8th August 2018
DUCKWORTH BATTLES TO FIFTH IN EUROPE IN A BUSY NIGHT FOR BRITISH TEAM IN BERLIN
Tim Duckworth (coach: Toby Stevenson, club: Liverpool) narrowly missed out on a medal by just 130 points in the men’s decathlon on a busy night for the British athletes competing in the Olympiastadion in Berlin.
The 22-year-old, enjoying his first senior appearance for the British team, held a 70 point lead heading into the final two events, but slipped into the silver medal position a following a 54.78m effort in the javelin, trailing Germany’s Arthur Abele but 102 points.
In spite of setting a new personal best of 4:58.28 in the 1500m, he finished the overall competition in 5th place overall with 8160 points.
Speaking afterwards, he said: “I am tired, very tired. It was a really, really cool experience, it was next level. It was a better experience than I thought it was going to be.
“It was a hell of an experience leading it, but I don’t feel like it was a great decathlon for me. It was a good score but in terms of where I wanted to be, some events were down – the 100m, long jump, hurdles. There was a lot down but a lot of experienced gained from it all and it is all towards the next three years.
“There was a lot of support for me and I am grateful for that because it was a long, gruelling two days with lots of ups and downs. My goal was to come top five and you can’t be too mad with the score if you are top five.”
Elsewhere in final action tonight, Sophie McKinna (Mike Winch, Great Yarmouth) achieved a top eight finish following a 17.69m best in the women’s shot put that saw her finish in seventh.
Her opening attempt of 17.58m booked her a spot in the top eight, which was improved by seven centimetres at the fourth attempt and a further four centimetres with her final effort. Countrywoman Amelia Strickler (Steve Manz, Thames Valley) could not follow suit, finishing tenth overall with a best effort of 17.15m.
The Thames Valley athlete’s third effort was not enough to secure her a place in the top eight, missing out by just 15 centimetres.
Following her seventh place finish, McKinna said: “Did you see that? That never happens. Who says British girls can’t finish top eight? It felt so good to have the last round. I hurt myself a little in the fourth round but just thought I should relax and put my all into it.
“It was great being out there. Robert Harting was also competing and every time he stood up the crowd went mad which made it a great experience. I’m so happy. I wanted to throw 18m, I’ve made no secret of that but I was pleased with how I performed and how I got close to my PB.”
In what was a hugely impressive Senior team debut, Alice Wright (Joe Franklin / Ben Rosario, Worcester) battled through a strong field to finish sixth in the final of the women’s 10,000m in 32:36.45.
Wright put in a controlled 25 laps that saw her in touch with the leaders for long spells in the race and missed out on taking fifth position by just two seconds.
She said: “I wasn’t here for the experience, I really did want a medal but I knew it was going to be tough looking at the times going in. It’s gaining on those last two in the last lap. It wasn’t bad for my first senior vest, hopefully I can medal next time.
“I’ve had great consistency, we’ve been working on my strength and power really and those last couple of kilometres and few laps so hopefully I can be there next time. I’m greedy I want a medal. I’m not satisfied with sixth, it’s a good start.”
Dan Bramble (Frank Attoh, Shaftesbury Barnet) finished seventh in the final of the men’s long jump, registering a best jump of 7.90m (0.1m/s), achieved in the second round.
A superb fifth round effort looked beyond the eight metre mark, but the red flag denied him a shot at coming away with a medal.
Outside of finals action, nine British athletes rose to the occasion in the evening session to qualify for finals later this week.
Morgan Lake (Fuzz Caan, Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow) was the first to do so, safely progressing in the final of the women’s high jump in equal first place with a faultless scorecard that saw her reach 1.90m, two centimetres shy of the auto-qualifying mark.
With 11 places decided following her jump, Lake opted to retire along with the rest of the field. Nikki Manson (Giffnock North) was unable to follow suit, despite clearing her first to attempts first time, bowed out at 1.86m.
Lake assessed: “I had to get first time attempts, I know that is really important. It is really important in qualifiers and I have lost out on that before so that was the biggest aim.
“I was taking each height as it came and trying to replicate my jumps. It poured with rain just as we were warming up, my stuff was soaked. No umbrella, no waterproofs. I am feeling good, I just need to make sure I recover get some sleep in and get ready for Friday.”
Eilidh Doyle (Brian Doyle, Pitreavie) continued her comeback from injury by qualifying for the final of the women’s 400m hurdles, winning her semi-final in 55.16. The Scot ran a controlled race to surge away in the closing stages and ensure herself a spot in the final.
She said afterwards: “To be fair the stage I am in this season I probably would have preferred an extra round as I’m a bit rusty but I didn’t want to do an extra round if others only do two rounds! I think it’s only fair that we all do three rounds.
“The 400m hurdlers we do that at every championships, we’re used to it. There is no advantage in us not doing it, but it’s a disadvantage to the ones that have to do it then come up against those who are fresh.
“I’m feeling a bit better now on my running then I have, its only my third race since the commonwealths so I was pretty nervous and usually I like the heats to get that nervousness out of my system, but I didn’t get that opportunity as I was up against the top girls in Europe so had to be on my A game.”
Meghan Beesley (Michael Baker, Birchfield Harriers) joined her in the final as one of the two fastest losers after clocking a season’s best 55.21 to finish third.
Kirsten McAslan (Michael Baker, Sale Harriers Manchester) was unable to join her teammates in the final, coming home seventh in 57.33.
Defending European 400m champion Martyn Rooney (Graham Hedman, Croydon) will relinquish his crown despite clocking a season’s best 45.73, finishing in sixth place.
Matthew Hudson-Smith (Lance Brauman, Birchfield Harriers), the fastest man in Europe this year, will be the only British 400m representative in the final with an impressive 44.76 for victory, winding down in the final 50m. Countryman Dwayne Cowan (Lloyd Cowan, Hercules Wimbledon) missed out on joining him in the final, finishing fifth in the same heat with a season’s best 45.45.
Rabah Yousif (Carol Williams, Newham & Essex Beagles) was third in a season’s best of 45.30 but missed out on a fastest loser spot by 0.13 seconds.
Speaking after qualifying for the final, Hudson-Smith said: “I was ready. I did what my coach told me ‘execute’ then show off, show what you are made of, see where you are. I did exactly what I came here to do – I came here to execute so I’m happy.
“I came here as number one and I came here to prove it. Like I say, only I can stop myself. Everyone is (dangerous) who steps on the line. All eight lanes are going to be dangerous – they come here and put their focus on me. I just have to execute and the rest will sort itself out.”
It was a clean sweep for the British 800m women as all three qualified for the final, led by Adelle Tracey (Craig Winrow, Guildford and Godalming) who went sub-two minutes for the first time in her career, clocking a personal best 1:59.86 to finish second in her heat.
Shelayna Oskan-Clarke (Jon Bigg, WSEH) followed her home in fourth in a season’s best 2:00.39, qualifying as a fastest loser for the final, while Lynsey Sharp (Terrence Mahon, Edinburgh AC), in her heat, secured automatic qualification in second place, clocking 2:02.73.
After breaking the two-minute barrier, Tracey added: “I think just being in the second heat had the advantage of seeing the first race. But in my head it didn’t change too much, I had to go and make it quick – it was a case of following the pace and leaving it on the track really.
“To break two minutes, well it’s massive…It’s such a relief, I’ve been doing some good sessions which is an indication that you can do it, but actually doing it is a massive thing in the 800m – that’s a bit of a barrier so it feels amazing. It feels awesome to come to a championship and perform at the best of my ability.”
British champion Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake (Dennis Shaver, Newham & Essex Beagles) progressed into the final of the men’s 200m after finishing second in 20.35 (0.3m/s), qualifying as the fourth fastest man.
2014 European champion Adam Gemili (Rana Reider, Blackheath & Bromley) progressed via a fastest loser spot, coming home third in his heat in 20.46 (0.3m/s), the slowest of the finalists.
Delano Williams (Stephen Francis, Enfield & Haringey), who came through qualifying this morning to reach the semis, was forced to withdraw following a spasm in his back.