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UK Athletics

Norwich Union GB Juniors in Mannheim

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Under 17 sprinter Asha Phillip and Under 20 hurdler Zara Hohn emphatically justified their selections in the Norwich Union Great Britain and Northern Ireland Junior Team at the Mannheim International in Germany by running qualifying times for the IAAF World Junior Championships to be staged in Beijing later this season.


Competing against athletes mostly two years her senior, Phillip clocked two personal bests in her 100m races. She won her heat (wind: +0.4 m/s) in 11.73 seconds, the quickest of all four heats. And she improved in the final (wind: +1.5 m/s) to 11.66 seconds to finish equal first with Juliane Stolle (Germany) and to go up to sixth in the UK Under 17 Women’s all-time rankings. So Phillip improved her PB by a full fifth of a second on her GB Junior international debut.


Phillip also anchored Norwich Union GB to victory in the Junior Women’s 4x100m. Joscelynn Hopeson, Joey Duck and Lucy Sargent teamed-up with her to clock a satisfying 45.35 seconds and will have another run-out tomorrow.


Hohn twice beat the 100m hurdles qualifying time for Beijing. She was second in her heat in a personal best of 13.70 seconds (wind: +0.6) and then clocked 13.71 in the final (wind: +1.6 m/s) for equal third place alongside Marie Hagle (Norway). Winner Anne-Kathrin Elbe (Germany) clocked 13.48.


Grant Baker also ran an impressive personal best, in the 400m. Despite being drawn in an outside lane, he paced himself superbly to secure a commanding victory in 46.67 seconds, inside the Beijing qualifying standard.


Norwich Union GB’s other victor, as expected, was Harry Aikines-Aryeetey, the World Youth 100m and 200m Champion. But he was pushed all the way by his team mate, Wade Bennett-Jackson, who is aiming for his second World Junior Championships. Aikines-Aryeetey won the final (wind: +1.1) in 10.39, a hundredth ahead of Bennett-Jackson. But Bennett-Jackson had proved the faster of the pair in the heats, winning in 10.43 (wind: +1.5) to Aikines-Aryeetey’s 10.49 (wind: +0.3).


Unluckiest Brit of the night? Ryan Scott twice missed the World Juniors 100m qualifying standard of 10.50 seconds by narrow margins. He won his heat in 10.53 (wind: +1.2) and then clocked 10.51 for fourth place in the final.


The meeting continues on Saturday 8 July.