6th July 2022
DELANEY SEVENTH, AS RELAYS AND HURDLERS PROGRESS AT EURO U18 CHAMPS
Great Britain and Northern Ireland kept up its strong relay tradition on the third morning session of the European Athletics U18 Championships in Jerusalem, qualifying both teams in the medley relay (100m, 200m, 300m, 400m). Meanwhile in the field, Isaac Delaney (Michael Kiley, Preston) finished seventh in the shot put final.
The girls team comprising of Emmanuella Quaye (Andre Williams, Enfield & Haringey), Nia Wedderburn-Goodison (Andre Williams, Harrow), Rebecca Grieve (Francis Smith, Pitreavie) and Jessica Astill (Paul Keeble, Stevenage & North Herts) ran a world-leading time of 2:07.66 to win their heat and comfortably qualify for the final.
Quaye got the team off to a strong start before handing over the recent 100m European U18 Champion, Wedderburn-Goodison. When the baton was handed to Grieve for the 300m leg the Great Britain and Northern Ireland team were well clear of the rest and Astill brought the team home to comfortably qualify for tomorrow’s final.
Quaye commented after the race, “I planned to get the team off to a good start so that we could win the race. We came out today and just wanted to make the rest of the team proud. To make the final and run a world lead; we are very happy.”
Astill added, “The girls gave me such a good lead I just didn’t want to let them down. I was a little nervous when Rebecca came down the home straight, but I just got out hard and tried to keep the lead that they had built.”
The men came through a tricky second heat to qualify for tomorrow’s medley relay final. Teddy Wilson (Tamunonengiye-Ofori Ossai, BFT Track Academy) ran the opening 100m leg, passing the baton on to Callum Webb (Lisa Waddon, Cardiff Archers). Webb handed the baton over in third position to Jac Patterson (David Norton, Cardiff Archers) to complete the 300m leg before handing on to Tom Gaunce (Jake Awe, Dacorum) for the final 400m.
The drama of the relay came to the fore at the final exchange as a collision between Poland and Slovenia sent the first three teams, including Great Britain and Northern Ireland, clear of the rest. Initially crossing the line in third place, the team were promoted to second after the Polish team were disqualified. A time of 1:55.66 progresses the Great Britain and Northern Ireland team to the final as the second fastest qualifiers.
Speaking after the race, Webb said, “Teddy got us off to a great start, I just had to hold that. It was tough out in lane eight as I could not see the other teams, but the lads did a great job to get us through.”
Gaunce added, “I just tried to avoid trouble at the changeover as I did not want to stumble or fall. The boys put me in a good position, and I just had to make sure I got the job done and get the team into that final.”
Stephanie Okoro (Tony Benton, Havering) and Ophelia Pye (David Hemery, Marlborough Athletics) both booked their places in the 400m hurdles final in style.
Pye, running in the opening semi-final, recorded a time of 58.53 to qualify fastest for the final, also setting a British U18 Record. In the second semi-final, Okoro ran 58.96 to take the win, meaning both Great Britain and Northern Ireland athletes qualify for the final as the fastest two qualifiers.
Pye said post-race, “I’m still coming to terms with that. I tried to keep as relaxed as possible and finish strongly. I’m glad I didn’t panic when girls came up on me and I stuck to my plan. I’m happy to come away with another PB, I certainly wasn’t expecting to run a National Record.”
Okoro added, “I am really happy; I know I can give a lot more in the final and run a personal best and possibly pick up a medal too. I’m really looking forward to it.”
In the field, Isaac Delaney (Michael Kiley, Preston) finished seventh in the shot put final with a throw of 18.20 in the third round.
Reflecting on the competition, Delaney said: “My competition started poorly, but I managed to produce a throw in the third round that saw me progress to three further throws. I finished 7th, which is where I was seeded, so I can’t be too unhappy.”
Also in the field, Ayesha Jones (Janina Pownall, Marshall Milton Keynes) competed in the qualifying rounds of the javelin. A throw of 45.60 was only enough for 15th, meaning she missed out on a place in tomorrow’s final.
This evening, Kai Barham (Paul Head, Dartford Harriers) will throw in the hammer final, whilst on the track, Great Britain and Northern Ireland athletes will have representatives in five finals, which could rise to six after the boys 200m semi-finals.
Etty Sisson (Grant Barker, Charnwood) and Charlotte Henrich (Carlo Monticolombi, Invicta East Kent) will compete in the 400m final. while over the 200m, Faith Akinbileje (John Blackie, Blackheath & Bromley) enters as the European leader.
Tendai Nyabadza (Andrew Ross, Harmeny) and Corey Campbell (Alister Russell, Team East Lothian) will race in the 1500m final while in the girls 1500m, Annie Mann (James Mann, Southampton) and Alice Bates (Shane Smith, Kettering) will be in action.
The session will come to a close with the girls 3000m where Jess Bailey (Matthew Long, Leven Valley) enters as the European leader.
Jamie Carrott (Joe McDonnell, Charnwood) and Dean Patterson (Norrie Hay, Glasgow School of Sport) will also be in action in the boy’s 200m semi-finals as they bid for a place in this evenings final.
A live stream and live results will be available on the European Athletics website.
Gold: Cleo Agyepong [shot put], Mia McIntosh [100m Hurdles], Nia Wedderburn-Goodison [100m]
Bronze: Edward Bird [3000m], Renee Regis [100m] and Paige Stevens [shot put]