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child & Gemili third in Rome

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Adam Gemili Rome
5 June 2014


The Rome Golden Gala kicked started the European Diamond League season this evening, and there were impressive third place finishes for both Adam Gemili (coach: Steve Fudge) and Eilidh Child (Malcolm Arnold).

Kick-starting the Great Britain & Northern Ireland track action was Child, who got off to the perfect start looking silky smooth over the hurdles, as she led down the back straight. Coming off the bend the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix bound Scot was right in contention, battling down the home straight to equal her third place finish in Doha earlier in the season.

Child shaved almost a second off her season’s best with her 54.82 clocking, and was pleased with her run.

“I’m delighted with that even though the race didn’t go quite as planned. We’ve been trying a new stride pattern in training, which I lost a little bit at hurdle five but it was a solid performance and it was great to be in amongst it! Hopefully I can just keep shaving a bit off my time every race.

“Today I was thinking if I could run low 55 seconds I’d be happy, so to go sub 55 I’m really happy. There aren’t many girls who gone under 55 seconds yet this year, so it’s a nice place to be.”

Looking ahead to the rest of the Diamond League season, Child was particularly excited about the prospect of the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix.

“I can’t wait for it! To get the opportunity to race in Glasgow before the Commonwealth Games is going to be brilliant. The crowd out there tonight was brilliant so to have your home crowd behind you, and a lot of rowdy Scots, it’s going to be awesome!”

The Stadio Olimpico fell quiet for the first time all evening as the men’s 100m runners went into their blocks, with Richard Kilty (Rana Reider) in lane six and Gemili on the outside in lane nine. Both men got solid starts but it was sub-20 second 200m man Gemili who came storming through the field to clinch third place in a season’s best 10.07.

That time was just shy of his 10.05 personal best, and afterwards he reflected:

“It’s a great feeling to come third in a field like that. I love racing – it’s what we train every day for, so to do it on a stage like that with an awesome crowd, it’s great.

On his start, which he said pre-race he was working on, Gemili commented:

“It was better than last week and the times are getting quicker so as long as I keep getting better and keep working hard I can’t see why I can’t keep it progressing, and hopefully I can glue that together with a good second half and the times should be quicker.

In the end Kilty faded to ninth in 10.26, a run that he was very disappointed with.

“I didn’t come out here and run how I should have done. I can still say it’s early season and indoors it took me a couple of races to get into the swing of things as well, but it’s still a bit of a disappointing run.”

In the women’s 100mH all eyes were on a head to head between Sally Pearson, who took gold at London 2012 and 2013 IAAF World Champion Brianna Rollins. However that duel didn’t materialize as Pearson hurt herself in warm up. That left Rollins to take victory, with Tiffany Porter (Reider) not her usual consistent self, finishing fifth in 12.90, seemingly hampered by being away from the action out in lane eight.

Jo Pavey (Gavin Pavey) and Julia Bleasdale renewed their London 2012 rivalry after they both missed the 2013 track season due to pregnancy and injury respectively. Both women were slightly frustrated by the up and down pace of the race, however it was season’s best and V40 world record for Pavey with a 15.04 performance. That time gave Pavey a 10th place finish, with Bleasdale just seven seconds further back in 14th.

In the men’s 400m, Conrad Williams and Nigel Levine (both Linford Christie) faced different challenges, with Williams in lane one and Levine in lane nine. Running blind for most of the race, Levine clocked a season’s best of 45.86 in seventh, with Williams running 46.29 to finish eighth.

The sole British athlete competing in the field, Brett Morse (Andy Brittan), finished 11th with a throw of 58.88m in a field which contained the top eight from the IAAF World Championship final in Moscow last year.

The highlight of the meeting had to be Mutaz Essa Barshim clearing 2.41m in the men’s high jump beating a stellar field in the process. Not only was this a personal best for the Qatari, but it was a national and area record, as well as a Golden Gala meeting record.

Hear what the British athletes in action had to say post-race by heading to British Athletics TV: ww.youtube.com/BritishAthleticsTV