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18 world junior championships qualifiers at england athletics under 20 and under 23 championships

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Dina Asher-Smith

22 June 2014

18 athletes secured their place on the GB & NI team for the World Junior Championships at the England Athletics Under 20 & Under 23 Championships in Bedford this weekend.

Athletes with a valid qualification standard who won their event were guaranteed a seat on the plane to the Championships, which take place in Eugene, Oregon, on 22-27 July.

Perhaps the performance of the weekend came from David Omoregie (coach: Mike Guest) who broke the British and European 110m hurdles record with a time of 13.17 to comfortably win the event and be assured of a place at the World Junior Championships.

He said: “I couldn’t be happier. I thought I could run that fast but I didn’t think that I’d do it today. I’ve had such a stressful week so I just wanted to come here and try to win, but to come away with that I’m so happy. It’s secured my place for Eugene so I can go away and prepare for that now.”

There was an impressive sprint-double for Dina Asher-Smith (John Blackie) who won the 100m in a wind-assisted time of 11.11 (+3.0m/s) and then took the 200m title in a phenomenal time of 22.74; the second fastest time ever by a British junior.

Asher-Smith was overjoyed to guarantee her place in both sprints at the World Junior Championships. 

“I’m so happy,” she said. “I’m going to Oregon now so I can finally follow them on Twitter! It certainly bodes well. In the 100m I didn’t feel like I ran my perfect race so to run that kind of time with an illegal wind definitely bodes well.”

Ojie Edobururn (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo), one of the junior men with a World Junior qualifying standard, false started in the final of the 100m leaving the path open for Reuben Arthur (Tawiah-Dodoo) to take the title and secure his place on the GB & NI team, crossing the line in a time of 10.36, again with an illegal following wind of 2.6m/s.

Arthur said: “It was a good race and felt good. That’s a lot of pressure off the shoulders and now I can look forward to the World Juniors and hopefully run well there.”

The standout field performance came from Chris Kandu (John Herbert) in the high jump who took the victory thanks to a clearance of 2.24m. The 18 year old was happy with his performance and already looked ahead to competing at next weekend’s Sainsbury’s British Championships.

“I’m content with that,” he explained. “I’m not 100% at the moment; I slightly twinged my back so I wasn’t expecting anything. But I’ve been working with Fuzz Ahmed and my own coach John Herbert and technically it came together today. Hopefully now I can recover and give it my all next week in front of a big crowd in Birmingham.”

In the junior women’s 1500m there was a great battle between the two women with the Oregon qualifying mark of 4:18.00, Amy Griffiths (Mick Woods) and Bobby Clay (Peter Mullery), with Griffiths overhauling Clay in the closing stages to take the win in 4:18.88.

Afterward Griffiths said: “I’m delighted, Bobby is an amazing runner and anyone could have won the race. This takes the weight off the shoulders and now I can just train hard and progress.”

There was also a World Juniors qualifier in the junior men’s 1500m as Shaun Wyllie (Jeff Seddon) won in a time of 3:50.55, having already set a qualifying mark of 3:41.43 earlier this month.

He said: “That was probably the most nervous I’ve been coming into a championships, I knew it was going to be tough. Qualifying for Eugene has been on my mind quite a lot which is probably why I was so nervous today but I’m happy to have secured my place and I can finally relax for a few days.”

Another exceptional performance came on the Sunday from Elliot Rutter (Dan Cossins) in the junior men’s 400m. He defeated Jack Crosby (Rick Betts), who previously topped the rankings with 46.69, to run his own World Junior Championship qualifier of 46.39.

Rutter said: “I’m really delighted; I don’t even quite believe it yet. That had been coming for a while but I just needed the right race and it’s happened today. I’m looking forward to Eugene now; I’ve got time to get some good training in and then hopefully drop it even further.”

In the junior women’s equivalent, Cheriece Hylton (Blackie) broke the championship record in winning with a time of 53.56, but she couldn’t quite achieve the World Junior Championships qualifying standard of 53.30.

However there were World Junior qualifiers in both 400m hurdles races as Shona Richards and Jacob Paul (both Marina Armstrong) won in times of 57.61 and 51.90 respectively.

Richards said: “The main intention for the weekend was to book my place for Eugene and I’ve done it so I’m really happy with that. I wanted to go for the record but I can’t complain really.”

Paul said: “I wanted to come here and do what I had to do to get the win. The World Juniors has been the aim all year and hopefully I can find some form like I did last year in Rieti (at the European Junior Championships) and take another second off.”

Other World Junior Championship qualifiers on the track over the course of the weekend were Kyle Langford (George Harrison), who won a thrilling 800m by just three hundredths of a second in 1:50.00, Yasmin Miller (Lloyd Cowan), who won the 100m hurdles by a huge margin in 13.62, Tom Somers (Geoffrey Barraclough) after winning the 200m in 21.20 and Katie Ingle (Margaret Riley) in the 3000m steeplechase thanks to a win in 10:26.22.

In the field the other qualifiers were Kimberley Reed (Scott Reed), who won the hammer with 58.13m, pole vault winner Adam Hague (Trevor Fox), who cleared 5.30m, and hammer thrower Taylor Campbell (Paul Dickenson), who won with 69.13m.

There were also some excellent performances in the under 23 age group, with heptathlon specialist Katarina Johnson-Thompson (Mike Holmes) taking the 100m title and finishing second in the 100m hurdles with times of 11.30 (+3.5m/s) and 13.41 respectively.

The 21 year old, who finished fifth in the heptathlon at last year’s IAAF World Championships in Moscow, was pleased with her weekend’s work.

She said: “I’m happy with yesterday. Me and my coach wanted to revise my 100m PB from two years ago and even with the wind I’m very happy with it but it’s just a shame that my legal PB will still be 12.00. I’m disappointed with the hurdles this morning, I’m always around 13.4.”

Kieran Daly (John Powell) won the under 23 men’s 100m in a European Championships qualifying mark of 10.18, Hayley McLean (Steve Mitchell) was close to her PB when she won the 400m hurdles in 56.74, Victoria Ohuruogu  (Lloyd Cowan) won the women’s 400m in a season’s best of 52.71 and Sophie McKinna set a championship best and season’s best of 16.47m in the shot put.

The first wave of selections for the GB & NI team for the World Junior Championships will be made tomorrow (Monday 23 June) and announced the following day, with the remaining selections being announced on 8 July.

For full results from the England Athletics Under 20 and Under 30 Championships click here: http://www.englandathletics.org/live-events