rowden (Richard Thurston, Woodford Green & Essex Ladies) ensured that there will be a full British complement in the 800m semi-finals after winning their respective heats. Langford, who was crowned British Champion earlier this month was in positive mood afterwards with gold and an IAAF World Championships qualifier firmly in his sights.

The 2013 World Youth bronze medallist said: “My coach and I had a plan before and it went perfectly. That last 300m when the pace picked up it felt really easy. I’m feeling in really good form, so I’m really happy.

“I’ve not done too many fast races this year as my season only really started at the British Championships. This is where I’ll hopefully start peaking, and I don’t see why I can’t come out with gold here. Hopefully I can come close to the time (1:46.00 qualifying standard for Beijing) or if not get it that would be a big boost for the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games.”

Double World Junior champion Morgan Lake (Eldon Lake, WSEH) breathed a huge sigh of relief clearing 1.79m on her third attempt to secure her passage into the women’s high jump final.

“I was really nervous going into the final attempt. The last jump was horrible but I knew I could do it because I do it in training all the time and I did 1.80m in warm up.

“Definitely (aiming for the medals) – there’s a 1.92m jumper (Levchenko, Ukraine) so there’s a lot of competition, but I’m hoping to get around my PB and jump as high as I can.

There were also a few anxious moments in the men’s pole vault with Harry Coppell (John Mitchell, Wigan & District) needing three attempts to clear 5.05m. However, it was good news all round for GB & NI with British Junior record holder Adam Hague (Trevor Fox, Sheffield & Dearne) and Charlie Myers (Chris Boundy, Middlesbrough (Mandale) joining the 2013 World Youth gold medallist in Sunday’s final.

Myers said: “I’m over the moon – it’s my first major championships and I’ve been nervous all week. Adam (Hague) came over and told me I’d won my pool and I couldn’t believe it. I can’t wait for the final now.

“I had a good warm-up so I was looking forward to the competition. I just wanted to do one jump and get through to the final so I’m happy with that,” added Hague.  

“Not really it just shows that I can do it and I can be number one so I’ve just got to take that confidence into the final. The aim is to be on top of the podium definitely.”

The only disappointment on a successful morning for the GB & NI team was the withdrawal of Jack Hatton (Malcolm Arnold, Reading AC) from the 110m hurdles due to a hamstring injury.

Live streaming of this afternoon’s session is available at: http://www.european-athletics.org/