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Ennis, Johnson-Thompson and Miller Delight at Bird's Nest 

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Nick Miller


22 August 2015

It was a strong start for the British Athletics contingent in the opening session of the IAAF World Championships at the Bird’s Nest Stadium, Beijing.

Jessica Ennis-Hill (Toni Minichiello) and Katarina Johnson Thompson (Mike Holmes) occupy the top two places after the first morning of action in the women’s heptathlon.

Ennis-Hill’s total of 2192 points came after running 12.91 in the 100m hurdles before recording a season’s best of 1.86m in the high jump. Just 30 points back in second place is Johnson-Thompson, who herself started strongly with a personal best of 13.37 in the hurdles before topping the standings in the high jump with a clearance of 1.89m.

Nick Miller (Tore Gustafsson) needed just one throw to secure automatic qualification for the men’s hammer final. The 22 year old, who broke the 31 year old British record last month threw 77.42m and was understandably delighted to start his campaign in such strong fashion.

Miller said afterwards: “Today went well, it was exactly what I needed to do, just the same as I have been doing in training all week. I’m very happy, I try not to think about too much, and now everything matters tomorrow. I don’t really look around too much in this kind of thing. I’m like in training and I look at the floor, so it feels the same to me.”

In the second qualifying pool, Mark Dry (Chris Black) was unable to follow Miller, with the Commonwealth Games bronze medallist bowing out of the competition with a best throw of 73.87m.

Laura Muir (Andy Young) and Laura Weightman (Steve Cram) successively navigated their way through to tomorrow’s 1500m semi-final. Muir came from the back in the initial stages before moving her way through the field to finish second in the first heat in 4:05.53. In the final of three heats, Weightman took the sixth automatic qualifying spot clocking 4:06.13 but felt the full force of a fall as she crossed the line.

“It (the race) was really good – I just stayed at the back out of trouble to let things settle down and then came through when it started to speed up a bit. I’m really pleased with the way I did it and I’m looking forward tomorrow. 

In the men’s equivalent, Michael Rimmer (Jon Bigg) narrowly missed out on a place in the semi-final finishing a tenth of a second off automatic qualification. Teammate Kyle Langford (George Harrison) was left disappointed after seeing his campaign come to an end crossing the line in seventh in the second heat. 

Follow British Athletics' coverage of the IAAF World Championships via @BritAthletics and www.facebook.com/BritishAthletics