17th June 2017

Edoburun and Neita shine at U23 & U20 England Athletics Champs in Bedford

Ojie Edoburun (coach: Jonas Dodoo) and Daryll Neita (Dodoo) shone over the 100m in the blazing heat on the first day of the England Athletics U23 and U20 Championships in Bedford which acts as trials for the European U23 and U20 Championships in Bydgoszcz and Grosseto, respectively.

Edoburun, the 2015 European junior champion got gradually faster throughout the day, peaking in the final where he clocked a lifetime best of 10.12 (+0.2) ahead of Reuben Arthur (Ryan Freckleton) in 10.18, who also set a PB having already secured a qualifying standard for.

Edoburun, who has now run the standard for the IAAF World Championships in London, said: “I’m really happy. I’ve had a lot of windy races. It’s frustrating because I feel like I’ve had a whole year of windy races. But it’s times like this mental strength comes into play. I knew coming in today that even though I had the fastest time by quite a bit, I still had to treat everybody the same. Some of the guys ran really fast and ran big PBs. I want this to be a turning point in my career and my season.”

The 20-year-old Neita demonstrated her Olympic medal-winning quality over the field, running a season’s best of 11.29 (+1.4) in the semi-final before taking the victory in 11.20 (+1.1) over last year’s runner-up Diani Walker (Lloyd Cowan).

Neita, also clocking an IAAF World Championship standard, said: “I crossed the line and just thought ‘yes! All those bricks off my back.’ I was thinking when am I going to run the qualifier. I know I’ve had a patchy season. I pulled my hamstring on a warm-weather camp seven weeks ago so thought am I even going to be fit for the trials? I’m happy to come here and run a world qualifier. I can now go to trials and relax.”

There were championship records in both the men’s and women’s U23 high jump as Chris Kandu (Fuzz Caan) and Morgan Lake (Aston Moore) both impressed.

Olympic finalist Lake went clear at 1.94m to equal her PB and came close to equalling the British U23 record of 1.96m with three good attempts.

Kandu, who had already got the European standard of 2.22m, opened his competition at 2.17m before going over 2.21m and then put daylight between himself and the bar at 2.25m for his highest ever outdoor mark.

He commented: “It’s just my second competition of the year so there’s more to come. More technical refurbishments and we’ll get there. I set my goals as high as I possibly can. That’s the only way I can progress so I aim as high as I can. 2.30m is in me. We’ve seen it in training with some heights over decent bars.”

At U20 level, 100m sprinter Romell Glave (Paul Weston) was one of the most impressive performers on the day, smashing his PB en route to gold with a European Junior Championship standard of 10.21 (+1.0) while Oliver Bromby (Sara MacDonald-Gray) of Southampton set a PB of 10.31.

Herne Hill’s Kristal Awuah (Matthew Thomas) got the better of English Schools champion Olivia Okoli (Anthony Childs) over the 100m – 11.61 (+0.2) to 11.64 to mean both secured qualifying standards.

European youth hammer silver medallist from 2016 Jake Norris (Paul Dickenson) unleashed the second biggest throw of his life in the final round with a 77.67m effort to replicate his win from last year.

The 17-year-old Norris said: “At the start of the competition it was a bit rusty. I took a while to get into the swing of it but then got my best throw in the last round, so I can’t complain with that. I’m currently ranked third in Europe. I want to compete for medals. I don’t want to turn up and drop down. I want to challenge.”

Just three days after running a huge 1500m personal best of 4:05.20, Jess Judd (Mick Judd) was back on the victory trail, winning the U23 race at ease in 4:21.78.

Jemma Reekie (Andy Young) of Kilbarchan AAC won in a neck-and-neck race with Harriet Knowles-Jones (Paul Roden), clocking 4:18.39 as the pair secured their places in the team for Grosseto.

The English U20 indoor pole vault champion Joel Leon Benitez (Alan Richardson), who has already achieved the qualifying height for Grosseto, was a resounding winner outdoors with a 5.20m clearance.

Amy Holder (Neville Thompson) achieved a winning throw in the U23 discus of 52.84m, having already gone out beyond the 54.00m required distance earlier in the year.

Daniel Jarvis (Mick Woods) of Liverpool Harriers & Athletics Club was in fine form in the 3000m steeplechase, winning in 8:59.64 having run inside the European U23 championships 8:45.00 standard in Loughborough in May.

Full results can be found here.