A further six British athletes and the women’s 4x400m teams will fight for medals after successfully navigating the third morning of qualifying at the European U20 Championships in Boras, Sweden.
The qualifiers were led by world U18 & British U20 200m record holder Amy Hunt (coach: Joe McDonnell; club: Charnwood) coasted through to the final, delivering a 23.14s (0.6) time to win her semi-final, with Georgina Adam (Jonas Dodoo; Loughborough Students) following suit soon after.
Hunt blasted away on the bend before winding down in the closing stages to ensure she progressed as the fastest qualifier for the final with room to spare.
Adam then ensured she would join Hunt in the final in the second semi-final, running a strong last 50m to take second place in 23.77s (1.0). Unfortunately, teammate Hannah Kelly (Les Hall; Bolton) failed to progress, finishing as the ninth-fastest athlete and sixth in her heat, 0.05s off a spot in the final in 23.76s (0.6).
After her win, Hunt said: “I really want to rewrite what happened last year at the European U18 Championships and show everyone that I’m a force to be reckoned with. I knew from the heats everyone would be gunning for me right from the start because everyone takes it out of me in the first 100m, but it’s about maintaining it.
“I felt that everyone was a bit further back so I had time to relax a bit at the end. I’m really excited to be in the final. This has been the goal all year and I can’t wait to get out there tonight and see what happens.”
Praise Olatoke (Colin Sinclair; Kilbarchan) also booked his place in the men’s 200m final as a strong finish to his race saw him dip to secure the second automatic qualification place.
The Scot dug in when it mattered and clocked 21.32 (-0.1), placing him sixth fastest of those that progressed. Joe Ferguson (Lewis Samuel; Leeds City) was forced to withdraw prior to his semi-final through injury.
British co-captain Holly Mills (Laura Turner-Alleyne; Andover) and Josie Oliarnyk (Dominic McNiellis; Halesowen) secured themselves a spot in tomorrow’s women’s long jump final as both achieved a top 12 finish.
Mills, who is now in her third day of competition at the championships booked her place with a first-round 6.28m (2.8), placing her fourth overall, while Oliarnyk followed suit at the second time of asking with a 6.12m (1.9) effort that placed her tenth overall.
Mills assessed: “That was better than I thought I was going to jump. 6.28m in the first round is good, but my no-jump in the second round was bigger. My coach told me to save my legs for tomorrow after the second round because I was ranked fourth at that point.
“It’s so good for British long jumping to have two girls in the final, there’s not many countries that can say they have two women in the final for the long jump and hopefully we can be even stronger tomorrow.
“My legs are a little bit tired but I’m more mentally drained so I’ll probably go back and have a three-hour nap to recover and get re-energised.”
There was more joy in the field as Sarah Omoregie (Gareth Lease: Cardiff) secured her place in the final of the women’s shot put with a first-round 15.10m putting her third in her pool.
Omoregie’s effort saw her progress in seventh place overall for tomorrow’s final, but Serena Vincent (Bronwin Carter; City of Portsmouth) was unable to progress, her best effort was a 14.21m attempt in the second round.
“It felt really good out there,” said Omoregie afterwards. “I felt really pumped this morning and I wanted to go out and put together a good series. I didn’t throw as far as I would have liked to because I didn’t get the auto-qualifying mark but I’m happy that I’ve done enough to qualify for the final.
“Technically, the throw that got me through wasn’t great but it had something behind it that made it go out but now I can work on a few things and get them right ahead of tomorrow.
“I didn’t have a great season last year and to even be here I’m really grateful for. I want to go out there tomorrow and make my team and my family proud.”
The women’s 4x400m quartet of Natasha Harrison (Alex O’Gorman; Stockport), Maisey Snaith (Mick Graham; Cambridge & Coleridge), Nayanna Dubarry-Gay (Clarence Callender; Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets) and Hannah Foster (Craig Andrew; Shaftesbury Barnet) ensured they made the final with a second place finish in their heat.
Unfortunately, the men’s 4x400m quartet of Lewis Davey (Karl Eve; Peterborough), Callum Dodds (John Wildman; Enfield & Haringey), Ben Hawkes (Linda McGreavy; Leamington) and Michael Fagbenie (Christopher Harris; Bexley) failed to finish.
Decathlete Joel McFarlane (John McFarlane; Central) began the second day of competition as he started the first, recording another personal best mark, clocking 15.12s (-0.8) in the 110m hurdles, backed up with a 36.10m throw in the discus and a 4.30m pole vault, achieved with his last attempt.
Teammate Jack Turner (Kevin Skinner; Exeter) kicked off his day with a 14.45s (-0.3) 110m hurdles run for second place in his group, adding a 38.58m discus effort and closing the morning session with a best vault of 4.10m. The duo sit 15th & 21st respectively with two events remaining on 5116 and 4895 points.