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youth olympic Games (2)

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David Bolarinwa
David Bolarinwa

18 August 2010

David Bolarinwa (coach: John Powell), the fastest under-18 in the world this year, qualified for the A final of the boys’ 100m with ease as Team GB’s athletes fared well overall on the second day of track and field competition at the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore (14-26 August).

Bolarinwa, who has won a number of high profile titles in 2010 including the Youth Olympic Games European Trials, Aviva England under-20 Championships, Aviva English Schools and Aviva Schools International, has been outstanding this season, most recently clocking the second fastest time ever by an under-17 in the UK with a lifetime best of 10.39 in the Lee Valley Open Sprints on 4 August.

His winning time in this morning’s qualification round was 10.62, one-hundredth of a second quicker than 15 year-old Jamaican Odane Skeen who also took the win in his heat.

In the girls’ 100m, Annie Tagoe (coach: Clarence Callendar), runner up in the Trials, progressed through to her own A final as third fastest overall, winning her heat in 11.78.

Both athletes now have their sights set on podium finishes in Saturday evening’s finals (21 August).

In addition to sprint duo Bolarinwa and Tagoe, Charlie Grice (coach: Jon Bigg), Sophie McKinna (coach: Geoff Capes) and Freya Jones (coach: Bill Bushnell) made it through to their respective finals in the 1000m, shot putt and javelin respectively.

Grice, runner up in the Youth Olympic Trials but with more recent victories in the Aviva English Schools Championships and Aviva Schools International, made easy work of his 1000m qualifying heat; he looked strong and in control down the home straight, taking victory – and a position in Sunday morning’s A final - in 2:24.74.

McKinna, ranked number three in the world in the under-18 category going into the Youth Olympic Games, has achieved back to back victories since returning from the Trials in Moscow in May. She went into her shot putt qualification with confidence and made it through to Sunday evening’s final with a modest 14.30m.

Also an English Schools and Schools International winner in recent weeks, Freya Jones (Bill Bushnell) made it two from two for the girl throwers with a best of 48.24m to finish seventh in qualifying and secure her place in Sunday evening’s final.

Unfortunately, and in spite of a brave attempt to re-join a strong field after clipping a barrier and falling in the boys’ 2k steeplechase, Zak Seddon (coach: Jeff Seddon) was unfortunately disqualified for stepping onto the infield.

However, benefiting from the rule which enables all Youth Olympic Games athletes to have a second run – even if disqualified – he will contest the B final on Monday morning (16 August).

“Conditions today were much more bearable for the athletes in addition to the  small band of Team GB friends and family supporting the athletes in the Stadium,” said Jo Jennings, UKA’s Athlete Development Manager and the Team Leader for athletics in Singapore.

“The results today were really pleasing with five from six of our athletes progressing through to their respective A finals. Now that they’re in with a shot of a medal winning performance it’s given a boost to the whole tea and is really encouraging. 

“Zak’s qualification was very tough and to hit a barrier so early on in the race was always going to make qualification extremely difficult, but he gave everything in trying.

"Singapore is certainly producing some extreme weather conditions with very high temperatures and humidity and then huge thunderstorms with torrential rain.  The athletes are keeping themselves prepared within the Olympic Village, resting and ensuring they are hydrated which is essential.”

The athletics qualification programme concludes tomorrow (Thursday 18 August). Finals will take place between Friday 20 August and Monday 22 August.

The Youth Olympic Games involved 3,600 athletes, aged 14-18, from over 200 nations. For more information visit www.singapore2010.sg

For more on Team GB check out the BOA website at: http://www.olympics.org.uk