12th July 2018
AWUAH CLAIMS BRONZE AS GREAT BRITAIN OPEN UP THEIR WORLD JUNIORS MEDAL TALLY
Kristal Awuah (coach: Matthew Thomas, club: Herne Hill Harriers) earned Great Britain’s first medal at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Tampere, Finland as she claimed bronze in the women’s 100m.
After a slow start, Awuah powered back into her stride to come home in 11.37s (no wind) and ensure herself a place on the podium tomorrow evening.
In the process, she became the first individual female sprinter to win a medal at the Championships since Dina Asher-Smith in 2014, when she won gold in the women’s 100m in Oregon.
After winning bronze, she said: “I feel amazing. It was a good run but I stumbled a bit at the start but I brought it back and I’m happy with it. I couldn’t go to the European Championships last year and I was so upset because I knew I could do well.
“I’m really happy with how I’ve come back from it and it’s only made me more confident. It’s amazing because you always look to medal and it shows that my work has come to life so I’m happy. I think I could have gone a little bit quicker but I’m so happy.”
Jake Heyward (James Thie, Cardiff) was agonisingly close to joining Awuah atop the podium as he agonisingly missed out on a medal in the final of the men’s 1500m, but finished strongly to take fourth in 3:43.76.
Heyward was well in the mix at the bell but made a small mistake, allowing his competitors to pull away from him and take the medal places, but his determination saw him pip the World Indoor Champion Samuel Tefera (ETH) on the line.
After the race, Heyward said: “Everyone will know I’m gutted right now. Going in there I knew the field would be stacked. There’s the World Indoor Champion and age group champions and national record holders and I believed I could be up there it just didn’t quite come together in the end.
“I made one mistake before the bell and I just couldn’t get that ground back. I kept fighting until the end and all I could do was give it everything. Overall I’m very happy with how I ran. Sometimes it works out and other times it doesn’t that’s just the nature of the sport.
“It means the world to be here. When you see the start lists and the calibre of athletes that win medals here and go on to do well in their senior careers, it’s a huge stage. I’m someone who runs a race to win it but I haven’t managed to do that today.”
Katy-Ann McDonald (Philip Kissi, Blackheath & Bromley) came home seventh in the final of the women’s 800m in her first time representing Great Britain at any level.
McDonald appeared to be in contention in the early stages but as the pace picked up, she was unable to hunt down the leaders, crossing the line in 2:04.08.
She added: “I’m happy but it could have gone better. It was hard and the pace was really quick but it was an amazing experience. I wish I was competitive because I would have wanted to place higher up but I couldn’t and it’s been an amazing experience.
“It means everything just to get selected. I’ve tried so hard this season to run the qualifying time and get to the final but someone has just broken the Championship record out here today but it’s been class.
“It means everything to represent Great Britain and everyone has been amazing with me from the coaches to the physios. It was quite overwhelming at times with the big crowds but I loved it a lot.”
Charlie Dobson (Stephen Garnham, Colchester Harriers) moved fourth fastest on the all-time British junior rankings behind Adam Gemili after running lowering his personal best to 20.53s (-0.6m/s) in the semi-finals of the men’s 200m.
Dobson will be joined in the final by Jona Efoloko (John Smith, Sale Harriers Manchester), who recorded a PB of 20.65s (-0.2m/s), before clocking 20.74 (-0.3m/s) to win his semi-final.
Molly Caudery (Stuart Caudery, Cornwall) was unable to claim a medal in the women’s pole vault, bowing out of the competition at 4.10m, which saw her finish ninth.
Niamh Emerson (David Feeney, Amber Valley & Erewash) ends day one of the women’s heptathlon in first position with 3690 points, while Jade O’Dowda (Marcia Marriott, Oxford City) sits tenth on 3407 points after a solid first day from both athletes.
Both achieved personal bests in the 100m hurdles, with Emerson running 13.76 (0.5m/s), the first time she’s legally ran under 14 seconds. O’Dowda, who was drawn in the same heat, shaved over a tenth of her PB, lowering it to 14.04.
Emerson took the overall lead in the competition after clearing an equal personal best of 1.89m in the high jump, with O’Dowda notching a best of 1.71m, just three centimetres outside her PB.
A solid throw of 12.27m in the shot and 24.80 (0.0m/s) in the 200m gives her a 56-point lead. O’Dowda secured back-to-back PB’s in the shot (12.33m) and the 200m (25.03, 0.1m/s)
Katie Head (Paul Head, Newham & Essex Beagles) could not progress beyond the heats in the women’s hammer, finishing 11th in her qualifying group and 17th overall with a best throw of 56.97m.
There was heartache for Holly Mills (James Coney, Andover) in the women’s long jump as she missed out on a place in the final by 10cm after a best effort of 5.92m following two fouls in her first two attempts.
Lucy Hadaway (Matt Barton, City of York) booked her place in the final of the women’s long jump with a third-round effort of 6.19m (no wind), but compatriot Holly Mills (James Coney, Andover) was unable to join her, only managing a best of 5.92m (1.6m/s) after two fouls.
Earlier in the morning, Alex Knibbs (Nick Dakin, Amber Valley & Erewash) and Alastair Chalmers (Dale Garland, Guernsey) both secured progression into the semi-finals of the men’s 400m hurdles. Chalmers comfortably won his heat in 51.16, while Knibbs was second over the line in his heat in 51.29.