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Athletics - 27. June 2012.

European Championships Day 1

European Championships

Day One Morning Session

Women’s 100m Heats

Jeanette Kwakye (Michael Afilaka) suffered disappointment in the first round. The 2008 Olympic finalist, who has been struggling with injury this summer, could only manage 7th in a time of 11.98 and therefore does not make the semi-finals.

“It's not enough - I've got no words for it. I think I would have kicked myself had I not tried... It's tough, the timing is brutal,” she admitted.
Her compatriot Ashleigh Nelson (Michael Afilaka) qualified for the semi-finals with a season’s best of 11.43 to finish third in the final heat.


Women's Long Jump Qualification

There was disappointment for Abigail Irozuru (Larry Achike) in the women’s long jump. The Sale Harrier could only manage 6.19m and as a result failed to make tomorrow’s final. Irozuru, who jumped the Olympic A standard earlier this season is now focussing her attention to another meet before next week’s selection deadline.

“I'm shocked and very disappointed,” she said.

“I've made finals since 2007 from junior championships with further distances than that. I've never jumped 6.19 at a championships.

“There's a women's league in Hendon so I'm going to have to try and fly back, because I thought I would get the distance here.”


Women's High Jump Qualification

On her senior international debut Isobel Pooley (Fuzz Ahmed) failed to qualify out of group A. 1.78m was not enough to earn the Aldershot athlete a place in tomorrow’s final. Despite the 12th place, Pooley admits she will learn from the experience.

“I'm fine in myself but I don't know what happened to my jumping," she admitted. "I didn't feel stressed out, I felt happy, I felt calm, everything I wanted to do I feel like I did apart from clear the bars. But it's a complete puzzle to me, but I'll work it out and come back stronger next time. I was probably more nervous at the trials this weekend than I was out there, but I need to go away and think about it, I have to enjoy and learn from this because it is my first senior international.”


Women’s Javelin Qualification

Laura Whittingham's (Esa Utriainen) European Championships ended at the first attempt in qualification group A. 52.82m was only good enough for 9th place and the Sale Harrier was disappointed with her performance despite suffering with a multitude of injuries this term.
"I had an injury for a while but it's ok, that wasn't the problem," she reflected. "I have been struggling to find my throwing again this season after elbow and shoulder injuries so it's been tough. I guess it's the experience of a championship which is valuable but it's not the experience I was hoping for."

Meanwhile there were no such problems for Goldie Sayers (Dan Pfaff). Sayers’ throw of 60.90m meant she topped qualification group B. Afterwards the Belgrave Harrier spoke about the importance of the European Championships as she prepares for the Olmypics.

"It’s an important competition this for me, it’s great preparation for London and there are not many people missing from the javelin that will be there in London," she acknolwedged.

"I feel very good at the moment, and I'm pleased to be out of the stadium while a few of my rivals are still out there."

Women’s 400m Hurdles Heats

Rain descended on the Olympic Stadium as Meghan Beesley (Nick Dakin) stepped onto the track, but it did not deter the Birchfield Harrier as she claimed a place in the semi-finals.

Although not a desired time and position - 57.18 and 5th - Beesley conceded there is room for improvement.

“I'm surprised I got through, it felt like a horrible race," she said. "That felt like my season this year, raining as I walked out. But hey what can you do I'm well practised. My stride pattern wasn't working there, but I'm more prepared there for the tightness of the bends now for the semis. It is pretty tight, but I've raced on worse and people run fast on it so it can't be so bad.”


Day One Evening Session
Women's 400m Heats

Lee McConnell (Rodger Harkins) was the only female Brit to qualify for the semi-finals. The Scottish athlete ran a good race in heat 3 in a time of 52.58 to finish second.

“That was alright, I felt better, I felt I was running more in a flow than I have been in other races and I felt strong so quite happy with it,” said McConnell. “I think it's because I didn't have anyone else to think about and I was able to focus on me and go with how the body felt and that helped. I think I can run a bit quicker tomorrow.

It was not so good news for Nicola Sanders (Tony Lester) and Kelly Massey (Stephen Ball). Sanders withdrew prior to the competition having not recovered sufficiently from the Aviva 2012 Trials. While Massey finished a disappointing sixth in heat one and did not make the next round.

Women's 100m Semi-Finals

Ashleigh Nelson equalled her season's best time of 11.43  to finish sixth in the second semi-final but against a strong field it was not enough to make the final.


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