6th July 2022
TRIO CROWNED EUROPEAN U18 CHAMPION ON DAY THREE IN JERUSALEM
The Great Britain and Northern Ireland medal train continues to roll as the team won five medals on the penultimate day of the European Athletics U18 Championships in Jerusalem.
Charlotte Henrich (400m), Faith Akinbileje (200m) and Annie Mann (1500m) were all crowned European U18 Champions, whilst Jess Bailey (3000m) won silver and Tendai Nyabadza (1500m) won bronze.
Charlotte Henrich (coach: Carlo Monticolombi, club: Invicta East Kent) produced a storming final 150m to overhaul the majority of the field to win the 400m. Henrich capped off a fantastic week by running her third personal best in three days to take the gold medal. Her time of 53.54 means the 15-year-old has improved her personal best by one second at the championships having only run the event for the first time one month ago to qualify.
Speaking after the race Henrich said, “I can’t believe it, it’s insane! I didn’t panic after the first 200m and I believed in my race plan and put everything into the home straight. It wasn’t until I saw the result on the big screen that I knew I had won.”
Etty Sisson (Grant Barker, Charnwood) narrowly missed out on a medal finishing fourth with a personal best time of 54.06.
Faith Akinbileje (John Blackie, Blackheath & Bromley) entered the 200m as the European leader and certainly didn’t disappoint as she stormed to the finish line to stop the clock at 23.36 (+2.5), nearly seven tenths of a second clear of second place.
Reflecting on the race, Akinbileje said, “After the heat, I knew I had so much more to give in the final and I just had to give it everything I have got. When the time came, that’s what I did.”
Annie Mann (James Mann, Southampton) produced a fantastic final 100m to claim the 1500m title in a personal best time of 4:23.41. Finding herself boxed early in the race, she thought her title hopes had gone, but found an extra gear with 200m to go to claim a memorable victory.
Speaking after the race, Mann said, “I came in with a game plan and that went out the window after getting a slow start. I ended up running wide but as soon as I heard that bell I thought ‘right, it’s go time!’ I watched everyone win medals yesterday and I wanted to experience that too. I really dug deep in that final 100m.”
Jess Bailey (Matthew Long, Leven Valley) entered the 3000m as the one to beat. The young Brit trusted in her front running ability and took the lead from the gun in a bid to run the sprint out of her competitors. It almost worked as she entered the final 400m with just three in contention for the medals but a phenomenal sprint from Sofia Thorgersen (DEN) saw her claim the title. Bailey came home in 9:32.74 to claim the silver medal.
She said, “I knew the danger was always going to be the kick, so my plan was to take it out and wind it up to try and run the sprint out of her, but I went out a little too hard, even for myself, but it still worked out alright.”
In the boys 1500m final, Tendai Nyabadza (Andrew Ross, Harmeny) added another medal to the Great Britain and Northern Ireland medal tally. Nyabadza entered the final 100m in the silver medal position but had to dig deep to fend off a strong finishing Norwegian pair and was just pipped in the final 20m for the silver medal but held on for bronze.
Nyabadza commented: “It feels very, very good. Coming in ranked third I always hoped to get a medal. It would have been nice to finish higher than my ranking, but that wasn’t to be. I am still delighted to be going home with a bronze medal.”
Corey Campbell (Alister Russell, Team East Lothian) finished sixth with a time of 3:55.04.
Dean Patterson (Norrie Hay, Glasgow School of Sport) and Jamie Carrott (Joe McDonnell, Charnwood) both qualified for the 200m final. Patterson won his semi-final in 21.38 (+2.9) whilst Carrott had a nervous wait. His time of 21.53 (+1.2) was only enough for 5th in semi-final 1, but he qualified for the final as one of the two fastest non-automatic qualifiers.
In the final Carrot finished fifth with a time of 21.76 (+1.5) from lane one. Patterson initially crossed the line in fourth position, narrowly missing out on bronze, but was later disqualified for a lane infringement.
Elsewhere this evening, Alice Bates (Shane Smith, Kettering) finished 12th in the 1500m final with 4:44.41 and in the field Kai Barham (Paul Head, Dartford Harriers) finished 9th in the hammer final with a throw of 62.86m.
There is no Great Britain and Northern Ireland interest in the Thursday morning session, so attention now turns to the final session.
Stephanie Okoro (Tony Benton, Havering) and Ophelia Pye (David Hemery, Marlborough Athletics) will compete in the 400m hurdles final.
After two days off Iris Downes (Colin Lancaster, Shrewsbury) and Ella Greenway (Joanna Evans, Cleethorpes) will race in the 800m final.
In the 2000m steeplechase final Luke Birdseye (Shireen Higgins, Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow) and Oliver Patton (Robert Hawkins, Kilbarchan) will be in action.
The championships will draw to a close in the traditional manner with the medley relay.
A live stream and live results will be available on the European Athletics website.
Gold: Cleo Agyepong [shot put], Faith Akinbileje (200m), Charlotte Henrich (400m), Mia McIntosh (100m Hurdles), Annie Mann (1500m) and Nia Wedderburn-Goodison (100m)
Silver: Jess Bailey (3000m)
Bronze: Edward Bird (3000m), Renee Regis (100m) and Paige Stevens (shot put), Tendai Nyabadza (1500m)