19th July 2013

Momentum Building For GB & NI

19 July 2013

Jacob Paul (Marina Armstrong) rounded out a near perfect session for the GB & NI team as he smashed his lifetime best with a 50.74 clocking, comfortably winning heat one of the men’s 400mH.

“I’m over the moon with that time! My game plan was to go out relaxed, and I didn’t want to be sucked in by the Pole one lane outside of me. I thought I had more in me coming round the bend, so I kicked; I wanted to overtake the Pole and win the heat really, to make sure that I got a good lane in the semi-finals. I’m glad I executed my game plan well, so I’m really happy.”

The day quite literally got off to a flying start, as Lucy Bryan (Charles Preston) cleared 3.80m, 3.90m, 4.00m & 4.05m all at the first time of asking, to progress to the women’s pole vault final.

“It was good – I’m pleased. My aim was to go out there and clear every height first time, and that’s what I did.”

Louisa James (Ron James) followed suit in the women’s hammer, and despite being 4cm short of the automatic qualifying distance with a best throw of 59.46m, she progressed as the seventh best qualifier for tomorrow afternoon’s final.

The first track event of the day was the men’s 110mH, where the GB & NI momentum continued. David Omoregie (Mike Guest) looked very impressive in winning heat three in a new personal best of 13.45 (+0.1m/s), proving that when the sun’s out, this track is very quick.

David King (James Hillier) also secured automatic qualification to this afternoon’s semi-finals, easing up over the last two flights of hurdles to finish third in 13.74. Khai Riley-Laborde (Ray Gibbins) had a nervous wait, despite running within two hundredths of a second of his personal best when finishing fourth in heat two. In the end though, that performance was good enough to see him through to the next round.

In the women’s 100mH, Yasmin Miller (Jared Deacon) unfortunately clattered the last hurdle, and ended up hitting the track, preventing her from advancing to the next round.

Richard Charles (Noel Stoddart) went in heat three of four of the men’s 800m, knowing that a top three position would see him through to tomorrow’s semi-finals. Sitting on the leaders shoulder until 200m to go, Charles looked impressive, kicking away for an easy 1.51.10 victory.

“That was really important for me – I didn’t want to come outside of the top three and have to wait to see the fastest qualifiers, and I certainly didn’t want to come out here [to Rieti] and go out in the heats. At 200 to go, I just had to make sure I got the job done, so I’m really happy with that.”

Men’s team captain Jordan Bransberg (Andrew Medley) went in the final heat, which proved to be a very scrappy affair. He did his best to avoid the pushing with 250m to go, before finding a gap and powering down the home straight to take the win in 1.51.06.

“I was expecting it to be tough, and there was line of athletes in front of me with 250m to go. I saw a gap, but then it closed up, so I just had to bide my time and kick round the bend when I got the chance. “

Elliot Slade (Arwyn Davies) found the going a little too tough on his GB & NI debut, missing out on a place in the semi-finals.

Great Britain & Northern Ireland will have a full quota of athletes in Saturday afternoon’s 400mH semi-finals, thanks to three strong runs from the British girls. Hayley McLean (Steve Mitchell) finished very strongly to win heat one in a time of 58.48, but admitted she probably went out a little too slow.

“I always know that my second half is better than my first half, but I just went off to slow. I went in with the mentality of just winning the heat and it was a bit faster than I thought it would be. I wanted a win, so I’m happy with that, and hopefully it’s a good lane draw. In the semi, I just need to attack the first 200m more strongly.”

Jessica Turner (Julie Feeney) had every right to be delighted with her performance, setting a new personal best of 59.28 to secure an automatic spot in the next round, thanks to a third place finish.

“I never thought I’d even get here [to the European Junior Championships], so to get a PB in first heat, I’m really happy with that. Hopefully I get another even better PB tomorrow in the semi now.”

In the third heat of four, Shona Richards (Armstrong) attacked the first half of the race, taking the lead and holding it all the way to the line. Her winning time of 58.96 will ensure she gets a favourable lane draw for tomorrow’s semi-finals.

“I’m surprised and incredibly pleased. I wasn’t expecting it and that’s why I suppose I’m so happy! I’ve got my family here watching, so it’s brilliant and I’m really happy.”

For start lists and full results, please click here: http://la.sportresult.com/ajax/eaa2.asp?module=timetable_date&event_id=10013400000002&lang=en 

You can also follow updates of all GB & NI performances via our twitter page: @BritAthletics 

A live stream of the event can be found on the European Athletics website: http://eurovision.digotel.com/ea/index.html