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UK Athletics

IAAF World Junior Championships PB hat-trick For GB openers

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The morning’s session for the Norwich Union GB team started well with six out of the eight athletes progressing impressively in their events.




Wade Bennett Jackson (Belgrave Harriers) and Harry Aikines Aryeetey (Sutton & District) both qualified for the afternoon’s semifinals with solid runs in the early morning haze at the stadium. Harry AA started his day’s work with second place in his heat in 10.45. Bennett-Jackson however upstaged his team-mate and proved his talent with a PB of 10.34 to win his heat and qualify fastest of all qualifiers.



Both Martyn Rooney (Croydon Harriers) and Grant Baker (Leicester Coritanians) progressed in the hot sun of late morning. Rooney made a relaxed start to his heat then worked the top bend before relaxing again in the straight to amble home in 46.25. Grant Baker finished second in his heat, although had a nervous moment on the line when the Kenyan athlete in his heat almost pipped him.




Asha Phillip (Newham and Essex Beagles) showed she could match the male sprinters stride for stride in a fantastic performance that saw her go through to this afternoons semis. Quicker than anyone else in her heat out of the blocks she held her form marvellously to run a cracking PB of 11.45 – an improvement of 0.21 of a second, and matching the UK U17 age group best set by Sonia Lannaman at the Munich Olympics.



There were mixed blessings for the two athletes over the hurdles this morning. Perri Shakes Drayton (Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets) set a new PB when finishing 4th in her heat in 58.04 – a position which hid the fact that she was in fact 9th fastest of all the qualifiers making up tomorrow’s semi finals. Unfortunately, Ellen Howarth Brown could not progress in a tough final heat under the midday sun. Her 61.49 was way down on her best of 58.74 from earlier in the season.

Hammer Sarah Holt (Sale Harriers) was armed with an umbrella for shade, an ice pack and a wet towel to fight off the burning sunshine as she went into her qualifying pool of the hammer. But her best of 54.78m and 8th place in her group did not see her progress to the final in her first major international. Martin Rush – U20 Team leader reflected on the morning’s performances. “It’s been a satisfying start  - particularly in the short sprints. I’m pleased that there have been three personal bests, and the sprinters all clocked quality times. It shows they have managed to transfer straight from the preparation camp into competition mode.”