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manchester international: meet the 2016 medallists

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Ahead of tomorrow’s inaugural Manchester International meeting at Sportscity, we look at six athletes who will compete for the Great Britain Juniors team, all of whom have won medals at the World Junior Championships or European Youth Championships this calender year.

Callum Wilkinson (coach: Mick Graham) – 3000m Race Walk

Having finished in the bronze position at the British Championships back in June, Wilkinson further backed up his potential as he swept to world glory in Poland at the back end of a July in a world-leading time of 40:41.62. In doing so, he became the first British male to hold a world race-walking title for 52 years.

Speaking on his achievement in Bydgoszcz, Wilkinson said: “As I crossed the line it was a feeling of relief but also disbelief - I can’t believe I am world champion! I am sure I’ll get called that at home and won’t even realise it’s me.”

Wilkinson will look to walk to glory once again in Manchester tomorrow, this time over 3000m.


Isabelle Boffey (Douglas Stone) – 800m

Boffey has enjoyed a highly-successful year so far with gold medal glory at the European Youth Championships in Tbilisi, Georgia – an accomplishment she took some time to come to terms with post-race.

“I don’t think I’ve realised how big representing my country and being number one in Europe is yet. This is the biggest achievement of my athletics career; I thought getting into the GB team was an amazing thing in itself, but to win a gold medal makes it so much better.”

Now clocking in around the lower regions of 2:06 following a personal best (2:06.13) at Bedford’s Inter-County Championships just two weeks ago, the 16 year old will head to Manchester hoping to post another personal best.


Jona Efoloko (John Smith) – 4x100m

Efoloko’s British bow came in Georgia a month ago on the back of a consistent start to the season over both 100m and 200m.

The Sale Harriers athlete seized his opportunity on the European stage with a magnificent gold, clocking a time of 21.15 in the final with a superb burst in the final 25 metres, just three-hundredths of a second shy of his personal best.

Post-race in Georgia he commented: “I can’t believe it, European champion – I’m speechless. I just had to keep pushing and pushing and that’s what I did to come away with the gold medal. I’m so proud to be part of the British team.”

Efoloko will compete in the 4x100m relay at Sportscity.


Jake Norris (Paul Dickenson) - Hammer

British U18 record holder Norris was the first junior to medal in Tbilisi last month, setting the team off on their path to the total of 13 medals, with a fine personal best (5kg) throw of 79.20m to bring home a silver medal.

Following his triumph, the 17 year old admitted he hoped his European medal would serve as another stepping stone in his long-term goal to reach the Olympics, saying: “Seeing three British athletes qualify for the Olympics makes me want to do even better, and at the moment I’m ahead of where those guys were. If I can keep up this progression, hopefully I can make a Games too.”

The Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow athlete will throw the 6kg hammer in Manchester - in doing so he’ll look to add distance to his best throw of 71.07m with the junior weighted implement.

 

Holly Mills (James Coney) - Long jump

Long jump specialist Mills’ finest hour came in Tbilisi earlier this year when she leapt to a distance of 6.19m to win European Youth gold.

Afterwards a delighted podium topper said: “I came in ranked third and I can’t believe I ended up coming away with the gold medal.

“I feel like a changed athlete, it’s my first time abroad and I feel like a proper athlete now. Having now won that medal I feel a really big part of the British team.”

Away from the runway Mills is also something of a hot prospect on the sprinting front, with a clocking of 8.67 earlier this year in Sheffield seeing her become England’s under-17 indoor champion in the 60m hurdles.

Rees will contest the long jump in Manchester and hope to further her personal best of 6.29m.


Alisha Rees (Willy Russell) – 100m

Having previously represented England at the Commonwealth Youth Games, Rees earned her first British youth call up for July’s championships in Georgia. She repaid the faith shown in her with an exceptional silver medal in the 200m, running a personal best of 23.57 to win her semi-final.

After her medal winning run in Tbilisi she commented: “Being a part of the British team is the best thing ever. We all support each other and have become really good friends and I don’t think we would have achieved the amount of medals if it hadn’t been for that.”

Rees will compete over 100m in Manchester, a discipline she has also clocked a best in this year having run 11.63 back in June. 


The full British Athletics U20 team for the Manchester International on Wednesday 17th August:

Junior Men

100m

Gerald Matthew (Jane Dixon)

200m

Ryan Gorman (Karen Buck)

400m

Alex Haydock-Wilson (Earl Herbert)

800m

Nathan Gillis (Tony Houchin)

Mile

Tom Holden (Mark Hookway)

3000m

Paulos Surafel (Craig Winrow)

110mH

Robert Sakala (Piotr Spas)

400mH

Joe Fuggle (David Hull)

2000mSC

William Battershill (Jason Saretsky)

3000m Race Walk

Callum Wilkinson (Mick Graham)

4x100m

Jona Efoloko (John Smith)

Ryan Gorman (Karen Buck)

Nick Stewart (Ryan Freckleton)

Dom Ashwell (Marvin Rowe)

4x400m

Alex Haydock-Wilson (Earl Herbert)

Connor Wood (Brian Scobie)

Owen Richardson (John Davis)

Joe Brier (Neal Merry)

High Jump

Tom Gale (Denis Doyle)

Pole Vault

Adam Hague (Trevor Fox)

Long Jump

Alex Farquharson (Andy Vincent)

Triple Jump

Wesley Matsuka-Williams (Denis Costello)

Shot

Daniel Cartwright (Jan Aarre)

Hammer

Jake Norris (Paul Dickenson)

Discus

Patrick Swan (Mo Pearson)

Javelin

Harry Hughes (Michael McNeill)

 

Junior Women

100m

Alisha Rees (Willy Russell)

200m

Finette Agyapong (Coral Nourrice)

400m

Ella Barrett (Daniel Duke)

800m

Isabelle Boffey (Douglas Stone)

Mile

Erin Wallace (Dudley Walker)

3000m

Bobby Clay (Rob Denmark)

100mH

Mollie Courtney (David Warner)

400mH

Holly McArthur (Iain McEwan)

2000mSC

Aimee Pratt (Vincente Modahl)

3000m Race Walk

Emma Achurch (Steve Arnold)

4x100m Relay

Alisha Rees (Willy Russell)

Vera Chinedu (Ryan Freckleton)

Jenna Wrisberg (Alan Wrisberg)

Charmont Webster-Tape (Lorna Boothe)

4x400m Relay

Ella Barrett (Daniel Duke)

Jill Cherry (Allan Scott)

Megan Davies (Shaun Ainge)

Mair Edwards (John Davis)

High Jump

Emily Borthwick (Fuzz Caan)

Pole Vault

Jessica Robinson (Ellie Spain)

Long Jump

Holly Mills (James Coney)

Triple Jump

Naomi Ogbeta (Tom Cullen)

Shot

Divine Oladipo (John Hillier)

Hammer

Katie Lambert (Steve Pearson)

Discus

Divine Oladipo (John Hillier)

Javelin

Bethan Rees (Mark Pinner)

 

More information on the Manchester International can be found via:

http://www.englandathletics.org/athletes/england-athletics-team/england-athletics-team/manchester-international

Tickets for the Manchester international can be purchased via:

http://www.ticketweb.co.uk/event/england-athletics-manchester-international-tickets/241653