15th July 2018
GREAT BRITAIN ROUND OFF WORLD JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIPS WITH SEVEN MEDALS AFTER 4X400M BRONZE
Great Britain and Northern Ireland rounded off their World Junior Championships campaign with their seventh medal of the championships as the men’s 4x400m relay team took bronze in the final event of proceedings.
The team of Alex Haydock-Wilson (coach: Earl Herbert, club: Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow), Joe Brier (Matt Elias, Swansea), Alastair Chalmers (Dale Garland, Guernsey) and Alex Knibbs (Nick Dakin, Amber Valley and Erewash) ran an excellent race to earn a new season’s best of 3:05.64 to take third place.
The medal is Britain’s seventh at the Championships, bettering their performances in Bydgoszcz in 2016 and Oregon in 2014 and is their biggest medal haul since claiming eight medals in Moncton in 2010.
Speaking after the race, Haydock-Wilson said: “I knew I needed to give it my all for the boys if we wanted any chance of winning the race. When we got to around 150m to go I didn’t know what I had left in my legs I just thought I had to go for it and bring it home for the lads and I honestly think that was what I did. We were so in when we got that changeover and I’m delighted with a bronze.”
“I just wanted to get to the break first get ahead and control the race really and I feel like I managed that OK and I’ve come out of it with a bronze medal,” added Brier.
Chalmers, who missed out on a medal in the 400m hurdles, assessed: “I knew it was going to be hard because you’re running against some phenomenal athletes. I wanted to make all the coaches and my teammates proud and we’ve come out with a World Championship bronze medal.”
Knibbs added: “We knew we were really sharp and we gave it our all because we were the last ones on the track. We’re all amazed all four of the boys and Ellis who ran in the heats, we can’t believe it.”
Erin Wallace (Dudley Walker, Giffnock North) finished the women’s 1500m a respectable seventh in sweltering conditions, with Francesca Brint (Paul Roden, Sale Harriers Manchester) 10th, both clocking respectable times of 4:17.61 and 4:18.87 respectively.
Wallace looked well in contention for a medal heading into the final lap, sitting on the shoulders of the leaders, but had to settle for a place in the top ten, along with Brint.
After finishing as the seventh best athlete in the world, Wallace assessed: “It sounds better than I could have expected. I think my time was eighth fastest going in but you can’t really go off times so I’m really happy with that.
“I’ve found this really fun. I didn’t think I was racing until I got on the start line and I thought that this was it. The last race I didn’t really think about tactics and it’s the one thing I can take out of this to improve the most.”
Alex Botterill (Andrew Henderson, City of York) and Markhim Lonsdale (Keith Lonsdale, Crook & District) crossed the line in the men’s 800m in seventh and eighth places respectively, before being promoted to sixth and seventh by the virtue of a disqualification for Algeria’s Oussama Cherrad.
Londsale recovered from a nasty looking fall on lap one to finish the race in 1:57.39, with Botterill crossing in 1:51.64.
After the race, Lonsdale said: “It’s so annoying. I felt so comfortable and I knew it was going to take a PB to win and I knew I had it in me to do that. I knew I was running well. Eighth with a great big fall is gutting. I was so surprised how I felt before the fall but after that, everything shot off before my eyes.
“When I was on the floor I questioned whether or not I carry on but I did. I’m so gutted and I don’t know why it happened to me.”
Abby Ward (Ian Hill, Wakefield) rounded off her campaign in the women’s high jump by once again equalling her season’s best of 1.84m to finish tenth in the final.
Ward cleared the height she matched in qualification at the second attempt before failing with three attempts at 1.87m.
She said afterwards: “I’m so happy with tenth and to be happy and healthy at the end of that. The jump shows that I’m improving. My legs feel a bit tired because of competing and having a day of recovery in-between but I’m so lucky.
“Being in the final here gives me an incentive to keep going and try harder in my training to get back to how I was jumping before.”