22 July 2014
The IAAF World Junior Championships got underway in Eugene, Oregon, today (Tuesday 22 July) with GB & NI athletes making a strong start.
17 year old Morgan Lake (coach: Eldon Lake, club: Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow) leads the heptathlon by 169 points after four events. She began her campaign with a time of 14.29 in the 100m hurdles, just outside her personal best of 14.25, before setting a new British junior record in the high jump. Lake cleared 1.94m at the first attempt to improve her British record by 1cm and take the overall lead after two events.
In the afternoon session she extended her lead in the shot put, throwing 14.17m, her second best ever performance in that event. She then ended the day with a time of 24.64 in the 200m, just 0.05 from her personal best, to give her a total of 3821 points after the first day.
She reflected: “It was amazing to break the British junior record again. The first time I did it I jumped 1.93m and today I just wanted that 1cm more, which doesn’t seem like much difference in height, but it’s a great feeling and I’m really proud to have broken it.
“Today was solid. The hurdles wasn’t really as fast as I’d wanted it to be but I wasn’t too far off my PB, then the high jump was a big surprise getting a personal best and British junior record which I was really happy with. The shot put was solid as well and so was the 200m.
“I look at my score more after two days rather than one day but I think that’s quite close to my personal best after one day.”
Dina Asher-Smith (John Blackie, Blackheath & Bromley) and Desiree Henry (Ran Reider, Enfield & Haringey) put in faultless performances in the heats of the women’s 100m as they both progressed to the semi-finals with ease.
Henry won her heat in a time of 11.37 and was pleased with her performance, she said: “It was quite good. It was a matter of resetting your mental state after a few problems with the start but this is a championship at the end of the day and I was able to refocus myself so that was a good race for me."
Not to be outdone, Asher-Smith raced to victory in a time of 11.18 in the following heat, setting the fastest time in any of the heats and was just 0.06 from the championship record. She commented: “I’m really happy and I feel quite positive going into the semi-finals because I went out there and relaxed. I feel like I’ve got a little bit more so to run 11.18 with more to give I’m shocked but so happy.”
David Omoregie (Mike Guest, Cardiff) progressed beyond the heats of the 110m hurdles thanks to a comfortable win in a time of 13.24. The Welshman was the fastest qualifier for the semi-finals, which take place on Wednesday.
Afterwards, he said: “It was a good race. I don’t think I came out very well but after that I executed a good race and felt quite comfortable; I didn’t feel like I was pushing much so we’ll see what happens next.”
The previous heat of the same event brought disappointment for Khai Riley-Le Borde (Ray Gibbins, Enfield & Haringey) though, as he finished fifth in a time of 14.01, just missing out on a place in the semi-finals.
There were two GB & NI representatives in the men’s 100m with Ojie Edoburun (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo, Shaftesbury Barnet) and Reuben Arthur (Tawiah-Dodoo, Enfield & Haringey) both making it through to the semi-finals on Wednesday.
Edoburun won heat four in 10.43 to qualify easily, and said that conserving energy was the priority in the first round of the championships: “I felt quite comfortable, I know I’ve got a really hard champs ahead tomorrow with the Americans and Jamaicans and I wanted to just do enough to get through the round.”
Arthur set a personal best of 10.44 en route to finishing second in his heat and was delighted with both the result and the way the he felt heading into the next round. He said: “I feel really good. I’m at the World Juniors, the best competition in the world, and I executed my race and ran a PB so I can’t really ask for more than that.”
In the men’s 400m heats, GB & NI duo Jack Crosby (Rick Betts, Middlesborough) and Elliott Rutter (Dan Cossins, Birchfield Harriers) both advanced to Wednesday’s semi-finals.
Crosby made sure of qualification by setting a personal best to finish second in his heat with 46.48, the third fastest qualifier overall. He said: “I’m not here to mess about. I’ve came here to get to the final and mix it against the best athletes in the world; I didn’t get on the plane for any other reason.”
Rutter was a narrow fourth place in the opening heat with a time of 47.55 but qualified as a fastest loser following two disqualifications to athletes in other heats.
In the men’s decathlon, David Hall (Ian Grant, Dartford Harriers) lies in 11th place at the halfway stage with 4016 points. He made the perfect start as he smashed his personal best in the 100m with a time of 10.89 before following it up with a best long jump of 6.66m. In the final event of the morning, the shot put, he set a best mark of 12.69m to leave himself in 23rd place after three events.
In the afternoon he set a season’s best in the high jump with a clearance of 1.97m before running a big personal best of 47.85 in the 400m to climb into 11th place overall going into the second day.
Kimberley Reid (Scott Reed, Edinburgh AC) qualified for the final of the hammer thanks to a best throw of 58.57m. Although it was short of the automatic mark of 59.50m it was enough to progress to Wednesday’s final as one of the top 12 performances across the two qualifying groups.
Shaun Wyllie (Jeff Seddon, Bracknell AC) finished sixth in his heat of the men’s 1500m with a time of 3:49.95, but with just the first three to qualify automatically and three as fastest losers he missed out on a place in the final due to his heat being run at a slower pace.