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evans adds to gb & ni's bronze medal haul in discus

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George Evans

19 July 2015

The bronze medal success continued as George Evans (Duncan Flockhart, Shaftesbury Barnet) added to Great Britain and Northern Ireland’s medal tally in the Boys discus on the penultimate day of the IAAF World Youth Championships.

Evans produced one of the best performances of his career to secure the British teams’ third bronze medal of the Championships but it was a nerve-wracking competition. The Scot only made one mark, 60.22m in the second round but that was more than enough for him to secure a surprise medal at his first major championship.

He sat in third position with three rounds of throws left and after much nail-biting, he held on for a stunning medal triumph. The gold was won by South Africa’s Werner Visser in 64.24m with China’s Yuhan Wang picking up silver in 60.33m.

He said afterwards: “It’s not what I expected – I only got one throw out in the second round and I thought that would settle me down a bit but I got more nervous as people started increasing their distances. I’ve come out in the end with a bronze medal so I am very happy, the performance couldn’t be better.

“It’s a new experience for me. I knew what I had to do, try to relax, forgot about the last throw and focus on the next. I was only a metre off my PB so I’m delighted. I have thrown further before so I maybe thought there was a possibility of getting a medal because anything can happen on the day. One of the best competitors in the field (Sweden’s Wictor Petersson) fouled on his first three throws so you never know. It got to the final round and I went into the cage knowing I had guaranteed a medal which was an amazing feeling.”

He added: “It was the first time I have ever thrown in a stadium like this and it was probably the best experience of my life so far – absolutely fantastic.”

Harriet Knowles-Jones (Paul Roden, Warrington) enjoyed the race of her life in the 1500m to grab a tremendous fourth place and a lifetime best of 4:18.61. After an opening lap of 62 seconds, which Sabrina Sinha (Mark Newell/Peter Mullervy, Cambridge Harriers) bravely co-led for the first two laps, Knowles-Jones remained patient and had a scorching last lap to come from behind at the bell to finish as the first non-African, similar to James Gormley the previous night.

A shocked Knowles-Jones said: “I got fourth? Oh my goodness, I cannot believe it. I really struggled in the heats so I’m so happy to run like that tonight. On the last lap, I was basically running scared. It went off fast but I just tried to be sensible with it. Everyone in the crowd was screaming as we went around – it was unreal. It was a difficult race but I’m so pleased with that.”

Sinha admitted she was ‘pumped up’ for the final and has ‘no regrets’ for going with the early fast pace. She ultimately finished in 11th posting 4:29.85 in a race won by Ethiopia’s Bedatu Hirpa in 4:12.92 which coupled as a World Youth Lead.

Earlier, Cameron Tindle (Henry Gray, Edinburgh AC) and Toby Harries (Jon Bigg, Brighton Phoenix) serenely qualified for the Boys 200m final tomorrow. Harries won his heat comfortably in 21.10 (-0.6) and his Scottish roommate was third in his heat but ran 20.99 to be the next fastest qualifier. Both are looking forward to representing their country in the final at 21:45 UK time.

Tindle said: “I thought my start was probably one of the worst I’ve done in a while. I was really working on the bend to try and keep up. It felt like I made a bit of ground coming down the home straight so maybe if I get a better start, my race will come together. Nerves weren’t too bad; I was just focused on getting the job done. It’s time to relax and get ready for the final now.”

Niamh Emerson (David Feeney, Amber Valley) completed the heptathlon is stunning style to win her 800m heat in 2:15.27, the quickest in the entire field and finish in a career best of 5384 points overall. She had earlier pulled another lifetime best out of the bag in the final round of the long jump. Her leap of 5.69m improved her previous best by 5cm and she also threw 28.91m in the javelin to finish in 13th overall.

“I was really impressed with my 800m, I was really happy with that. The stands down the back straight are so full and you are just like ‘oh wow’. I’m normally so nervous but I just turned it on tonight. It wasn’t a great javelin earlier in the day but a decent long jump. The experience has been absolutely amazing, said a delighted Emerson, who achieved four PBs during the competition.

Also in the heptathlon, Michelle Hughes (Tony Benton, Havering), who was hampered by her knee after hitting a hurdle in the first event yesterday, valiantly continued and finished on 5.60m in the long jump earlier today and set 29.57m in the javelin. In the same 800m heat as her compatriot, Hughes battled hard and gave it everything to finish in 2:27.91 and bring her campaign to a close on 5208 points for 21st place.

She commented after her 800m: “I am pretty disappointed with my performance here but I feel like I have learnt so much about the heptathlon because I am still pretty new to the event. Hopefully I’ll be selected for a GB & NI team again in the future and be more competitive. I’m so grateful to British Athletics for giving me the opportunity to represent GB.”

Earlier in the day Emily Wright (Dan Cossins, Bristol & West) assured herself of a place in the Girls long jump final with a leap of 5.94m (+0.6) making her the 10th qualifier.

Full results can be found here: http://www.iaaf.org/competitions/iaaf-world-youth-championships/9th-iaaf-world-youth-championships-2015-5408/timetable/byday

Highlights of day four can be found on British Eurosport 2 on Sunday 19 July – please check listing for broadcast times.

Medallists and Top 8 performers

George Evans – Boys Discus bronze

Rechmial Miller – Boys 100m bronze

Catherine Reid – Girls 400m bronze

Oliver Bromby – Boys 100m fourth place

Harriet Knowles-Jones – Girls fourth place

James Gormley – Boys 1500m fifth place

Hannah Brier – Girls 100m sixth place

Alicia Barrett – Girls 100m Hurdles sixth place

Hannah Williams – Girls 400m sixth place

Ada’ora Chigbo – Girls High Jump =sixth place

Jake Norris – Boys Hammer - seventh place