22nd July 2010

World Juniors Day Four A.m

22 July 2010

Newly crowned world junior 100m champion Jodie Williams (coach: Mike McFarlane) began her 200m campaign with a comfortable round one victory on day four of the IAAF World Junior Championships in Moncton, Canada (19-25 July).

For the first time this week, torrential rain and cool conditions greeted athletes inside the Moncton 2010 Stadium, replacing the hot temperatures of recent days. It posed no threat to Williams however as she took the first steps towards an individual sprint double with ease, winning in 23.79 (+0.7m/s) and noticeably holding back over the final 20m.

“I was absolutely shattered (this morning), I couldn’t even sleep last night I was so excited,” she said referencing her 100m victory. “I knew I just had to keep my head down and do what I had to do. It was quite relaxed; I went round the bend hard then just relaxed from there.”

She lines up in this evening’s semi final at 18.30 (22.30 UK time) alongside Aviva Great Britain and Northern Ireland team mate Emily Diamond (coach: Jared Deacon) who progressed as an automatic qualifier with 23.73 (+0.5m/s), second behind Jamile Samuel of the Netherlands who clocked the fastest time of the morning with 23.56.

“It felt good,” she said. “I just did what Jared (Deacon) told me to do which was go off hard and see what position I was with 50 to go, then relax.”

In the men’s 200m, Kieran Showler-Davis (coach: John Davis) with 21.38 (+0.7m/s) and Danny Talbot (coach: Dan Cossins) with 21.36 (+0.9m/s) also made it through to the semi finals after finishing third in their heats.

“I didn’t really feel too good,” admitted Showler-Davis. “I stumbled a bit out of the start and I had to work around the bend. I did what I had to do but I didn’t feel as good as I wanted to. Hopefully I’ll sort that out for the next round.”

It was a view shared by Talbot of his own race; “It wasn’t a great run. I felt a bit cold and I need to do better in the next round,” he said. “I felt a bit tight, but I should go faster in the semi final.”

There were also impressive qualifying performances from Aviva GB & NI women’s team captain Sophie Hitchon (coach: Derek Evely) and Jack Green (coach: June Plews) in the hammer and 400mH respectively.

Hitchon, the UK junior record holder and fourth ranked in the world coming into the competition, required only one throw – her first – to secure her place in the final. While she finished top of her group with a 62.32m effort, it wasn’t so simple for world number one Yirisleydi Ford of Cuba who failed to achieve a mark.

In the only other throw to exceed 60m in hammer qualifying, current world number two Li Zhang (China) recorded 64.02m on her first effort to take her place with Hitchon in Saturday’s final (24 July) at 13.30 (17.30 UK time).

In the 400mH, Green, who dedicated his performance to his Grandad, was satisfied with his 51.14 second place which was once again run out of a tough inside lane. “I ran quicker over the first 200m than I usually do, but I didn’t finish as strong, I was just making sure I went through,” he said. “This weather is probably to my advantage, I think I’ve run 10 out of 12 races in weather like this in Britain. Two years ago I would have laughed at the thought of being here, but I knew I was capable of it, I’ve proved that today – that was simple – but now I’m going for a medal, I’m definitely there or thereabouts.”

The final takes place tomorrow (Friday 23 July) at 20.10 (00.10 UK time) and includes world leader Jehue Gordon (Trinidad), a fourth place finisher in the 2009 World Championships in Berlin with a best of 48.47.

Unfortunately Myra Perkins (coach: Alan Bertram) and Lorraine Ugen (coach: Frank Attoh) failed to progress through to their hammer and long jump finals achieving best distances of 5.56m and 52.20m respectively, while the women’s pole vault qualification was put back until tomorrow (Friday) due to wet weather conditions.

Today’s evening session officially starts with the women’s 200m semi finals at 18.30 (22.30 UK time), although the men’s Group B javelin, including Aviva GB & NI’s Dan Pembroke (coach: Kevin Pembroke), commences at 15.00 (19.00 UK time).