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FIVE PROGRESS AT MORNING SESSION

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Jenny Meadows
Meadows leads five to next stage of competition in Doha
12 March 2010

On the first day of the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Doha, Qatar the Aviva Great Britain and Northern Ireland team were cheered into the next stages of competition by a crowd full of British expats.

Led by World 800m bronze medallist and team captain Jenny Meadows (Trevor Painter), five athletes progressed through their first rounds, a fine start to the largest indoor event in the world at the impressive Aspire Dome.

Meadows returned to international competition alongside debutant Vicky Griffiths (Stan Roberts) in the 800m heats.

Meadows, who along with Head Coach Charles van Commenee gave an inspiring team speech at the pre competition team meeting, took her own advice to ‘step up’ as she dominated her first 800m heat leading from gun to tape in a swift 2:00.39.  

She said: “It was good to finish first, get in the front and stay out of trouble. I’ve got two and a half days now to put my feet up and get set up for the final. I did have nerves but last year helps me rise above that now. I was fully expected to qualify and I did.”

Griffiths however found herself towards the back of the pack in her heat as the front runners made their move at the bell. Amidst some pushing the Liverpool Harriers athlete was unable to challenge for a qualification place despite a strong home-straight run. She crossed the line in seventh place with 2:04.90.

She said: “That’s not as good as I wanted, I just couldn’t get into the right position. It could be a lack of experience in these races where there’s lots of pushing. But there are definitely lots of lessons to take away, being picked for the senior team has given me a fire in my belly. I’m now planning on competing at the Commonwealth Games and going for qualification for the Europeans.”

Carl Myerscough (self coached) progressed to the final of the Men’s shot in fine form with a best throw of 20.44m, easily inside the 20.30m qualification mark. His competition progressed from a first effort of 18.79m and a no throw, to 20.44m, his best throw since 2006.

The Californian based athlete said: “That was nearly a huge disaster I had to pull it out in the final throw. I had trained all winter and done the work, I just had to believe in myself. I went into that last throw and thought ‘just throw and stop worrying.’ I’m delighted and really looking forward to the final.”

Steve Lewis (Steve Rippon) grabbed a place in the final of the Men's pole vault after a dramatic three and a half hour qualification round. Following a successful opening jump at 5.30m he failed to reach 5.45m on his first attempt and hit the matt clutching his arm. After a quick medical examination he returned to competition where he flew over the height on his third try. On 5.60m he experienced difficulty but came through on his last chance to clear the qualification mark.

A relieved Lewis said: “I smashed my elbow and irritated my nerve so I lost all the feeling in my right little finger, luckily that’s my bottom hand so I could continue. That was a long qualifier and it’s hard to keep your rhythm when you have up to an hour between jumps.

 

“I’m in the final and I want to jump as high as I can, I’m in good shape and I’ve got an eye on the British record.”

 

Richard Buck, looked in good shape as he progressed to the semi-final of the Men’s 400m with a fastest qualifier place. He started well and held a strong position to the line in third place with 47.02.

The City of York athlete, who moved to the UKA National Performance centre in Loughborough last year to work with National Event Coach Michael Khmel, said: “At 200m it felt pretty good and I thought I had the strength to pull round at the end but Berenes (CRC) is a class athlete and I didn’t have as much as I thought. I’m disappointed not to qualify automatically.”

Dale Garland (self coached) failed to qualify through the first heat of the Men’s 400m, the Channel Islands born runner chased a large gap for much of the race but failed to close in on the leaders. He crossed the line in fourth place with 48.26.

Garlandsaid: “The time was really slow, Gillick went through 200m at 21.9 and I can do 22 dead so I should have been on his back but I wasn’t. I’m really upset with that time and certainly haven’t done myself any favours for the 4x400m relay with that.”

In the Men’s 800m youngsters Andrew Osagie (Craig Winrow) and Ed Aston (Mike Smith) suffered mixed fortunes.

Osagie ran a strong first heat on his senior debut to clock a new personal best of 1:47.40 and cross the line in third place for automatic qualification after the American Nick Symmonds was disqualified.

The university student showed his potential for the future saying: “That’s my first outing in a senior GB vest and I got a PB and qualified. It’s a good start to my international career, I knew I was in good shape and training has been going well. It’s awesome to run in a GB vest and there were so many British supporters shouting my name even though I’ve never met them and that’s great.”

Aston left the competition prematurely after a fourth place finish in the second heat. The determination was evident but the Cambridge and Coleridge athlete fell foul tactically and chased the leading three to the line.

He said: “That was really tough I would have liked to have run quicker. This is a new stage where you have to compete at a different level and I was out of my comfort zone. But there are no excuses I’ve got to get back on the track, work hard, use what I’ve learnt and make me stronger to qualify for Barcelona.”

On her senior debut Vikki Hubbard (Graham Ravenscroft) fell short of qualification with a no height at 1.89m. She jumped well to reach that mark with a first time clearance at 1.81m and second chance at 1.85 but 1.89m was out of reach.

“It was my first experience as a senior, everyone takes that one. I’m disappointed but everyone has to take the first experience. I warmed up well and I thought I took the competition well. There was lots going on, long jump, pole vault and high jump at the same time, but that’s something I have to get used to and definitely something to work on.”