11th July 2018

PHOTO FINISH DENIES ASHWELL FIRST BRITISH MEDAL OF WORLD JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIPS

Dominic Ashwell (coach: Marvin Rowe, club: Shaftesbury Barnet) smashed his personal best twice but missed out on a medal by 0.03s in the final of the men’s 100m in Tampere.

Ashwell qualified for the final in 10.28 (1.4m/s) as the fastest loser, as fellow Brit Chad Miller missed out on a place in the final on a photo-finish, coming third in the final heat in 10.38 (0.1m/s).

A stellar run in the final saw him leading the way at 40m, and clocked his third PB in two days, crossing the line in 10.25 (1.2m/s), only to be edged out of the medals via a photo-finish.

Despite missing a medal, an upbeat Ashwell said: “I’m absolutely buzzing. It’s such a wicked experience the whole venue, the race, even on the start line it was absolutely electric. I couldn’t wait to race. Watching it back on the big screen and seeing I was that close was a great feeling. It’s bittersweet but I can’t complain.

“I came in here ranked something like 17th and it’s difficult looking at all those times run by the Americans and Jamaicans who are running 10.1s and it puts you down a bit but when you get into the competition it’s anyone’s game and to come fifth and nearly medal, I couldn’t ask for anything more.

“To come into a competition and run three PB’s in three different races in two days is brilliant. I knew it was in me all along but I couldn’t put the race together and this environment has really brought it out of me.”

There was more joy for Great Britain and Northern Ireland as four athletes qualified for the finals and one made it through to the semi-finals on another great day of athletics at the World Junior Championships.

Joint-team captain Jake Norris (Paul Dickenson, Windsor, Slough, Eton and Hounslow) qualified for the final of the men’s hammer with the best distance of all competitors, a huge 76.95m in the second round.

He will be joined in Friday’s final by Bayley Campbell (Paul Dickenson, WSEH) who threw 69.75m, good enough for 11th position overall.

Katy-Ann McDonald (Philip Kissi, Blackheath & Bromley), making her major competition debut for the British junior team, produced an unbelievable second 400m to qualify for the final of tomorrow’s women’s 800m, as teammate Isabelle Boffey (Douglas Stone, Enfield & Haringey) faltered in her semi, finishing eighth in 2:11.49.

Sitting fifth at the bell, McDonald blitzed through the field to finish second in 2:03.20, a new personal best, something that she admitted took her by surprise.

McDonald said: “I was not expecting that at all. I wanted to go in and do my best and it worked. I had a feeling I had that in me but I wasn’t sure whether or not it would come through but it did so I’m happy with it.

“I didn’t even expect to be here until the day before selections were drawn and to be in the final is absolutely amazing. I wasn’t expecting to be in this position at all.”

Jason Nicholson (Janice Kaufman, Gateshead Harriers) annihilated his personal best and qualified fastest for the men’s 110m hurdles final tomorrow, but teammate Josh Zeller (Ken Spencer, Bracknell AC) missed out.

Nicholson clocked a personal best of 13.58 (1.0m/s) in the heats to qualify second, despite stumbling and doing a forward roll over the line. He then eclipsed that time as he recorded 13.32s (1.4m/s) in his semi-final, beating Damion Thomas, the U20 110m hurdles (99.00cm) world record holder in the process.

After winning his heat, Nicholson said: “I looked up at the time straight away and that PB is just huge! I’m not shocked I’ve made the final because I knew I had it in me to run that fast. To come past the Under 20 world record holder how I did at the end is huge.

“I didn’t expect to that so it’s a huge confidence boost. I knew this season my times could be better so I’m really happy that I’m here and I’m getting the big PB’s. After that I think I can push for a medal.”

Zeller won his heat to qualify for the semi-final after winning his heat in 13.59 (0.7m/s), despite clattering hurdle seven on his way down the track, but a run of 13.91 (-0.5m/s) in the semi-final, again hitting hurdles seven and eight, cost him dearly.

Kristal Awuah (Matthew Thomas, Herne Hill Harriers) set a personal best of 11.35 (1.8m/s) to win her heat and secure automatic qualification for the semi-finals of the women’s 100m tomorrow.

She assessed: “It was a good performance but I need to try and get into my run a bit quicker. I started really well but I have to get into my rhythm a bit quicker and if I can I think I’ll be fine.

“I’m aiming for another PB in the next round but it’s all about how I execute the semi-final. It’s all about getting through the early rounds first and then seeing what happens.”

#Represent