5th July 2022
THREE CROWNED EUROPEAN U18 CHAMPION AS GB & NI TEAM WIN SIX MEDALS ON DAY TWO
On the second day of the European Athletics U18 Championships, Great Britain and Northern Ireland won six medals to sit comfortably on top of the medal table.
Cleo Agyepong [shot put], Mia McIntosh [100m hurdles] and Nia Wedderburn-Goodison [100m] all sealed maiden European titles, while Edward Bird [3000m], Renee Regis [100m] and Paige Stevens [shot put] all earned bronze medals on a successful day in Jerusalem.
Mia McIntosh (coach: Jake Awe, club: Harrow) started the Great Britain and Northern Ireland medal juggernaut rolling as she was crowned European U18 Champion over the 100m Hurdles, taking the title in style as she ran a Championship Record time of 13.05 (+1.8), which is also a British U18 Record. She had earlier run 13.09 (+2.1) to win her semi-final and qualify for the final.
Speaking after the final, McIntosh said: “I’m very happy and very emotional. I came here and did everything my coach wanted me to do. I am just so overwhelmed to be coming away with a gold medal.”
Not to be outdone, Nia Wedderburn-Goodison (Andre Williams, Harrow) also ran a Championship Record to win the 100m in dominant fashion. Her time of 11.39 (+1.8), which was also a personal best, came after a dominant semi-final performance of 11.30 (+2.8) clocking.
Wedderburn-Goodison said after the final: “I wasn’t sure how fast I was going to run, I just really wanted to win. When I crossed that line and saw the time, I was really happy as it was a big personal best. In the final, I got out well and when I transitioned, I felt really confident, then I was just thinking ‘hold form, hold form’ and I’m so happy to come away with the gold.”
Joining Wedderburn-Goodison on the podium was Renee Regis (Tamunonengiye-Ofori Ossai, BFT Track Academy) who equalled her personal best time of 11.58 to claim bronze. She earlier clocked 11.62 (+1.6) to finish second in her semi-final and progress to the final.
Regis commented: “I’m really happy with my performance. I recently returned from injury so to come here, win a medal and run a personal best, I can’t ask for much more.”
In the field, there was a superb gold medal for Cleo Agyepong (John Hillier, Blackheath & Bromley) in the shot put final. Agyepong launched the shot out to 17.39m in round three for a European U18 lead and another British U18l Record to add to the evening’s roll of honour.
Reflecting on her performance Agyepong said “I was really disappointed when I went back to the hotel after qualifying yesterday. I saw today as my second chance, and I did not want to waste that. I was working on drills last night and this morning and I am so pleased to deliver a gold medal today.”
Paige Stevens (Alison Grey, Falkirk), who is primarily a heptathlete, came to the championships ranked outside of the top 10. But a personal best in the qualification round yesterday qualified her for the final. Sitting in fourth place going into the final round, Stevens produced another lifetime best of 16.69m to win a surprise bronze medal and join Agyepong on the podium.
Speaking after the final, Stevens said: “Words cannot describe how I am feeling. I came in ranked 11th so I came in to just enjoy the experience and I certainly wasn’t thinking about medals, my goal was top eight. The personal best in the qualifying round gave me great confidence, particularly in that final round when I need those extra few centimetres to take bronze.”
The 3000m final brought the session to a close but not before Edward Bird (Mark Pauley, Poole AC) added another bronze medal to the Great Britain and Northern Ireland medal tally.
Entering the final lap leading a group of four athletes, Bird dug deep in the final 100m to win bronze in a personal best time of 8:14.59.
James Knockton (Richard Goddard, Trafford) did a lot of early front running but faded to 15th with a time of 8:36.43.
Bird was quick to thank his teammate after the race: “I started the race thinking ‘I’m in with a good shout if I get this right’, I wanted it to be a fast race and I have to thank James for taking it out and being fearless, it was such a bold move and it certainly helped me to win the medal.”
Dejaune Lingard (Ryan Freckleton, Cambridge Harriers) won the opening 100m semi-final in 10.33 (+3.2) to qualify for the final before running a British U18 Record of 10.48 (+0.6) to finish in sixth place.
Elsewhere, after two tough days of competition, Seren Rodgers (Steve Shaw, Taunton) ran 2:24.74 in the final heptathlon event, the 800m, to score 760 points. Rodgers finished the competition with a personal best total of 5324 points to finish seventh overall.
She said soon after, “I am so happy, I wanted to finish 10th, that was my aim as I came here ranked 14th so to finish seventh is amazing. To come away today with a personal best in the long jump and javelin I’m very happy, it’s just a shame I couldn’t quite finish it off in the 800m.”
Earlier in the session, Teddy Wilson (Tamunonengiye-Ofori Ossai, BFT Track Academy) finished third in his 100m semi-final in 10.62 (+1.2) missing out on the top two automatic-qualification places. Meanwhile, Daniel Goriola (John Gates, Bexley) also narrowly missed out on the 110m hurdles final by the thickness of a vest. Goriola ran 13.66 (+2.2) for third in his semi-final, the same time as second place but unfortunately, it was not enough for a fastest non-automatic qualifying place.
In the field, Libby White (David Watson, Ayr Seaforth) finished 11th in the triple jump final with a jump of 12.33m (+1.3) the furthest in her series.
Tomorrow morning will see Isaac Delaney (Michael Kiley, Preston) in the shot put final whilst on the track the boys and girls medley relay teams bid to make Thursday evenings final. The event consists of a 100m, 200m, 300m, and 400m leg.
Stephanie Okoro (Tony Benton, Havering) and Ophelia Pye (David Hemery, Marlborough Athletics) return for the 400m hurdles semi-finals whilst in the javelin Ayesha Jones (Janina Pownall, Marshall Milton Keynes) will compete in the qualifying round ahead of Thursdays final.
A live stream and live results will be available on the European Athletics website.
Gold: Cleo Agyepong [shot put], Mia McIntosh [100m Hurdles], Nia Wedderburn-Goodison [100m]
Bronze: Edward Bird [3000m], Renee Regis [100m] and Paige Stevens [shot put]