25th June 2023
LINCOLN AND WILLIAMS SHINE ON FINAL DAY OF THE EUROPEAN TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS
The Great Britain and Northern Ireland squad were fifth in the final standings at the European Team Championships in Silesia, Poland.
21.10m earned Scott Lincoln (Paul Wilson, City of York) a brilliant second place in a stacked men’s shot put competition. It was an impressive series for the 2020 Olympian with two throws over 21 metres; the second and third best of his career. His furthest effort – the aforementioned 21.10m – came in round four to consolidate second place. It was a season best for the City of York athlete who added 15 points to the team tally, while Italy’s Zane Weir took the win with 21.59m.
Lincoln said afterwards, “They were my second and third furthest throws ever. I’ve been in great shape all season, and I knew it was ready to click but it has been a very frustrating few weeks. There is definitely more in there. My coach even said after my 21.10m, ‘you haven’t even hit it yet’, and that is the feeling I am getting.
“I always love doing this competition. It is probably one of my favourite events in the calendar.”
Bianca Williams (Enfield & Haringey) ran her quickest 200m in five years as she claimed an important second place and 15 points for the British team. The team captain had been in fine form on Friday evening in the 100m, and she made the most of the occasion in the Silesia Stadium to run a time of 22.75 (1.2).
The European medallist ran the bend strongly and with the Netherlands’ Lieke Klaver in the lane outside of her, the Briton was neck-and-neck with the Dutch athlete as they headed into the straight. Klaver just managed to pull away at this point but Williams held on for the all-important points.
Williams said post-race, “That was mad. You always want to go fast in the race, but you don’t want to assume how fast you are going to go. I was going into this race in lane nine, but it changed to lane five at the last minute, so I knew I had a chance at being near Klaver. I have raced against her before and she has the longest legs, so I knew I had to go with her. It wasn’t the best race I’ve done this season; it was actually really messy but it just shows I have got more to come.”
On being the team captain for the Championships, she added, “I am really happy to have captained such a great team. I haven’t been able to support them much at the stadium because I have been racing so much, but I’ll be going to cheer them on for the rest of the afternoon.”
In the first action of the day, Bekah Walton (David Turner, Blackheath & Bromley) threw a two-metre personal best in the women’s javelin as she secured third place and 14 points for the GB & NI team. It was a fantastic result for the Loughborough-based athlete who improved her best to 59.76m from 57.65m.
Her second throw of 49.02m had her teetering on the brink of an exit with only the top eight progressing to further throws, and under pressure she produced the best throw of her career to move her up to third position overall. Cramp set-in on her fourth throw so there was no further improvement in her series, but the result was quite a fillip to the British team.
A delighted Walton said afterwards, “I have been throwing 56m all season so far, but I knew I was in shape to throw a lot further, so I am so pleased I now have a PB which is more reflective of where I am.
“Round four to six, I got cramp. I think the excitement got to me, the heat got me, and both my calves cramped. I had a long wait between my third and fourth throws as well. I was frustrated that I couldn’t; take that final round throw because I’d worked really hard up to it. But third place in a really stacked field is amazing, I’m so proud of myself to have achieved that.”
Jonathan Davies (Luke Gunn, Reading) ran valiantly to secure fifth position in the men’s 5000m in a time of 13:56.11. The race started slowly but gradually the speed built up and splits in the field started to form. A front four of Spain, Sweden, Italy and France broke away leaving Davies and Norway’s Awet Nftalem Kibrab to fight it out for fifth. They exchanged positions multiple times, but it was the Briton who prevailed eventually to take home 12 points.
There was a sixth-place finish for Lucy Hadaway (Matt Barton, City of York) in the women’s long jump, matching her performance at the event in 2021. She jumped 6.31m (-1.3) in round one to put her in a top eight position early on. She improved to 6.41m (-1.0) in round five to seal 11 points for the team.
The mixed 4x400m relay team finished ninth in the amalgamated standings but were sixth in the A race. Alex Haydock-Wilson (Benke Blomkvist, Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow) handed over to Ama Pipi (Linford Christie, Enfield & Haringey) in a battle for fourth and fifth, and Pipi had to work hard down the back straight to get into position. She handed over to debutant Brodie Young (James McMenemy, Glasgow Jaguars) in contention. The young Scottish athlete handed to Carys McAulay (Nick Dakin, Trafford) in the chasing group, and despite getting into fourth at one stage, she was overtaken by Germany and Portugal in the closing stages. Their time was 3:14.27.
Adam Clayton (Ryan McAllister, Giffnock North) made his senior international debut for GB & NI in the men’s 200m, placing joint 11th in the amalgamated standings. He was eighth in the A race in a time of 21.18 (-1.3).
Another athlete on his GB & NI debut, Joe Dunderdale (Sheffield & Dearne), was 12th in the men’s javelin. Throwing third in the running order, he opened with 69.85m and that was to be the longest throw of his series, earning five points to the final total team score.
Ellie Baker (Jon Bigg, Shaftesbury Barnet) was on course for some big points in the women’s 1500m, but a coming together at the bell disrupted her stride and she crossed the line in 13th. Baker looked in a good position with 600m to go, but as the field bunched up and athletes started making decisive moves, she was boxed in and became tangled as the bell rang.
Baker – who won the 800m at the Championships in 2021 – managed to stay on her feet and fought well to recover from the clash, and she eventually finished in a time of 4:16.81.
Maisie Grice (Joe Franklin, Aldershot Farnham and District), competing at her second European Team Championships, was 14th in the women’s 3000m steeplechase in a time of 10:09.99.
Earlier in the session, William Grimsey (Bethan Partridge, Woodford Green Essex Ladies) endured a nervy start to the men’s high jump competition with first time fouls at 2.05m and 2.09m, but he went over on his second attempts. However, he fouled twice at 2.13m, and with the four foul rule in play, that spelled the end of his series as he finished 14th.
Sadly, Laura Zialor (Jade Surman, Marshall Milton Keynes) rolled her ankle on her second jump so was forced to withdraw from the women’s high jump competition. She cleared 1.76m with ease, but the injury occurred on her first attempt at 1.80m. However, with that first clearance she earned two points for the GB & NI team.