20th May 2024


Conditions were perfect in a hot and sunny Paula Radcliffe Stadium in Loughborough on Sunday for the Loughborough International which provided a great opportunity for the Great Britain and Northern Ireland Under 20s team (GBJ) at the start of a busy summer that sees some targeting the World Athletics U20 Championships in Lima in August and the European U18 Championships in Slovakia in July.

After an exciting afternoon with some outstanding performances across all the teams the GBJ team finished third with 74.5 points with the honours going to England on 98.5 and hosts, Loughborough Students second with 88 points. Victories in the men’s 800m, women’s sprints, and men’s shot set the team up with the relay teams helping to secure third place.

Mabel Akande (Denise Timmis, Lincoln Wellington) was victorious for GBJ in the women’s 100m in a PB of 11.52, after a great late surge, agonisingly 0.02 seconds short of the 11.50 World Juniors standard.  It was a sprint double for GBJ with Kissiwaa Mensah (Prince Duwai, Chelmsford) taking the 200m honours in 23.70, a couple of metres clear of Hannah Brier of Wales who was second in 23.86.

On his home track, Henry Jonas (Tim Ash, City of Norwich) took the victory in the 800m finishing in 1:51.24 just four days after running a PB of 1:47.44 at the BMC. With three athletes in contention with 200m to go, the Loughborough student hit the front on the final bend and held off challenges from Loughborough’s David Race and England’s Jack Higgins, to secure maximum points for GBJ.

The men’s 100m was won by the experienced Andrew Robertson in 10.61 with GBJ’s U18 Joel Masters (Jon Humphries-Cuff, BFT Track Academy/Rugby & Northampton) gaining excellent experience to finish third in 10.80.  Dean Patterson (David Watson, Glasgow Jaguars) was seventh in the men’s 200m, after competing earlier in the sprint-relay win, in a season’s best of 22.25.

It was a GBJ victory in the men’s shot put with Isaac Kambamba Delaney (Greg Beard, Preston) throwing a season’s best 17.94m ahead of the U18 athlete, Lawrence Capes, grandson of the legendary Geoff Capes, who threw a PB 17.86m.

The Gandy Mile remembers the legendary George Gandy, who was Director of Athletics and Lead Endurance coach at Loughborough for many years who died in 2020.  It was England’s Sam Charig with the win after hitting the front with 600m to go and remaining strong right to the tape. GBJ’s George Couttie (Joanne Day, Harrogate/Charleston) stayed with him until 200m to go when the England athlete pulled away to win in a PB of 4:09.25 with Couttie also securing a PB of 4:09.54 for second place.

The heat was telling in the women’s 3000m steeplechase with an impressive second place for Ella Davey (Shireen Higgins, Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow) in 10:47.69 with the Loughborough favourite, Amelia Wells taking the victory in 10:32.67. The women’s one-mile was won by Scotland’s Hannah Anderson in a PB of 4:41.73 with Ava Lloyd (Trevor Painter, Wigan & District) taking second for GBJ in an excellent PB of 4:43.59.  The race had been wide open at the bell, but these two athletes pulled away on the back straight with the Scottish athlete just too strong for Lloyd who still finished very strongly.

The women’s high jump attracted a stacked field including Katarina Johnson -Thompson (Aston Moore, Liverpool) the current world heptathlon champion, and Emily Borthwick (Wigan), tenth in the world indoors in 2022. Commonwealth Youth silver medallist, Thea Brown (Joanne Harding, Sale Harriers Manchester), was a very impressive second with a season’s best jump of 1.83m with Johnson-Thompson taking the victory in 1.86m.

There was a great battle in the men’s high jump with Scotland’s William Grimsey and the British champion competing for Loughborough, Joel Clarke-Khan both jumping season’s bests of 2.23m and 2.19m respectively for first and second and GBJ’s Ethan Glyde (Denis Doyle, City of Plymouth) taking sixth also in a season’s best jump of 2.07m.

Daisy Snell (Guy Spencer, Blackheath & Bromley) was second in the women’s long jump with the U18 GBJ jumping a huge PB of 6.16m in the event which was won by England’s Alice Hopkins with a leap of 6.52m. The men’s long jump went to England with Alexander Farquharson’s 7.65m. GBJ’s Sam Wright (Simon Hemmings, Chelmsford) was fifth with a leap of 7.20m.

It was an excellent third place for GBJ’s Ayesha Jones (Janina Pownall, Marshall Milton Keynes) in the women’s javelin with a huge PB throw of 51.66m in her first season as an U20 with the 600g javelin.  England’s Bekah’s Walton took the win with a throw of 59.36m.

The first Match track event of the afternoon was the 100m hurdles, with GBJ’s Jessica Duncton (Paul Gripton, Birchfield Harriers) making an excellent start leading at the halfway point but was pipped by England’s Etienne Maughan and NAL’s Marli Jessop with the Birchfield Harrier finishing in a season’s best of 13.66 for third place. In the men’s 110 hurdles Daniel Goriola (Tony Jarrett, Blackheath & Bromley) went in the junior race finishing in a season’s best of 13.76.

The one-lap hurdles saw Arabella Wilson (Andrew Fisher, Winchester) battle through in the outside lane to take fifth place in a season’s best of 1:00.79 with BUCS champion, Orla Brennan taking the victory for England in 59.38. Meanwhile, Samuel Lunt (Andrew Fraser, Wirral), currently number one ranked European junior, was fifth in the 400m men’s hurdles in 51.49.

The women’s 400m attracted a stacked field including European relay medallist Scotland’s Zoey Clark but it was Loughborough’s Poppy Malik that took the win in 53.41 with under-18, Kara Dacosta (Stephen Ball, Trafford) a very creditable fourth from the tight inside lane in 54.42. Thomas Bennett (Jim Kidd, Taunton) was sixth in the men’s 400m, also drawn in the inside lane, in 48.24.

In the first of the middle distance races, Eleanor Strevens (Christopher Voice, Eastbourne) had to take it wide on the final bend as most of the field were still in contention and eventually finished seventh in a PB of 2:07.73 in the 800m won by Khahisa Mhlanga in 2:04.82.

Alexander Sproston (Kyle Bennett, Crawley) was sixth in the men’s 3000m steeplechase for GBJ in 9:28.46 with Corey Campbell (Alister Russell, Team East Lothian) fifth in the flat 3000m in 8:17.78 in a race that was wide open with 300m to go.

The women’s 3000m was won in style by England’s Innes Fitzgerald in 9:08.91 with Jess Bailey an excellent second in 9:10.18 both securing the World Junior standard. GBJ’s U18 Isobelle Jones (Wolverhampton & Bilston) was eighth in 9:34.36.

In the field, Julie-Anne Boachie (Harrow/Loughborough Students) was eighth with a jump of 11.44m in the women’s triple jump while for the men, Brandon Lee (Joe McColgan, Mansfield) was fourth with a leap of 14.54m.

The discus events saw Scotland’s Nick Percy, five-time British champion, take the win with a throw of 60.48m with GBJ’s Teddy Gannon (Gary Power, Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow) throwing the 1.75kg U20 discus to finish fifth with a season’s best throw of 53.04m. Nubia Evans-Shields (Mark Chapman, City of Plymouth) threw 41.47m for eighth place in the women’s discus.

In the women’s hammer, Amelia Fettis (Newport Harriers) finished fifth with a throw of 47.25m in an event won for England by current UK champion, Charlotte Payne, in 67.32m.  Current British champion, Jake Norris (Paul Dickenson, Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow) took the men’s hammer for England with a throw of 76.08m with Kai Barham (Dartford Harriers) fourth for GBJ with his 68.88m third round throw.

Cleo Agyepong (John Hillier, Blackheath & Bromley) was fourth in the women’s shot put with a throw of 14.31m with England’s Serene Vincent taking the win with a PB of 17.78m.

The U18, Isabella Turner (Dacorum) was ninth in the women’s pole vault with a 3.55m clearance. In the men’s equivalent, William Lane (Trevor Fox, Sheffield & Dearne) was fifth clearing a season’s best 4.80m in an event won by England’s Owen Heard with a 5.45m clearance.

In the first of the Para events, the 400m, Travis Anderson (Durham), T20, finished in a season’s best of 56.21 in a race in which South African 2020 double Paralympian champion, Ntando Mahlangu, T61, representing Loughborough Students finished first in 52.42.

In the Para 1500m Arthur Miles (Trevor Cummings, St Mary’s Richmond), T12, was fifth in 4:18.59.  GBJ’s Maddie Down (Mike Bennett, Halesowen) was second in the Para 100m in 13.20 with multiple Paralympic champion, England’s Sophie Hahn impressively taking the victory in 12.90, her second win of the afternoon. In the men’s Para 100m, T37 athlete, Tomi Roberts-Jones (Morgan Jones, Newport Harriers) was fifth in 13.91.

In the final field event of the day, Scott Hopper (Robert Wilkie, Glasgow Jaguars) was ninth in the men’s javelin with a throw of 58.89m in an event won by England’s Ben East with a throw of 73.05m.

The relay events were amongst the loudest of the day with the big crowds enjoying the excitement and unpredictability of the changeovers. After a series of excellent baton changes the GBJ men’s team in the 4 x 100m 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/Rugby & Northampton) took the win in 39.76.  In the equivalent women’s event it was also a comfortable victory for GBJ in 44.59 for Renee Regis (Darren Braithwaite, Shaftesbury Barnett), Faith Akinbileje (John Blackie, Blackheath & Bromley), Kissiwaa Mensah and Mabel Akande.

In the four-lap relay, the women’s 4 x 400m team of Emma Holmes (Victor Oyesola, West Cheshire), Kara Dacosta, Rebecca Grieve (Francis Smith, Woodford Green & Essex Ladies), and Charlotte Henrich (Nigel Stickings, Invicta East Kent) were fourth in 3:36.44. In the final track event of the day the men’s GBJ team of Alex Houchin (Stewart Marshall, Worcester/Loughborough Students), Sam Lunt, Thomas Bennett and Demari Gumbs (Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow) took a significant second place in 3:11.14 which sealed third place overall for the team.

Results are available on the Roster app.