16th July 2021


Three field eventers reached their finals, Abigail Pawlett remains third in the heptathlon after five events, and hurdlers and endurance athletes advanced to semi-finals during the morning session on day two of the European Athletics U20 Championships in Tallinn, Estonia.

Co-captain Charlotte Payne (coach: Paul Dickenson, club: Reading) moved into the women’s hammer throw final after a strong series of throws in qualification pool A.

She started with 60.39m and improved to 61.73m on her second throw. With 63.00m the automatic qualifying mark, she came incredibly close with 62.94m on her final attempt but booked her place in the final regardless as she finished third in her pool and fourth overall.

She said ahead of the second qualification pool, “I started out strong and I built on it, so I can’t ask for anymore. I was 6cm off the automatic qualification mark but hopefully I have done enough to make the final now. I know I have a lot more that I can build on if I make the final. I was just getting going today!

“I am a lip-reader because I am deaf, so the masks make everything a little bit harder and little more stressful, but I am getting used to that now. I just try to focus on myself, so I’m glad my performance has gone well.”

On receiving the co-captaincy earlier this week, she added, “To be recognised and chosen to be captain was an honour. It is great to lead such an incredible team of talented athletes.”

Kirsty Costello (Chris Bennett, Kilbarchan) missed out on a place in the hammer final, however the best throw of her series measured in at 56.45m.

The British duo of Lazurus Benjamin (Matt Cullen, Sale Harriers Manchester) and Reuben Nairne (Brian Donaldson, Glasgow City) both successful negotiated the men’s pole vault qualification as they reached their first European final.

Nairne was the first to clear 5.00m on his first attempt after one foul at 4.90m previously. That mark put him inside the top 12 placings in the field. For Benjamin, he went over 5.00m on his second attempt to confirm his slot in Sunday’s final. Despite fouls at 5.10m, they qualified in 10th [Nairne] and 11th [Benjamin].

Nairne said, “It was bittersweet. The warm-up wasn’t good, but I took off in the competition and was clearing bars. Going first I knew I’d be pressuring others, so I did what I had to do.”

Benjamin was also pleased, saying, “The weather is very very hot, so keeping cool was so important. Concentration was key, I had to be more focused. But I’m happy to be clearing bars, and I’m privileged to reach the final.”

After finishing day one of the heptathlon on 3486 points to lie in third position, Abigail Pawlett (Joe Frost, Stockport T&F) returned for the track for the long jump. After a foul on her first attempt, but a season best of 6.03m (1.1) came at just the right time.

She followed that mark with an equal PB of 6.09m on her final jump, her second PB of the competition so far. Following the event, she is still in third position in the overall standings on 4363 points with the javelin and 800m to come later this afternoon.

Opening the morning’s action on the track, Joseph Harding (Laura Turner-Alleyne, Basildon) secured swift progression into the men’s 110m hurdles semi-finals later today. After

Going in heat one, Harding finished third in a time of 13.90 (1.5) to qualify automatically for the semis at 14:25 BST this afternoon.

Lily Parris (Julie Benterman, Chelmsford) and Mallory Cluley (Lorna Boothe, Blackheath and Bromley) both made it through to this afternoon’s semi-finals after solid displays at the Kadriorg Stadium.

Parris ran a wind assisted PB of 13.54 (2.3) on her way to second in heat four to advance, while Cluley was involved in one of the quickest heats and despite finishing fifth, she sealed one of the fastest non-automatic qualifying spots to reach the semis after posting a time of 13.88 (3.1).

Adam Booth (Graeme Gourlay, Poole AC) produced a fine display as he won his heat in the 400m hurdles to qualify for the semi-finals on Saturday afternoon. He attacked the opening 200m which put him in a strong position as he came around the bend, and he continued to move away from the rest of the field as he won convincingly in a time of 52.42.

Henry Johnson (Lynn Cooper, Houghton Harriers) and Daniel Howells (Richard Ashe, Aldershot Farnham and District) both moved into the semi-finals of the men’s 800m following heat wins on another hot morning in Tallinn.

In heat three, Johnson stayed out of trouble and made a move down the backstraight to put himself in pole position, and he held his form to bring home the heat win in 1:52.69.

Howells sat in fifth at the bell but a decisive move down the backstraight saw him enter the final bend in the lead and he would hold onto that, crossing the line in 1:49.72.

Daniel Joyce (Peter Venus, Tynedale) narrowly missed out on a fastest non-automatic qualifying place after finishing fifth in his heat in 1:51.37

The event is streamed on the European Athletics website and live results can be found here: https://tallinn21-u20results.european-athletics.com/en/results/athletics/daily-schedule.htm