8th July 2009

Sprint Double Impresses


08 July 2009

British sprint duo Shaunna Thompson (Sale) and Jodie Williams (Herts Phoenix) continued their successful 100m campaign winning their qualifying rounds and a place in the semi finals on the first day of the World Youth Championships in Bressanone, Italy.

Following convincing outings in the morning session, both girls impressed crowds with their seemingly effortless performances to finish second and fifth respectively in the overall standings of the 100m.

Commonwealth Youth 100m and 200m gold medallist Thompson returned to the track in fine form, winning with a seasons best of 11.63 (0.7 m/s).

She said: “I came to the competition with hardly any confidence. Now I feel great and want to go out and do it again in the semi-finals. Now I’ll do more starts in the warm up so I can come out faster.”

Team mate Williams also won her race in 11.71 (0.0 m/s), purposely saving some energy for the next rounds. “I’m happy, I feel more confident now but I’m going to take it one step at a time.”

In the heat and sunshine of northern Italy the Aviva GB&NI team continued their successful opening day with other solid performances.

In GB&NI’s first final of the competition Annabel Gummow (Bristol & West) ran an incredible race despite falling prey to the inevitable African domination in the girls 3000m. She finished in seventh with 9:42.97. Despite the leading pack streaking ahead early, Gummow showed great tactical running as she kept her head and her game plan, moving from twelfth to seventh place during the race.

“I went out too fast, I was trying to keep to the pace of the race instead of my pace. I just didn’t want to get left behind. I knew I could keep going and I’m good at picking people off so that was my focus when I found myself at the back.

“It’s a good experience and my first international race, I was very nervous. I’ve definitely learnt something. I know now about the pushing and shoving that happens and how important strategy is. I just have to learn from it.”

In the boys 400m, Nathan Wake qualified for tomorrow’s semi-final from his second place finish in the fifth heat. The Herts Phoenix athlete, who looked strong from start to finish, said: “I was just glad to get out and run. I just wanted to qualify, do a job and I did so I’m pleased. Same again for the next round,  hopefully abit quicker!”

Greg Louden (Lasswade) got out well in the first round of the boys 400m and finished fourth with 48.61. The pace of eventual winner Jacques de Swardt (RSA) drove the leading three forward right up to the line, which left the 16 year old Scot with very little power on the home straight to challenge for an automatic qualificationm but he qualified as a fastest loser.

He said: “Wearing the GB&NI kit and the fact that I’ve run for Great Britain is great. My legs felt tired I had nothing left on the back straight; the South African just kept pulling away. I’m really pleased to have a place in the semi’s.”

Hammer hopeful Myra Perkins qualified for the final with a 54.36m throw with third place. Although she didn’t hit the qualification mark her effort was enough for fourth in the overall standings, out of 35 athletes, with only three achieving the tough 55m mark.

In the girls 1500m, the two British athletes had tough races against fast and high quality fields.

Louise Small (AFD), who was the youngest team member at these championships in 2005, finished in fifth place in the second qualifier, grabbing a fastest loser ticket to the final.

She occupied sixth place for two laps before overtaking Mutsumi Ikeda (JPN) whom she had been following closely.

Small, who has come back a more experienced and stronger athlete for her second attempt at the World Youths, said: “I wasn’t expecting it to be that fast, I should have been expecting it and I should have reacted to it. I just tried to carry on as best I could. I tried my hardest and that’s all I can do.

“I’ve gone from being the youngest to the eldest- I know always to be prepared but expect the unexpected, I assumed that I would be able to go out there and control it but it didn’t happen.”

Sarah Kelly (Dundee Hawkhill) finished seventh in her first round race. Her time of 4:36.65 wasn’t good enough to carry her through on a fastest loser place, she narrowly missed out by one spot. 

She said: “They went out too fast, I should have stuck to my own pace maybe I would have been closer than I was. It’s been a good learning experience being here with the team. Now I know how to prepare for these races, I just need to learn how to race them.”

For full results visit- www.iaaf.org

More from the afternoon session – www.uka.org.uk