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fantastic start for Gb & ni in colombia

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Rechmial Miller
15 July 2015


Day one of the IAAF World Youth Championships was a scorcher both on and off the track. With the mid-morning sun beating down in Cali, the GB & NI team got off to a sterling start with a number of athletes qualifying for semi-finals and finals.

Rechmial Miller (Ryan Freckleton, Hercules Wimbledon) made a blistering start to the Championships, recording a personal best in the final heat of the boys 100m in a time of 10.49 (-0.7), an improvement of 0.01 seconds. He won his heat and was third fastest overall to advance to the semi-finals at 18:25 (local time) this evening.

Miller said afterwards: “I’m really happy with that – there was someone ranked higher than me in the heat so it was good to beat him. I just had to make sure I gave everything. I’ve still got a bit to work on but I’m happy with that. I’ll go back to the hotel to relax now and go again later.”

Oliver Bromby (Sara MacDonald-Gray/Gary MacDonald-Gray, Southampton) joined Miller in the semi-finals and won his heat comfortably in a time of 10.53 (-0.2).

Bromby commented: “My start wasn’t great but my strength is near the end and I think I showed that in my heat but I’m glad to make the semi-finals. I’ve never competed anywhere as extravagant as this before so it was a great experience.”

Rounding off the session, the 400m girls Hannah Williams (Colin Gaynor, Herts Phoenix) and Catherine Reid (Di Shimell, Manx) confirmed their spots in the semi-finals and it was worth the wait. Williams smashed her PB by nearly half a second setting 53.93 for second place in her heat behind Canada’s Kyra Constantine. Reid earned an easy second place in the final heat posting a time of 54.69.

Clearly delighted with her performance Williams said: “It went well – I judged it to go fast for the first 80m and crossed 200m in 24 seconds so I knew I could relax a little bit then. I’m so pleased and it was amazing to compete here – the stadium is huge!”

Sam Talbot (Eldon Lake, Exeter) kicked off proceedings in the decathlon, the first time the event has been held at the IAAF World Youth Championships. He started the competition in the perfect way by setting a personal best in the 100m by 0.01 seconds - recording 11.07 (-0.9). The result gave him 845 points for third place after one event. He then moved onto the long jump where he jumped a best of 7.12m for an additional 842 points and in the shot put (5kg) he threw 13.25m, 12 cm down on his best, for 682 points. Overall he lies sixth in the competition after three events on 2369 points with the high jump and 400m to come this evening.

Alicia Barrett (Daniel Duke, Chesterfield) and Hope Sarti (Glyn Peckham, Guildford & Godalming) lined up in the 100m hurdles and did not disappoint as both athletes made it through to the semi-finals tomorrow evening. Barrett won her heat and posted a PB and UK Youth record of 13.46 (+0.6) which was the fourth fastest from all the heats. Sarti was second in her heat setting a time of 13.77 (-1.3) and admitted afterwards that she was shocked how comfortable she felt on her international debut.

The 17 year old Sarti modestly said: “I’m shocked - I’ve never run a race so aggressively, I was screaming as I went over every hurdle. I can’t believe it – I came in ranked 14th so I didn’t expect to qualify quite so comfortably.”

The 1500m boys kick-started their campaigns and they faced tough fields on the opening day of competition. With the top four qualifying automatically in each heat, James Gormley (John Wood, City of Sheffield) had an anxious wait after finishing sixth in heat one in 3:55.27. He appeared to stumble around the final bend when close to the top four but held on to advance to Friday’s final as the last of the fastest losers.

Markhim Lonsdale (David Lowes, Crook) found it tough on his maiden appearance for GB & NI and finished ninth in 4:02.45, failing to advance further in the competition. He became detached from the leading group half way through the race after the pace picked up significantly. However, afterwards, he demonstrated a professional attitude and commented that he has lessons to learn from this experience.

“I’m disappointed – I knew it was going to be tough but I just didn’t have it in my legs on the day. Now I know my level against worldwide athletes so that is something to drive towards in training. I know this was a down, but you have to experience these moments to enjoy the ups. I know where I am now and I will come back stronger”, said the north east athlete.

Ada’ora Chigbo (Ken Holmes, North Somerset) was in high jump qualification action and booked her place in the final with a jump of 1.77m. There were worrying times when she failed twice at 1.73m but she found her best when it was needed and made it on the final attempt. She will now take part in the final on Friday evening.

Full results can be found here http://www.iaaf.org/competitions/iaaf-world-youth-championships/9th-iaaf-world-youth-championships-2015-5408/live#timetableSession and follow @BritAthletics for the Evening session starting at 23:00 tonight.

The evening session will start at 17:00 local time (23:00 UK time) with coverage available the live feed at http://www.watchathletics.com/schedule/event-date/2015-7-15 or there are highlights on British Eurosport 2 each day from Thursday 16 July – please check TV listings for confirmation on broadcast times.