24th June 2024


The Great Britain and Northern Ireland juniors once again excelled at the annual Mannheim International with the relay teams in top form and several athletes securing lifetime bests.

The men’s 4x400m relay squad delivered one of the performances of the event as they ran a world U20 lead in 3:07.15, putting them in a strong position ahead of the World Athletics U20 Championships taking place in Lima, Peru in August.

Stanley Chevous (Lee Bowker, Ipswich), Sam Lunt (Wirral), Demari Gumbs (Windsor Slough Eton and Hounslow) and Alex Houchin (Stewart Marshall, Worcester) combined to pip the German team to the victory by 0.11s in the world leading time.

The women’s 4x400m relay team were also in impressive form as they went third in the world U20 rankings with a clocking of 3:33.78 which was also a meeting record.

The quartet of Kara Dacosta (Stephen Ball, Trafford), Emma Holmes (Victor Oyesola, West Cheshire), Jessica Astill (Paul Keeble, Stevenage & North Herts) and Charlotte Henrich (Nigel Stickings, Invicta East Kent) came together to continue the relay successes.

The 4x100m squads had two races across the competition, with the teams making it four wins from four over Saturday and Sunday.

On day one, the women’s quartet clocked 44.11; the team consisting of Renee Regis (Darren Braithwaite, Shaftesbury Barnet), Nia Wedderburn-Goodison (Ryan Freckleton, Harrow), Faith Akinbileje (John Blackie, Blackheath and Bromley) and Mabel Akande (Denise Timmis, Lincoln Wellington).

They returned on day two to run slightly quicker with 44.03, but it laid down another solid time. Jasmine Wilkins (Mike Bennett, Bedford & County) and Kissiwaa Mensah (Prince Duwai, Chelmsford) came into the team on leg one and three respectively, with Regis on leg two and Akande once again on the anchor leg.

As for the men’s 4x100m, day one’s squad of Rhys Elias (Martin White, Mansfield), Ebuka Nwokeji (Ty Holden, Shaftesbury Barnet), Dean Patterson (David Watson, Glasgow Jaguars) and Joel Masters (Jon Humphries-Cuff, BFT Track Academy) won their race in 39.77.

The day two quartet finished in 40.10 – with a race win once more – as Lewis Stephens (Helen Patricia James, Cardiff) joined the team on leg one and Henry Christer (John Davis, Basingstoke & Mid Hants) on leg three. Masters took up the baton second, with Elias bringing it home.

In the women’s 100m hurdles Thea Brown (Joanne Harding, Sale Harriers Manchester) moved to the top of the UK U20 rankings this year with 13.28, a time that also takes her to joint sixth on the UK U20 all-time list. She also won the high jump with a best clearance of 1.82m.

GB & NI athletes took the top three finishers in the women’s 400m: Charlotte Henrich the quickest in 53.39, Kara Dacosta next in 53.99 with Jessica Astill in 54.90.

Sam Lunt was by far the quickest in the men’s 400m with 47.01, with Alex Houchin third fastest across the heats with 47.75. Stanley Chevous was another Briton under 48 seconds with 47.83.

There was a personal best for Mabel Akande in the women’s 100m heats as she ran 11.27 (0.6) while Nia Wedderburn-Goodison also impressed with a time of 11.28 (1.0).

On day two, there were PBs for Ebuka Nwokeji [21.13], Rhys Elias [21.28] and Henry Christer [21.30] while Dean Patterson was third fastest overall [21.26].

Renee Regis also bagged a qualifying time for Lima 2024 as she was quickest overall in the women’s 200m in a lifetime best of 23.41.

Back in the field, there was a victory Cleo Agyepong (John Hillier, Blackheath and Bromley) in the shot put, and she did it in style by extending her PB to 15.35m in round four.

There was also a career best for Eden Robinson (Christian North, North Devon) in the javelin as she improved to 39.14m.