3rd July 2022


It was another sizzling hot day in Mannheim, and a valuable day of international experience for the Great Britain and Northern Ireland U20 team.

There was victory in the long jump for Molly Palmer (coach: Lukasz Zawila, club: Charnwood) who jumped a personal best of 6.28m (+1.5m/s). Palmer produced an impressive series, with four jumps over six metres including a 6.20m. The distance is tantalisingly close to the World U20 Championship qualifying standard of 6.30m.

The women’s 4x100m relay squad finished in second place behind France who had a winning time of 43.85 seconds. The quartet’s time of 44.18 is the seventh fastest in history for a British U20 team.

The squad were led off by Sophie Walton (Trevor Williams, Horwich) who handed over to Alyson Bell (Giffnock North), who ran a Scottish U20 record for 100m on Saturday. Joy Eze (Michael Donnelly, Gateshead) took up the running on leg three, with Success Eduan (Anita Richardson, Sale Harriers Manchester) bringing the quartet home. It was an impressive showing from a team which is improving with each performance and will be focusing on success in Cali next month.

There was frustration for the men’s 4x100m team which was raring to go after individual PBs and season’s best performances in the 100m event on day one.

They were led off by Medwin Odamtten (Gladys Bird, Woodford Green Essex Ladies) who ran a fast first leg to second runner Jeriel Quainoo (Ryan Freckleton, Blackheath and Bromley). However, Quainoo took off at speed, and the incoming Odamtten was not able to make the change within the zone and the pair did not continue.

Jason Kalala (Nat Senior, Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets) went in the 200m, crossing the line in a time of 21.32 (0.3), marginally slower than his PB. He finished first in his heat, and in fifth place overall once all the heat times were combined.

In the women’s 200m, there was a fantastic show from the GB&NI sprinters, claiming three of the top six places overall. Success Eduan (Anita Richardson, Sale Harriers Manchester) was the fastest of the British contingent with 23.51 (1.3) for second in her heat, and third fastest overall. Sophie Walton (Trevor Williams, Horwich) clocked a time of 23.70 in the same heat and was fourth fastest overall.

Meanwhile, Millie King (Graham Holmes, Ipswich) claimed sixth spot overall with her time of 24.01 (0.8) which saw her finish second in her heat.

Eloise Hind (Marcia Marriott, Oxford City) equalled her season’s best of 1.76m in the high jump. She was close on her attempts at 1.79m which would have bettered her PB of 1.77m, but it was a productive weekend for the teenager after a personal best time of 14.31 in yesterday’s 100m hurdles.

Ella Rush (David Feeney, Amber Valley & Erewash) contested the individual long jump competition, arguably her strongest event in heptathlon, and narrowly missed out on third position; her 6.18m (+0.9m/s) was an outdoor personal best which saw her finish in fourth place.

Sammy Ball (Michael Dyer, Reading) took part in the long jump after enjoying a significant PB in the 110m Hurdles on Saturday. He recorded one jump at 6.53m with two further fouls.

It was a valuable learning experience also in pole vault for Lazarus Benjamin (Matt Cullen, Sale Harriers Manchester). Benjamin had a comfortable clearance of 5 metres to open his competition. In an attempt to progress in this highly technical event, the 18-year-old persevered with a stiffer pole. The calculated risk impacted his performance with three fouls at 5.15m, but ultimately it was a positive exercise as Benjamin chases the Cali qualifying of 5.20m.

Team Leader Laura Turner-Alleyne said, “The GB juniors enjoyed a successful weekend of competition. There were many personal bests and season’s bests alongside some valuable experience gained. Our whole team enjoyed the competition and now look forward to the trials for the World U20 Championships in two weeks from now.”

The Great Britain and Northern Ireland team for the U20 World Championships will be selected after the Trials at Bedford on the 16 and 17 July.