18 July 2013
Sophie Papps (coach: Neil Dodson) got the GB & NI campaign off to a flying start at the Stadio Raul Guidobaldi in Rieti, on a baking hot summer’s morning.
Papps, who enters the championships as the second fastest on paper, lived up to that billing by controlling heat 3 from gun to tape, winning in 11.63. That was the second fastest performance in the heats, and sees her safely through to this afternoon’s semi-finals.
The momentum continued in the men’s 100m heats, with all three GB & NI athletes securing automatic qualification for this afternoon’s semi-finals. Chijindu Ujah (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo) was the fastest qualifier outright, courtesy of his 10.32 season’s best. After the race he commented:
“I’m very happy with the race, breaking my season’s best. There is a lovely atmosphere here in Rieti and the track is very fast.”
In heat two, Roy Ejiakuekwu (Keith Hunter) looked composed as he took third place with a 10.66 display, whilst Josh Cox (Alan Watts) powered to a new personal best from the outside lane. His 10.54 clocking was good enough for second place in the final heat, and saw him progress to the semi-finals as the eighth fastest qualifier.
In the men’s 400m, GB & NI’s sole representative Ben Snaith (Mick Graham) ran a measured race to advance to this afternoon’s semi-finals. Heat 3 went tearing off at a crazy pace, which was almost maintained by Russian Pavel Ivashko, who clocked 46.24 to take the win. Snaith however bode his time, moving through in the home straight to cross the line third with a 47.26 clocking.
The only GB & NI action in the field on this first morning of competition was in the men’s hammer qualification pools. Michael Painter (John Painter) went in pool A and with his first throw produced way over the automatic qualification mark of 70m before seeing the red flag. He failed to match his first round effort in his two further throws, bowing out of the competition with a best of 67.76m. Callum Brown (Lorraine Brown) went in pool B, which suffered delays due to a hammer tangling in the net, and eventually saw eight 70 plus metre throwers fail to meet the automatic qualification mark. Brown’s best of 66.45m in the first round was unfortunately not enough to progress to tomorrow’s final.
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