7 July 2008
Just as Britain’s top athletes prepare to compete for a place at the Beijing Olympics, the future of British athletics; the Junior NU GB & NI team begin their campaign at the 12th IAAF World Junior Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland.
Among the team is Double European Cross Country Champion & European Junior Silver medallist Steph Twell (AFD), who achieved the Olympic A standard in the 1500m in 2007 and may be considered for selection for Beijing, said: “I’m very excited about the World Junior’s this year. I feel very strong coming into these championships and I have a great expectation of myself.”
“At the moment I’m running 1500m, and it’s an important part of my development as an athlete to get quicker at the event and become more tactically aware. I definitely see the longevity of my career as moving up a distance, much like Paula Radcliffe and Jo Pavey, to 5k, 10k and then eventually the marathon.
Although the World Junior Championships is a massive stage on which to perform and the field of competition is high, the promising young distance runner has contemplated her opponents: “I don’t want to give the African’s the advantage of thinking they are unbeatable. I try to focus on my own performance and I have confidence in my own ability because I’ve been training hard and I want to go into the championships and have a performance that’s reflective of my training.”
“I think if you stereotype the African’s as being unbeatable then your already putting a barrier in your way. I’m looking to go in and make the championships the best that I can possibly do.
Other hopefuls include:
World Youth 400m gold medallist Chris Clarke (Marshall Milton Keynes) will compete over 200m and Dave Forrester (St Helens Sutton) - top European finisher in the Junior men’s race at the World XC in March –will line up in the 1500m. World Youth 100m bronze medallist from 2007 Ashlee Nelson (City of Stoke) will represent GB in the 100m and 4 x 100m relay.
Full timetables and results can be found at the World Junior championships website