15th July 2018
BRITISH TEAM BATTLE TO FINISH THIRD AT INAUGURAL ATHLETICS WORLD CUP
Great Britain & Northern Ireland’s women’s 4x100m relay team lit up the London Stadium as the host nation moved up two places to finish third overall at the inaugural Athletics World Cup, presented by Müller.
Asha Philip (Newham & Essex Beagles; Steve Fudge), Imani Lansiquot (Sutton & District; Fudge) – on her senior British debut, Bianca Williams (Enfield & Haringey; Lloyd Cowan) and Shannon Hylton (Blackheath & Bromley; Ryan Freckleton) delivered a near perfect race to give Britain victory and all eight points on a consistent second night of action for the team.
Nick Miller (Border; Tore Gustafsson), Adelle Tracey (Guildford & Godalming; Craig Winrow) and Morgan Lake (Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow; Fuzz Caan) scooped seven points in the men’s hammer, women’s 800m and women’s high jump respectively after finishing second while three British athletes also made the podium in third.
World champion from 2011 Dai Greene (Swansea; Benke Blomkvist) and senior British debutants Beth Dobbin (Edinburgh; Leon Baptiste) and Neil Gourley (Giffnock North; Ben Thomas) all claimed six points in the men’s 400m hurdles, women’s 200m and men’s 1500m respectively as the host nation went from fifth at the halfway stage to third.
The British women’s 4x100m relay were near faultless as Philip, Lansiquot, Williams and Hylton combined for an impressive victory in 42.52; Hylton on anchor valiantly holding off the fast finishing Tissanna Hickling of Jamaica.
Philip said: “I knew what I needed to do on the first leg to make sure I put the team in the best position for the rest of the race. I just knew the South African athlete was on my right, which made me realise I was in a good position.”
Lansiquot said: “This is actually my first senior experience so I felt the pressure but it was positive pressure and I just wanted to run the best that I could and make sure the team did the best it possible could as well.”
Hylton said: “I have never been on the anchor leg before so I was nervous but as a team we did really well at the beginning and the middle so that gave me extra motivation.”
Miller repeated what training partner Sophie Hitchon (Blackburn; Gustafsson) achieved on the opening night as he collected seven points after a tight duel with Poland’s Wojciech Nowicki in the men’s hammer.
Miller, the world No.3 and Commonwealth champion from the Gold Coast, threw a best of 76.14m with his third attempt however world No.1 Nowicki was just ahead with 77.94m as the Briton placed second for a silver medal.
Miller said: “Today was very good, I finished second and I got seven points for the team so I am very happy. My goal for this competition was 76m and I got that but obviously I wish I had thrown further
“It is a bit different being part of the team; it is fun and the sport needs fun events. It is like the European Team Championships and it also takes me back to my collegiate days in America where you are part of a team. I love the competition and I hope it continues.”
Lake, fresh from a flight from Morocco having competed at the Rabat Diamond League, put in a fine performance battling with America’s former world indoor champion Vashti Cunningham for maximum points in the women’s high jump at the London Stadium.
She composed herself to clear 1.83m, 1.87m and 1.93m but couldn’t get over 1.96m or 1.99m, the latter which would have been a personal best after her 1.97m efforts in winning the British title just over two weeks ago.
Lake said: “I am happy with how I performed. I took some positive steps and need to keep pushing. I wanted to take a few more risks but I am happy with my performance. I really like the format and the crowd were so supportive of every single British athlete.
“It was nice to see the points go up and down and to see where we were in the event, so I think it’s a good idea. I am taking my performances as they come and working on new things every time.”
Tracey meanwhile showed guts to secure seven points for the British team in the women’s 800m, showing her intent on the last lap and sticking it out to finish second in a time just outside her personal best, 2:01.05.
She said: “I really wanted to run my own race and see where I am. I knew it could be tactical but the long run for home has become a bit of a pattern for me. I went out there and left it all on the track.
“I hadn’t raced that much going into the British Championships so it was good to get another race, especially doing it for the team. It is a different feeling and lovely to contribute to the team effort.”
Greene back in a British vest having won the world, European, Commonwealth and Diamond League titles between 2010 and 2011 finished third in the men’s 400m hurdles, hanging on to secure six points.
Greene booked his place on the Athletics World Cup team with victory at the Müller British Athletics Championships at which he also hit the automatic qualifying standard for the European Championships and looked fit and healthy at the London Stadium.
Fellow British champion Dobbin enjoyed a fine senior international debut to remember for the British team as her remarkable season continued with a third place in the women’s 200m at the London Stadium.
Dobbin, who clocked a Scottish and Championship record of 22.59 at the Müller British Athletics Championships two weeks ago, looked strong around the bend and clocked 22.95 for a clear third and another six points.
Gourley showed that every point counts, making a great late charge in a slow men’s 1500m, powering around the final 200m to also finish third for six points. The Giffnock North athlete came from the back of a pack of six to take bronze in 3:53.24.
Charlie Myers (Middlesbrough; Chris Boundy) jumped close to his personal best in the men’s pole vault as he scored five points for the host nation on his senior British debut.
Myers cleared his first three heights without hesitancy but couldn’t repeat the trick as the bar moved to 5.65m at the London Stadium, which would have been a personal best by five centimetres, placing fourth overall.
Ojie Edoburun (Shaftesbury Barnet; Fudge) contested a tight men’s 100m and was pushed out of the top three in finishing fourth in 10.22. Rabah Yousif (Middlesbrough; Carol Williams) was also fourth in the men’s 400m, securing five points after clocking 45.88.
Over in the women’s discus, Jade Lally (Shaftesbury Barnet) followed suit with a best effort of 58.92m, just over two metres shy of a podium finish. Amelia Strickler (Thames Valley; Zane Duquemin) was one place down in fifth in the women’s shot put after a best of 17.12m with her second attempt, that performance earning four points.
In the field, James Whiteaker (Blackheath & Bromley; Nigel Whiteaker) was one of the last members of the British team to compete and did himself proud on his senior debut in the men’s javelin, finishing fifth and collecting four points with a season’s best of 73.90m. Fellow British champion and senior team debutant Naomi Ogbeta (Trafford; Tom Cullen) was sixth in the women’s triple jump with a best of 13.48m for three points.
Megan Marrs (WSEH; Jerzy Maciukiewicz) made her second British appearance of the year after debuting at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in March and secured two points in the women’s 100m hurdles after finishing seventh in 13.36, just 0.04 shy of her personal best.
There was an eighth-place finish for Dan Bramble (Shaftesbury Barnet; Frank Attoh) in the men’s long jump with a best effort of 7.64m while in the final event of the inaugural Athletics World Cup the British men’s 4x400m did not contest that race after a late injury.