5th July 2018


There were professional displays by the British athletes on the opening morning of the European Athletics U18 Championships in Gyor, Hungary.

In an impressive personal best, Natasha Harrison (Pete Torrance, Stockport) qualified for the 400m semi-finals. Her time of 54.88 was her first ever sub-55 clocking over the distance, her previous best standing at 55.03 set at the Northern Championships at the start of June.

Harrison was in one of the quicker heats during the morning. With the first four guaranteed qualification to the semis, at the halfway stage, she had got herself in a good position, in the top two. She maintained this position despite pressure from Spain’s Laura Centella, finishing second behind Germany’s Marie Scheppan.

The Stockport-based athlete commented post-race:

“I assessed where I was at 200m. I could see I was in the top two and I knew the top four would qualify. I saw the girl on the inside trying to get passed so I just had to work a little bit but I tried to remain relaxed.

“It feels like your first English Schools! It was so scary but exciting at the same time. I know I have to work the bend a little more when I need to but that is all part of the learning experience.”

In the earlier heat, Hannah Foster (Craig Andrew) progressed in second place in a time of 56.45. The Shaftesbury Barnet athlete had to work on the home straight in what was a fairly even heat, just edging it over the final 50m.

Cassie-Ann Pemberton (Sharon Morris, Birchfield) went through as the fastest overall qualifier in the girls 100m heats after an impressive display. She blasted out of the blocks leaving her rivals in her wake, powering through to a time of 11.79 (-1.0) and laying a marker down ahead of the semis this evening.

Amy Hunt (Joe McDonnell, Charnwood) made light work of her 100m heat, winning in a time of 11.92 (-1.0). A great start saw her move away from her opponents in the first half of the race before an injection of pace at 40m made sure she would be a clear winner, even with a deacceleration with 10 metres to go.

Both will go in the semi-finals starting at 18:47 UK time this evening.

Max Law (Sam Harrison, Havering) was a comfortable qualifier in the men’s javelin. His consistent series of 68.59m, 66.40m and 71.65m saw him progress ranked second in the first group of athletes. With a plus 70 metre throw guaranteeing his spot, the Havering athlete will go into the final in a confident mood.

Law looked ahead to the final, saying:

“Everyone performs differently. I can only focus on myself and throw to my best and smash it as far as I can.”

There were mixed fortunes in the boys shot put as Lewis Byng (Paul Bearman / Sandy Green, Stratford-upon-Avon) progressed to the final ranked 11th with a best of 17.61m while George Hyde (Dave Mackay, West Cheshire) was narrowly edged out in 13th with a throw of 17.42m.

In sweltering conditions that were tricky for the whole field, Byng found his biggest throw in the final round which sees him move into Friday night’s final.

Full results