9 July 2009
Aviva Great Britain & Northern Ireland sprint hurdles pair Jack Meredith (Liverpool Harriers) and Andrew Pozzi (Stratford) took the first round of competition by storm on the morning of the second day of competition at the World Youth Championships in Bressanone, Italy.
Both athletes dominated their 110m hurdles heats with personal best performances.
Meredith was the first to compete, he blistered down the straight to victory in 13.50 (0.5 m/s) and promised there is more to come in the next rounds: “I was a bit clumsy over a few hurdles. It was just getting it out of my system, I couldn’t wait to race. I was so eager, I was dying to run.
“I’m just getting into my stride now. There’s a lot more to come. I want to win the next round with a slightly faster time and then go all out in the final. ”
Pozzi, whose family originated from Italy, ran in the second heat, also crossing the line first to take the win and automatic progression to the semi-final in 13.61 (0.0 m/s).
He said: “The occasion really kicked in on the start line, it was great to get a feel of the atmosphere. I felt confident going into the race, when I saw the heats draws I knew I should do quite well. I had a great start but I need to keep concentrating all the way through. The last three hurdles were a bit shaky but I managed to hold it together.”
In the second heat of the women’s 800m, Rowena Cole (Coventry) took to the track for her first outing of the competition in great form finishing second with 2:06.92.
She started well and maintained her position with the leading four despite a few nudges. Showing race maturity she waited for an opportunity to advance, picking off two girls with 300m to go to and finishing strongly.
She said: “I was just going to go out and see what happened. I got boxed in and elbowed so I decided to leave it until the straights because I also don’t like to overtake on the bends. So it just worked in the end, I just went for it and tried to qualify.
“I’m really pleased and looking forward to running again. I was pleased with the time and felt strong so hopefully I can go quicker. It was more about positions today, personal bests tomorrow!”
In the final heat of the early 800m competition Oriel Hardman held a comfortable second place for most of the race, only slipping into third with 60m to go. Unfortunately this meant she lost her automatic qualification and due to the pace of her qualifying race she failed to progress via a fastest loser place.
The Bolton athlete said: “I was trying my best not to be nervous and I was really looking forward to racing. It just didn’t work out today. I was in a good position but my legs just really died at the end, I don’t know where that girl came from.”
Jonathan Hay (Aldershot, Farnham & District) had a tough first round of the 1500m, he was forced to the back of the field in the early stages of the race. He did well to pick off his competitors, moving from twelfth to seventh and finishing the race in 3:55.61 narrowly missing qualification by one spot.
He said: “Seventh is OK. I felt good coming into it, my coach was great before the race and my preparation was going well. I got left wide on the second lap and couldn’t go with the pace.
“I felt OK when I started picking people off but I wanted one more so I could stand a better chance of qualifying. It wasn’t meant to be. I haven’t done an international before, I’ve learnt so much, how everything works and hopefully I’ll be less nervous going into the next one. ”
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