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gb & ni win five more medals in tampere

Sophie Hitchon
Sophie Hitchon won gold in the hammer

13 July 2013

GB & NI won five more medals in the afternoon session of day three at the European Under 23 Championships in Tampere, Finland.

Jodie Williams (coach: Stanley Madiri) went one better than the silver medal she won in the 100m yesterday as she won gold in a closely run 200m. Williams took the victory by four hundredths of a second in a season’s best time of 22.92 while Ashleigh Nelson (Michael Afilaka) was just one hundredth of a second from winning a medal, finishing fourth in a personal best 23.25. Bianca Williams (Lloyd Cowan) pulled up before the finish line with an injury.

An elated Jodie Williams said: “I’m so happy. I was disappointed after yesterday, not because I lost but because I didn’t really feel like I did my best and I didn’t feel like I’d given it my all. So in the 200m I just wanted to come out and absolutely smash it, my legs were knackered on the start line but I just legged it on the bend and held on.

“The time was a massive season’s best for me and considering all the races I’ve done I’m really happy with that. I executed the race perfectly, I knew I had to run hard on the bend to be in with a chance, that’s what I did and it paid off.”

British record holder Sophie Hitchon (Tore Gustafsson) won the women’s hammer in dramatic fashion as she moved into the gold medal position with her very last throw. Hitchon led for early part of the competition after throwing 68.12m in the first round and 68.80m in the second round but slipped into second when Barbara Spiler of Slovakia threw 69.69m in the fourth round.

A last round throw of 70.72m was enough to clinch the gold medal and although she admits that she would have preferred not to have left it so late to set a winning mark, Hitchon was delighted to have won the European title.

“I do it to myself all the time; to qualify at the Olympics, at the World Juniors to win, always leaving it to the last throw. I don’t know why I do it to myself, it’s so stressful.

“There was a lot of pressure on me because I was ranked first. Barbara (Spiler) throws really well, she was second at World Juniors so we’ve been competing against each other a lot but I came out on top this time and I’m really pleased.”

GB & NI’s first medal of the day went to Sebastian Rodger (Stephen King) in the 400m hurdles. Rodger was awarded the silver medal in a photo finish for second and third after running a personal best and IAAF World Championships A qualifying time of 49.19. Niall Flannery (Nick Dakin) narrowly missed out on a medal as he finished fourth in 49.76.

Rodger said: “I’m over the moon and getting quite emotional, I’m buzzing. All the hard work in the winter and everything came to this point and it’s an amazing feeling. It was a great crowd, great weather and a great experience.

“I came here as an outsider and ran a really good heat yesterday which put me in a good position for today so I knew I could do it and I’d been telling people I could do it, so I’m delighted I went out there and did it.”

In the men’s 200m, Danny Talbot (Daniel Cossins) won silver in a time of 20.46, his second quickest time ever. Adam Gemili (Afilaka), who won gold over 100m yesterday, was run out of the medals in the final metres and finished fourth in 20.51, just two hundredths of a second behind third place, while David Bolarinwa (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo) ran 20.85 for seventh place.

Following his silver medal, Talbot said: “It means a lot to me. Obviously when you come to a championship you want to try and win, unfortunately I wasn’t able to do that today but a great athlete beat me. I’m very pleased. That was my second fastest time ever and another A standard and I beat some good guys.”

In the men’s 5,000m the British pair of Tom Farrell (Dave Smith) and Luke Caldwell (Robert Russell) went to the front with a kilometre remaining and as the race wound up to a sprint finish Farrell held on to win a silver medal in a time of 14:19.94 with Norway’s Henrik Ingebrigsten taking gold in 14:19.94. Caldwell finished fifth in a time of 14:23.74.

Farrell said: “It’s huge for me. To be able to fly over and compete, I’m really pleased. I didn’t know how well I was running, I knew I was fit but I haven’t had the better races this year. I felt pretty good there and I can’t really complain about getting outkicked by a 3:34 1500m runner who finished fifth at the Olympics last year.”

Katarina Johnson-Thompson (Mike Holmes) continues to lead the heptathlon after two more strong performances in the shot put and 200m. The 20 year old dropped to third following a best mark of 11.76m in the shot put, but quickly regained the lead thanks to victory in the 200m with a personal best time of 23.45. After four events, her total stands at 3761 and she will take an 88 point advantage into the final three events tomorrow.

Isobel Pooley (Fuzz Ahmed) equalled her personal best with a clearance of 1.90m in the women’s high jump, but missed out on a medal on count-back and finished fourth. In a closely fought men’s 110m hurdles final, James Gladman (James Hillier) was fifth in a time of 13.75, just four hundredths of a second slower than his personal best.

After two narrow failures at 4.25m, Katie Byres (Julian Raffalli-Ebezant) finished in ninth place in the women’s pole vault with a best height of 4.15m. Nick Miller (John Baumann) also finished ninth in the men’s hammer final with a throw of 66.64m, five metres short of his personal best.

Despite suffering from an Achilles injury, Zane Duquemin (John Hillier) threw 56.81m to finish in 11th place in the men’s discus.