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Jenny Meadows

 

18 March 2010

The smell of success was in the air this weekend as a host of Britain’s top athletes stormed to victory at the IAAF World Championships.

Competing in the Aspire Arena, in  Doha, Qatar Jessica Ennis, Dwain Chambers, Jenny Meadows and the men’s 4X400m relay team made up of Conrad Williams, Nigel Levine, Chris Clarke and Richard Buck all put in fantastic performances for a podium finish.

Ennis,led from the first event, the hurdles, and increased her lead to 75 points when she  also went on to triumph  in the high jump, clearing 1.90m. Although Ennis finished 5th in the shot put, she showed enough grit and determination to achieve Personal Bests in the two remaining events, long jump and 800m, which secured her the gold medal and a points total of 4,937, a mere 54 points outside the World Record. Winning the World Indoor title makes Ennis the only female British athlete ever to hold both indoor and outdoor World titles.

She said: “I’m really pleased; it was amazing to come here and compete against a top world class field. I did have the record in my sights and it would have been phenomenal. I left it all on the track but unfortunately I didn’t get it. It’s so close”.

Chambers became the second Brit to claim the 60m gold when he thundered down the track and crossed the line in 6.48 seconds, the fastest time in the world this year.

He said: “That was the hardest six seconds of my life. I did the best I could and I’m grateful for the opportunity. Everyone has been so supportive, UKA staff and athletes. I’ve done everyone proud. I’m just happy”.

Elsewhere in the men’s 100m, it was sad news for Harry Aikines-Aryeteey, who sailed through the first round of competition but then pulled up with a hamstring injury in the semi final; disappointing end to what has been a great season for him.

Meadows continued her brilliant indoor form and produced the best performance of her career in Doha, setting a  new national record in the process. Unfortunately this wasn’t quite enough to clinch the gold from Russian Mariya Savinova, the only woman to beat Meadows this year. Meadows, moving to the front with 300m to go, crossed the line in 1:58.43, just behind the strong finishing Russian, who pipped Meadows to the post in a time of 1:58.26.

Meadows said: “With 100m to go, emotions started overcoming me and I looked at the screen and I could see Mariya coming so I came back harder but she just got it. Having said that, I can’t be disappointed with my time, or a world silver medal. I’ve got a world bronze and a world silver, now I need a world gold to complete the hat trick”.

The Men’s 4 x 400m relay team, comprising of Richard Buck, Nigel Levine, Conrad Williams and Chris Clarke, scooped the bronze medal after facing a nervous wait to see if they would be invited to the final as the fastest losers.

Richard Buck, who ran the anchor leg, said: “I thought everyone had gone early in my leg of the race so I held up and then I needed to deal with that gap. As I sprinted towards the line all I could hear was the British supporters and all I could see was the boys waiting for me. There was no way I was going to let that medal go.

In the men’s high jump Samson Oni finished seventh in the final with a jump of 2.24m but there was disappointment for Tom Parsons as he was eliminated in the qualifying round on count back.

He said: “It’s my own fault, I felt good, got close, but it didn’t happen. I need to clear qualifying heights first time. I’ve been in the game long enough to know that. I’ve now got to look forward to the Europeans and Commonwealths this summer and use what I’ve learnt”.

In the women’s 4x400m, the new team, consisting of Kim Wall, Perri Shakes-Drayton, Lee McConnell and Victoria Barr, faced tough opposition in the straight final from the USA, Jamaica, Russia and the Czech Republic. In the final leg it looked as though the Aviva GB and NI team had clinched fourth place but the Czech team had just that little bit more left in the tank, leaving the Brits to cross the line in fifth place.

Barr said: “That was a really tough race; it’s hard to go in to a final cold without heats. This is a different team and it gives us a springboard now for the summer”.

Elsewhere on the track, Helen Clitheroe ran close to her season’s best in the 1500m to finish a respectable eighth place in the final and six time 60m UK Champion Joice Maduaka also put in an impressive performance to finish fifth in her semi final heat in a time of 7.35 seconds.

The World Championships mark the end of a successful indoor season for the Aviva GB and NI team with the focus now moving to the outdoor season which kicks off with the Aviva European Trial and UK Championships at the Birmingham Alexander Stadium on 25th - 27th June.

To see Britain’s top athletes compete for a place at the European Outdoor Championships tickets are available by phone on 08000 556 056 or online via this link