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Shona Richards
26 July 2014

Shona Richards (coach: Marina Armstrong, club: Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow) won GB & NI’s fourth medal at the IAAF World Junior Championships as she clinched 400m hurdles silver on the penultimate day of the championships in Eugene, Oregon.

Richards ran a superb race from lane six, crossing the line in a British junior record time of 56.16, and was delighted to have both won a medal and eclipsed the British junior record of 56.46 previously held by Perri Shakes-Drayton.

She said: “It means a lot. I’ve been training for this all year. In my head I was thinking ‘come on fight for that place’ and I completely forgot about the national record. I think as soon as you forget about things like that it’s when you get them.

“In my head in the whole week I’ve been looking for a medal and I wanted second because that’s where I should be from the rankings, so to get that is brilliant and I can’t really ask for much more.

“I completely forgot about the British record so it was great when I realised I’d got it and it’s kind of a double win. I’ve been looking at that all season but whenever I really thought about it I’d run a race where I should have got it and mess up. So in a race where all I was thinking about was medals the time came with it and the British record is a bonus.”

Adam Hague (Trevor Fox, The Dearne) came away from the final of the men’s pole vault with a new personal best. He cleared 5.35m but then registered three failures at 5.40m so finished in eighth place. Harry Coppell (John Mitchell, Wigan & District) had a best mark of 5.10m and finished in tenth place.

A relentlessly quick pace was set by the leaders of the women’s 3000m steeplechase final but Amy-Eloise Neale (Greg Medcalf) acquitted herself well in hot conditions and came home in 11th place with a time of 10:25.14..

GB & NI were in excellent form in the women’s 4x400m relay heats. The team of Laviai Nielsen (Frank Adams, Enfield & Haringey), Loren Bleaken (Malcolm Arnold, Team Bath), Nikita Campbell-Smith (Toni Minichiello, Birchfield) and Sabrina Bakare (Jane Dixon, Bracknell AC) won their race comfortably ahead of Jamaica. Their winning time was 3:35.37 was a world junior leading time until the second heat was won by the USA in 3:32.73.

In the heats of the men’s 4x400m relay the British men matched their female counterparts with a similarly comfortable win. David Hall (Ian Grant, Dartford Harriers), Nick Petrou (John Baron, Leeds AC), Ben Snaith (Mick Graham, Enfield & Haringey) and Elliot Rutter (Dan Cossins, Birchfield Harriers) crossed the line with a time of 3:08.61.

Yasmin Miller (Lloyd Cowan, Derby AC) got GB & NI off to a good start in the day’s first event on the track. She ran a time of 13.30 to finish second in her semi-final of the 100m hurdles and secure a place in Sunday’s final.

In the 800m semi-finals Kyle Langford (George Harrison, Shaftesbury Barnet) ran a great tactical race to edge into second place in the closing stages and secure automatic qualification with a time of 1:48.76. In the following semi-final GB & NI’s other runner Theo Blundell (Eddie Cockayne, Birchfield Harriers) finished in eighth place with 1:51.12 so didn’t advance to the final.