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norris leads a string of european junior qualifiers as british athletics' juniors shine in loughborough 

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Jake Norris

Hammer throw specialist and European Youth silver medallist Jake Norris (coach: Paul Dickenson) was the pick of the bunch as a host of the British Athletics juniors team secured European Junior qualifying marks at the 59th edition of the Loughborough International at the Paula Radcliffe Stadium, Loughborough this afternoon.

Norris, who had already thrown the qualifying standard for June’s European Junior championships with a mark of 76.97m in April, started his pairing of consecutive lifetime bests with the 6kg implement with 77.04m in round two, before a huge attempt saw him break 78m for the very first time with the 6kg as he registered 78.09m.

Speaking on what was a superb series, Norris said: “I’m really happy with it – I didn’t expect to come here today and throw a PB because it never seems to happen for me in Loughborough, so to break that is great.

“I think after I threw over 77m (77.04m) I relaxed quite a lot, and as I did that it allowed me to just polish up my technique a little more so before the next couple of throws. Generally I feel good, but I know there’s more to come – hopefully I can hit 78m and upwards again now.”

Following Norris’ lead, there were some superb performances out in the field as James Tomlinson (Paul Jensen) hurled the 1.5kg discus out to 63.48m, a new British U18 record, while Tom Gale (Denis Doyle) continued his rich vein of form of recent by adding another 2cm to his personal best with a clearance of 2.22m at the third attempt.

“It felt so good to be attempting 2.26m at the end; I’m over the moon,” said Gale.

“The minimum expectation coming in today was to clear 2.15m. After clearing 2.16m at the third time of asking I got to 2.19m and just thought ‘clear it with no hassle’, which I did, so to go on from there and clear 2.22m before having a go at 2.26m just felt so surreal.”

The women’s 3000m steeplechase match saw BUCS champion Emily Moyes (Mick Woods) recover from a heavy early fall to charge down the home straight for 10:27.15, a posting inside the European Junior qualifying mark and a huge 14-second personal best as she claimed second behind Wales’ Jade Williams.

Reflecting on the race, Moyes commented:

“I could see the clock going so I was trying to sprint in as hard as I could – it was like déjà vu from BUCS all over again, I ran 10:41 on my own previously and I came here today targeting the European Junior standard, so hopefully I managed to run inside it.”

European Youth champion from 2016, Isabelle Boffey (Douglas Stone) showed her class as she stuck on the heels of England’s eventual victor Alexandra Bell to post 2:04.64 in the 800m, with the time a personal best by nine tenths of a second and well within the European Junior standard of 2:06:00.

It was a tightly contested race in the women’s 100m match race, with guest racer Imani Lansiquot (Jonas Dodoo) coming through strongly over the final 20m or so to take victory in a European U23 qualifier of 11.39, while British Athletics junior representative Alisha Rees (Willy Russell) claimed fifth in 11.62, her quickest time so far this year and a European Junior qualifier. Later in the day Rees would impress again as she ran inside the European Junior standard for 200m with 23.61.

The men’s triple jump saw British junior Jude Bright-Davies (David Johnson) clear the European Junior standard of 15.70m by 1cm for an impressive lifetime best, while a stacked men’s 100m match saw Ojie Edoburun (Jonas Dodoo) pull through for the win in 10.06, with only the wind-speed of +2.1m/s denying the 20-year-old from claiming a significant personal best.

In the 100m hurdles, and after what she confessed was a “poor start” by her own standards, last year’s IAAF World Junior finalist Alicia Barrett (Toni Minichiello) clawed back the distance on leader Karolina Kolecezk of Poland only to run out of track before the line, with her swift time of 13.18 not able to pass as a European Junior qualifier due the +2.2 tailwind.  

Loughborough University’s representative Morgan Lake (Fuzz Caan) took the win in the High Jump thanks to a best of 1.89m, while three failures at 1.85m meant multi-event specialist and British Athletics’ junior team member Niamh Emerson (David Feeney) settled for third place in her first outing of the year in the discipline.

Impressive outings by several other British seniors included Andy Pozzi’s (Benke Blomkvist) victory for 13.32 over the 110m hurdles ahead of David Omoregie’s (Blomkvist) 13.47, with both times qualifying standards for London’s IAAF World Championships. Jack Green joined the pair in securing a standard ahead of July’s trials and August’s championships, with his 49.27 posting good enough for victory ahead of Seb Rodger (Stephen King) in 49.78 over the 400m hurdles.

In the para athlete sprints, world and Paralympic champion Sophie Hahn (Joseph McDonnell) ensured her race would be one to remember as a blistering run saw her revise her own T38 world record to 12.49 ahead of a world class field which included T44 world record holder Sophie Kamlish and Marlou van Rhijn.

In the field, F46 world record holder Hollie Arnold (David Parker) threw a best of 40.13m in the javelin, her best ever season opener, while T44 sprinter Jonnie Peacock (Dan Pfaff) stopped the clock at 10.80 in his second outing of the day.

Full results from the Loughborough International can be found via: http://lia.athletics-uk.org/