9th August 2023


Charlie Carvell (coach: Stewart Marshall, club: Telford) delivered a captain’s performance to claim 400m silver at the European U20 Championships as the British team won four medals on the penultimate night in Jerusalem with Bradley Giblin (Joe Pienta, Trafford), Success Eduan (Anita Richardson, Sale Harriers Manchester) and Michael Allison (Tom Dobbing, WSEH) all contributing bronzes to take the team tally to seven.

Carvell was involved in a real battle for the medals in the men’s 400m final with a brilliant charge that saw him move into second down the home straight and almost grab gold. He would take silver in 46.08 seconds two years after finishing an agonising fourth at these Championships in Tallinn. He still has the 4x400m relay final to come.

That sparked a flurry of medals in the Jerusalem with Giblin timing his race to perfection and storming to bronze in the men’s 3000m in 8:47.26 minutes while Eduan ensured she secured the same colour in the women’s 200m in 23.34 before Allison rounded the day off superbly – and historically – with third in the men’s javelin after a best effort of 72.44m.

There would eventually be 14 British finalists on the penultimate night with Ashley Nemits (Trevor Painter, Wigan & District) agonisingly falling short of a podium place but still smashing her personal best once again – this time by a further 0.38 – in the women’s 400m as she crossed in 53.00 for fifth. Brook Cronin (Andrew Kennard, Walton) was sixth in men’s 200m in 21.22 (1.0).

Following Giblin home in the men’s 3000m, Ed Bird (Mark Pauley, Poole) was a valiant seventh after leading the race out while Dafydd Jones (James Thie, Swansea) was 14th. Faith Akinbileje (John Blackie, Blackheath & Bromley) was eighth the women’s 200m that saw Eduan win bronze and Lazarus Benjamin (Sale Harriers Manchester) was the same position in the men’s pole vault.

There was also a trio of tenth places for Kai Barham (Paul Head, Dartford) in the men’s hammer, Ava Lloyd (Trevor Painter, Wigan & District) in the women’s 1500m and Hattie Reynolds (Tim & Pauline Ash, City of Norwich) in the women’s 300m steeplechase.

Sammy Ball (Michael Dyer, Reading) meanwhile would unfortunately withdraw from the decathlon after the high jump with the British team ending the penultimate night at these Championships with four medals for seven overall in Jerusalem – one gold, two silver, and four bronze – with two sessions to go.

Carvell was involved in an almighty battle in an enthralling men’s 400m final. After being asked to stand up after initially settling into the blocks, the race went off hard with Carvell’s Polish rival Maksymilian Szwed almost level with him at 200m.

Carvell would power down the home straight as Szwed faded, first moving into second and then going in pursuit of leader Jonas Gunnleivsson Isaksen over the last 30m. Carvell pushed every inch but couldn’t quite catch the Danish athlete as he took silver.

The British team captain would cross the line in 46.08 for that silver and he said: “I felt I maybe could´ve pushed the bend a bit harder onto the straight, but nevertheless I´m pleased. This is the second fastest time I´ve ever run in my life.

“I trusted the process. My coach told me not to panic so I didn’t. I know my talents and I know my strengths. Going into the finals with my first ever sub-46 made me feel really confident and it showed. I kicked too early in the bend, maintaining it a little more might be better.”

Allison got off to a great start in the men’s javelin final as he threw 72.44m with his very first attempt – an effort that shot him straight into medal contention. He was third throughout the whole competition although he would have been looking closely at Romania’s Vlad Alexandru Turcu as he attempted to catch the Brit.

Allison followed up his first round effort with 60.29m second time out and then two fouls before a 67.39m with his penultimate throw. Turcu did get closer in that fifth round with a 71.57m but wouldn’t overthrow the Brit, who rounded off his series with a 70.34m.

He is the first British javelin medallist at the European Under-20 Championships since Goldie Sayers’ silver in Grosseto in 2001 and he said: “I am happy. It is a bit different to how qualifying went – I managed to get it done in the first round this time. I am just happy I medalled. The aim for 12 months has been to medal here, and I am very thankful for my coach. I call him the professor. He knows what he is doing, without him I wouldn’t have got here.

“It [Goldie’s medal] was before I was even born. Many people may know the days where we had Steve Backley, Nick Nieland, Mark Roberson, Mick Hill – all at the same time throwing 85m plus. There has been a bit of a lull in UK javelin and I think it’s time we see some more 80m throws again.

“Charlie [Evans] unfortunately didn’t make the final but we had another Brit here. There is an under-23 who is doing pretty well, we’ve got under-18s at the Commonwealth Youth Games – I think we are about to see a new generation of British javelin throwers.

“I am couple of metres off the British [under-20] record. I will have a talk with my coach [about continuing the season] and see if we think that is on the cards with some good wind. We’ll see – maybe.”

The men’s 3000m final was another slow run middle distance final at these Championships with no one wanting to take the lead. Bird stepped forward with six laps to go with Giblin sitting on his shoulder.

Two laps later it was still Bird leading the race out with the field very bunched at halfway. The Brit did a great job of controlling the race and it stayed that way through to the final 400m with Giblin and Jones in the pack jostling for positions.

There was drama at the bell as two of the field fell but the British trio were unscathed. Giblin started to make his move with 300m to go, going past Bird before taking over into third place around the final bend.

By the last 100m Giblin was effectively secured of bronze as the field strung out but he didn’t let up and crossed in 8:47.26 to confirm his podium position. After leading the race out, Bird placed a valiant seventh in 8:51.09 while Jones was 14th in 9:00.13.

Giblin said: “It’s a real underdog story. Obviously, you want to win and things like that but it is a quality field out there – lads are signing pro deals and all that. To compete against them when I am one of the slowest feels good.

“It was very slow and there were little moves being made left, right and centre. I sat on Ed’s shoulder and then I just remember my coach said to me to take my time, it is my advantage if it is a kickers race. Ed showed character taking it out in a European final. It didn’t quite pan out how he wanted it to, but he made it an honest race for many, so thanks to him.

“It’s been a short season but when it all ends like that it’s worth it. It’s a great confidence boost for next season knowing I can go against the world’s best because that’s what those lads are – world class.”

After three medals across the men’s and women’s 100m on the second night, Eduan ensured there was another added in a gripping women’s 200m final. She blasted out of the blocks to put herself comfortably in contention for a medal out of the bend.

Eduan was leading with 50m to go but the fast-finishing Swedish and Hungarian pair just pipped her at the line as she claimed bronze in 23.34 (1.5). She was joined in that final by teammate Akinbileje who placed eighth in 23.88.

Eduan said: “It has been quite a hard season for me mentally and I am really proud of myself and proud of the people around me who know what has happened. I am very grateful for the support system I have got – my coach, my training partners, my family and my friends.

“Obviously I wanted more but I know God has got something good for me and I am really happy at the end of the day. I am not disappointed because I am healthy. I’m not finished because I have got the relay and my season isn’t over yet.

“Faith is a lovely girl, she brings a lot of character to the relay, and I am happy for her, and Sophie [Walton]. She didn’t make the final but having them around me has been really, really helpful.”

Moments after Carvell’s silver, Nemits attacked the women’s 400m final and set herself up for another fast time. She was in a line with four others out of the bend and dug deep in pursuit of the top placings.

Nemits would smash her personal best for the third successive race for fifth place overall in 53.00 – that time 0.38 better than her previous mark and now more than a full second quicker than she has ever run prior to making her debut at these Championships.

Cronin, who only registered his first 200m race in 2020, has enjoyed a fine time of things in the heats and semi-finals of the men’s 200m in Jerusalem. The final produced three personal bests for the top three with Cronin narrowly missing out in sixth in 21.22.

Benjamin got off to a great start in the men’s pole vault final after choosing to pass at 4.80m and enter 15 centimetres higher at 4.95m. He cleared with ease first time and then did the same as the bar was pushed to 5.10m.

He then waited and watched as the field started dropping before moving onto 5.20m with nine still left in contention. Benjamin would unfortunately not manage to clear but came extremely close with his second effort as his chest appeared to just touch the bar.

Upon the conclusion of the event, Benjamin would place eighth overall with that best of 5.10m, an improvement on his ninth from the last edition of these European Under-20 Championships in Tallinn in 2021.

Barnham was the first of the eventual 14 British athletes to complete their final on the penultimate evening session in Jerusalem in the men’s hammer. He opened his campaign with an effort of 63.99m before throwing into the cage with his second.

He returned determined for this third throw and let out a roar as it sailed out, the attempt landing at 67.73m. That would place him tenth, 13 months after finishing ninth in the same circle among more junior company at the European Under-18 Championships.

The women’s 1500m final didn’t feature Ella Greenway (Joanna Evans, Cleethorpes) who unfortunately was forced to pull out through injury, but it did still include Lloyd in her first major final at this level.

She settled at the back as the final – much like the men’s – went slow through the first two laps. At 600m it started to wind up and Lloyd battled valiantly to keep at the task in hand – eventually placing tenth in 4:23.78.

Hattie Reynolds had the honour of being the first British athlete to compete at these Championships on Monday and finally returned to the track for the women’s 3000m steeplechase final on the penultimate evening. She settled in the middle of the pack for much of the first half of the race before it started to string out.

Eighth at one stage, Reynolds moved down to tenth but as the larger gaps between positions started to appear – she kept her composure to finish tenth in 10:35.56, both quicker than she went in the heats and higher than she was ranked after that first outing.

Ball returned to the Givat Ram Stadium in the evening session for the fourth event of the decathlon, the high jump, and would enter the competition at 1.80m in Group A. He passed at 1.83m before going for 1.86m and clearing comfortably.

Conserving his body, Ball opted to pass again at 1.89m before returning for 1.92m. Despite his best efforts, he couldn’t quite clear that height with his three attempts and would place 12th overall going into the fifth and final event of the day, the 400m, with 3150 points. He would unfortunately withdraw before the 400m to end his competition.

Gabrielle Garber (Jessica Taylor-Jemmett, Leeds City) was the British representative in the women’s high jump final but unfortunately did not record a mark after three unsuccessful attempts at 1.75m.


The Great Britain and Northern Ireland medallists:

Gold: [1] Joy Eze [Women’s 100m]

Silver: [2] Renee Regis [Women’s 100m], Charlie Carvell [Men’s 400m]

Bronze: [4] Sean Anyaogu [Men’s 100m], Bradley Giblin [Men’s 3000m], Success Eduan [Women’s 200m], Michael Allison [Men’s javelin]