12th July 2009

Sprint Double For Williams

12 July 2009

Sprint starlet Jodie Williams (Herts Phoenix), 15, completed a golden double on the last day of competition at the World Youth Championships in Bressanone, Italy, as she added a 200m gold medal to the 100m gold won earlier in the competition.

It was predicted that Allison Peter (ISV) and Ashton Purvis (USA) would be the main competition for Williams as they had been in the 100m. The three athletes challenged each other throughout the race and crossed the line together in a dramatic photo finish.

Williams and Peter recorded the same world youth leading time of 23.08 (0.9 m/s) but Williams was announced the winner with 23.074 to Peters 23.076.

Williams, who has mirrored Harry Aikines-Aryeetey’s double at the championships in 2005, said: “It hasn’t sunk it at all. When I crossed the line I could see her, I thought I’d got silver or bronze. Then I saw the race on the screen and thought that she had won. It really looked like she had won, but then they announced my name. I’m so overwhelmed.

“Obviously I had heard I had been tipped for it but I never believed I would, there’s such stiff competition. It was so close. It’s the first time I’ve raced athletes from another country, it’s the biggest competition I’ve ever been to. It’s amazing.

“I don’t know how I did it, my legs felt dead and I was finding it hard to run the bend but they were right there with me and taking off so I thought I had to do everything I could to keep up with them. I threw myself over the line.

“My World Youth experience as a whole has been amazing, there’s been ups and downs but in the end it’s all paid off. I need to keep myself grounded when I go back home.  I’m going to go back and train harder. I want this to keep happening. I want this amazing feeling to happen again.”

Shaunna Thompson (Sale) finished fifth in 23.67 (0.9 m/s). She was happy with the position in light of early season injuries: “I’m really happy; it’s all I could do. I’ve missed six weeks of training. I know I can go back and the rest of my season’s going to be OK. I know what I can do to improve now. I’m really pleased with that.”

In the final of the women’s 800m, tactics paid off for Rowena Cole (Coventry) as she ran a great race, finishing third with a new personal best of 2:03.83.

She maintained a position at the back of the leading pack throughout the first 600m then made her move as she went into the home straight, picking off three athletes on her way to the podium. 

She said: “I ran my own pace, I just tried so hard at the end to get that medal. I’m just amazingly happy, I got a personal best by about two seconds, that’s amazing! I have so much support from my family at home, and my twin sister is always there for me.”

In his 200m final Sam Watts (Woodford Green & Essex Ladies) finished in seventh place with 22.00 (0.9 m/s). The eventual winner Kirani James (GRN) stormed to victory with 21.05.

He said: “I’m not very happy with the race. I know it’s good to get to the final of an international competition but I know I could have run faster.”

The final day’s performances were a testimony to the team’s achievements – it was the most successful Aviva Great Britain & Northern Ireland team to attend an IAAF World Youth Championships ever with over 50% of the athletes reaching the final in their event and twelve finishing in the top eight.

Aviva GB&NI recorded six medals in total including gold medals from Katarina Thompson (heptathlon), Ben Williams (triple jump), two from Jodie Williams (100m & 200m), a silver from Jack Meredith (110m hurdles) and a bronze from Rowena Cole (800m).

Team leader Paula Dunn said: “This championship is all about learning how to compete and perform against the best in the world at an international competition, I think all the team members have done that and will take something away with them from the experience.

“The team’s amazing performances have made them the best World Youth team in Great Britain & Northern Ireland team history and I’m extremely proud of them. I truly believe we have some future stars in the team and I wish them every success for their careers.”

For full results visit- www.iaaf.org

More from World Youth Championships visit – www.uka.org.uk