17 July 2009
Harry Aikines-Aryeetey (Sutton & District) led GB & NI’s men to a brilliant clean sweep in today’s European Under-23 Championships 100m final (Friday 17th).
The British trio qualified as fastest from their semi finals and didn’t disappoint.
Aikines-Aryeetey won with a season’s best performance of 10.15s, followed by Leevan Yearwood (Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets) in second, also in a season’s best performance (10.26) and Rion Pierre (Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow) in a lifetime best performance for third 10.28s.
“That was the toughest start of my life,” said Aikines-Aryeetey. “I just ran as hard as I could; the start was so poor it was unreal. Lucky enough I came through – a one-two-three – that’s amazing; it shows the strength and depth we have in sprints at all levels. We’re all just happy to be in the mix and all happy to win a medal. I’m so glad I was representing Great Britain.”
The victory means that Aikines-Aryeety is the only British athlete ever to have won gold medals at youth, junior and U23 major championship level following his 100m/200m double at the 2005 World Youth Championships and 100m gold at the 2006 World Junior Championships.
Yearwood said: “I’m happy, but I don’t feel like I executed the race as planned. I’ll come back stronger.”
Pierre added: “A PB is good, I can’t complain, but like Leevan, I didn’t really run the race as I had planned but I got a bronze medal representing my country and this time last year I wasn’t sure I’d carry on in the sport, so I’m happy man, now it’s back to the drawing board and gold next time.”