29th May 2021
FOUR VICTORIES TAKE GB & NI TO THE TOP OF THE STANDINGS AFTER DAY ONE EURO TEAM CHAMPS
The British team top the standings after day one of the European Athletics Team Championships Super League in Silesia, Poland with wins for Ellie Baker [800m], Lina Nielsen [400m hurdles], Revee Walcott-Nolan [3000m] and the women’s 4x100m relay team.
The first full seven points of the day went to Lina Nielsen (coach: Ryan Freckleton, club: Shaftesbury Barnet) as she won the women’s 400m hurdles in a time of 55.59. She was making her senior debut for the British team in Silesia and delivered in style, holding off the threat of Germany’s Carolina Krafzik to seal the team’s first victory of the day.
Nielsen has been in strong form so far this season, setting a PB of 55.27 over the distance in Jacksonville earlier this month, which was inside the Olympic qualifying standard. Her performance in Poland further solidified her progress in the 400m hurdles this year.
After the race, Nielsen said, “I’m really pleased. Today was always about the win, not the time. The last 40 metres was all about going for the line and I’m so glad I got the win in the end.
“It was nice to have someone pushing me all the time. I was expecting it to be a close race and I was expecting everyone to go for a PB or SB, so I knew I would be a hard race. I just had to get to hurdle 10 and run!”
She added, “This means a lot for me. On my first senior call-up I got injured and couldn’t run, so I’m so happy to get the win at this one.”
After a fourth-place finish at the European Indoor Championships in March, Ellie Baker (Jon Bigg, Shaftesbury Barnet) produced another excellent performance in a GB vest as she won the women’s 800m.
She sat comfortably within the pack for the first 500m but down the backstraight she made the sensible decision to kick on and open a narrow lead at the front. As athletes began to clip each other as they entered the bend, Baker was away and despite a big effort from the German Christina Hering – who was later disqualified – she held on for the victory.
Baker said post-race, “I’m really really happy with first place, it is great to win it for the team. I just love the Championships vibe and every time I pull on the vest, it is such a good feeling.
“I could feel a lot of clipping going on behind me down the back straight, so I tried to get ahead and focus on myself. I’m so pleased to take the win and the full points for the team.”
On her British debut, Revee Walcott-Nolan (Dale King-Clutterbuck, Luton) ran a superbly timed race to win the women’s 3000m. As the pace picked up throughout the contest, the Briton kept a close eye on the leaders and on the final lap came through to earn a memorable victory for the British team.
Afterwards, she said, “I’m really happy to get a win. My last 3000m was eight weeks ago and my training has dropped down more to suit 800m/1500m, so coming into today I was a bit nervous as I wondered if I still had it there over 3000m. I felt good the whole way round, but it started to bite a bit on the last lap. I just knew if I could hold onto the girl in front, it would be anyone’s game.
“It is really good to be up against girls who have run quick times over the distance, it was a good test against them, and I’m really pleased to get the win.”
There was a fantastic performance by the women’s 4x100m Relay squad as they earned victory in the penultimate event of the day.
Beth Dobbin (Leon Baptiste, Edinburgh), running her first 4x100m relay for GB & NI, ran an assured first leg and the changeover with Imani-Lara Lansiquot (Steve Fudge, Sutton & District) was smooth. Lansiquot returned in good form following her 100m earlier in the day to put Bianca Williams (Enfield & Haringey) well in contention on leg three.
Williams, who was competing for Britain for the first time since the birth of her son, ran a quick bend to set Desiree Henry (Mike McFarlane, Enfield & Haringey) up for a chase to the line. Germany headed into the last changeover with a slight advantage, but a failed changeover saw them DNF, and Henry dominated the final leg to lead the women to victory.
Afterwards, Dobbin said, “I was literally just so nervous going into this because I’ve never done a 4x100m before with the team. I only practiced with the girls last week, so I’m just so pleased about the baton change to Imani.
“The girls have been amazing and they’ve proper looked after me. I’ve hammered them all with questions all the time! Passing to Imani I just knew she wouldn’t do anything wrong. So, I just did what I needed to do, and Imani would do the rest.”
Henry added, “I just saw her [Bianca] coming around the final bend and I was thinking ‘ooh she is coming in fast!’ I knew I had to focus up and do my job. The changeover was perfect, and it put me in a great position, and it was all about bringing it home from there. We got the win, so we are all so happy with that.
Naomi Ogbeta (Tom Cullen, Trafford) continued her excellent form and beat some major players in European triple jumping circles to finish second. Her best jump, 14.01m, came in round one and some further marks in the high 13 metres followed but that leading mark saw her claim six point. France’s Rouguy Diallo won with a best of 14.12m.
In the men’s 400m hurdles, Alastair Chalmers (Matt Elias, Guernsey) enjoyed a magnificent senior debut as he grabbed six points in second place, taking several scalps in his race. Having gone in ranked fifth so far this season, the Guernsey athlete produced a great display to finish behind Italy’s Alessandro Sibilio in 49.95.
In only his third race since the 2019 World Athletics Championships, Cameron Chalmers (Matt Elias, Guernsey), older brother of Alastair, looked in great form as he narrowly secured second place and six points. It was a strong effort from the European relay medallist, and he held off Italy’s Davide Re by 0.01 seconds in a season best of 45.89.
Following a PB of 2.25m at last weekend’s Loughborough International, William Grimsey (Fuzz Caan, Woodford Green Essex Ladies) was again in good form as he scored a mark of 2.24m for second place and six points. An earlier foul at 2.16m for Grimsey assured Poland’s Norbert Kobielski the full seven points on countback.
In the women’s 100m earlier in the programme, Imani-Lara Lansiquot earned five points following a time of 11.27 (+1.3). She got off to a strong start and was in contention throughout the contest but in a blanket finish, she was just edged into third place. Poland’s Pia Skrzyszowska won in 11.25 while thousandths were needed to separate the Briton with Germany’s Lisa Mayer who was second.
Kirsty Law (Zane Duquemin, Sale Harriers Manchester) secured third spot in the women’s discus taking five points as she threw a best of 58.13m during her series. In fact, her furthest attempt came in the first round, laying down a marker to the field. All athletes receive three throws with the top four athletes progressing to a final throw. There was no further improvement from the Scottish athlete who sealed important points for the team.
Scott Lincoln (Paul Wilson, City of York) was third in the men’s shot put with his best mark measuring at 20.00m on his first attempt. He pulled his neck after the first throw and although he was fit enough to continue, he did not improve on the opening mark.
In the women’s pole vault, Molly Caudery (Stuart Caudery, Thames Valley) secured five points for the British team in an entertaining competition. After clear progression over her first height, she required two attempts to clear 4.25m and then at 4.35m. A third and final attempt at the latter height saw her move up to third position. With a rule for the European Team Championships meaning vertical jumpers can have no more than four fouls in the competition, a first-time foul at 4.45m saw her exit the competition.
There was a huge personal best for Tom Mortimer (Christopher Brown, Stroud) as he set a European U23 leading time over 5000m. The Loughborough-based athlete worked well with the field and he brought it home for a lifetime best of 13:28.12. He finished fourth overall for four points to add to the GB tally.
In the men’s 1500m, Archie Davis (Joel Kidger, Brighton Phoenix) was at the heart of an entertaining contest as he snatched fourth position. The pace started slow, and gradually wound-up heading into the final lap which led to a scrap for the line in the home straight. The Briton, who made his GB debut at the European Indoors earlier this year, took some scalps as he crossed the line in 3:57.89.
The men’s 100m sprint saw Ojie Edoburun (Steve Fudge, Shaftesbury Barnet) claim three points for the British squad in fifth position. He recorded a time of 10.46 (-0.5) in a race won by France’s Mouhamadou Fall in 10.28.
Over in the men’s long jump, Reynold Banigo (Lukasz Zawila, Sale Harriers Manchester) finished his series in fifth position overall, claiming three points for the British team. On his senior debut, his furthest effort came in the third and final round as he jumped 7.56m (0.9).
Yasmin Liverpool (Stewart Marshall, Coventry), who competed for GB & NI at the World Relays in the Silesian Stadium earlier in the month, clocked 53.02 in the women’s 400m, finishing fifth to bag three points for the team.
The men’s 4x100m relay team finished sixth in a time of 39.39. Jona Efoloko (Clarence Callendar, Sale Harriers Manchester) started the quartet off and had a smooth baton change to Ojie Edoburun. Sam Gordon (Matt Elias, Cardiff) slightly stumbled as he began the third leg but cleanly handed next to Joel Fearon (Michael Khmel, Birchfield) to bring the team home as Germany took the honours in a time of 38.73.
In the first event of the day, Jessica Mayho (John Pearson, Birchfield) took two point in the women’s hammer with the furthest throw of her series going out to 63.91m on her final throw. She opened with two fouls but got the last mark in to achieve sixth spot.
Another GB & NI debutant produced a solid display in the women’s 3000m Steeplechase. Maisie Grice (Bud Baldaro, Aldershot, Farnham and District) crossed the line in a time of 10:18.49 in seventh place.
Over in the javelin, GB&NI international debutant Daniel Bainbridge (Michael McNeill, Shaftesbury Barnet) gained one point for the team in the men’s javelin. The biggest mark of his series was recorded at 72.12m. The event was won in a Championship record by Johannes Vetter (GER) of 96.29m.
After day one of the two-day competition, Great Britain and Northern Ireland lead the standings with 95 points from Poland (94.50) and Germany (93.50).