23rd June 2017

Ten out of ten for the British Athletics team on day one in Lille

The European Athletics Team Championships got underway in Lille Metropole this evening with all ten of the British athletes in action progressing from their heats.

Jack Green (self-coached) got the British team off to a strong start with a dominant performance in the men’s 400m hurdles. Green won by more than half a second, crossing the line in a time of 49.96 to set him up well for tomorrow’s final.

He said: “I was thinking ‘the wind is in my favour, I could make this happen’, but it changed round a bit and it was a bit blustery so I went safe. If conditions are fine tomorrow I’m going to go hard and go for a time but the priority is winning this and being European Team champion for GB and getting maximum points.”

Eilidh Doyle (Brian Doyle) followed suit and won her 400m hurdles heat by a huge margin with a time of 55.76, a season’s best and comfortably the fastest time of the two heats.

Doyle said: “It was alright. I switched off a bit coming down the home straight and stuttered into the last hurdle when I should have just stayed focussed, but I’m happy with that. It was nice to get round today and get a feel for the track then I can iron out those mistakes tomorrow and run a bit quicker.”

In the 110m hurdles heats, David Omoregie (Benke Blomkvist) got a great start and held on for an extremely impressive win over Olympic silver medallist Orlando Ortega with a season’s best time of 13.34.

Omoregie said: “I’m really happy with that, I didn’t race very well in Hengelo two weeks ago because I’d had exams at university but I finished them on Tuesday so I feel like there’s a weight off my shoulder now and I can get into the season and keep on racing. I’m really happy with that race so I’ll get recovered now and get ready for the final on Sunday.”

In the men’s 100m heats, Harry Aikines-Aryeetey (Benke Blomkvist) won a tight battle with Reus of Germany to take first place in a time of 10.33 meaning he is another Brit who will go into the final as the fastest qualifier.

Dwayne Cowan (Lloyd Cowan) led his heat from start to finish to confidently qualify for the men’s 400m final, his time of 46.04 was the second fastest overall.

Corinne Humphreys (Darren Braithwaite) enjoyed safe passage to the final in the women’s 100m, her time of 11.53 getting her the second of three automatic qualifying places.

On her senior international debut, 19 year old Alicia Barrett (Toni Minichiello) ran a strong race in the 100m hurdles to finish third in 13.32 and secure automatic qualification for the final on Sunday.

Mary Iheke (Frank Adams) also qualified for the final of the women’s 400m as she finished fifth in her heat with her season’s best time of 52.92, enough to clinch the last fastest loser place.

In the men’s 200m, Sam Miller (Leon Baptiste) clocked 20.88 to finish third and make it through to Sunday’s final.

In the final event of the day, Finette Agyapong (Coral Nourrice) made sure all ten of Britain’s representatives qualified for their final as she placed fourth in her heat of the women’s 200m with a time of 23.31, quick enough to reach the final as a fastest loser.

The European Athletics Team Championships will be shown live on the BBC Red Button on Saturday and Sunday.

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