Britain’s best young sprinters and jumpers stole the show in Bedford on Saturday and Sunday (21-22) at the England Under-20 and Under-23 Championships, Britain’s official trial event for this year’s IAAF World Junior Championships.
Sprint hurdler David Omoregie broke the European junior 110m hurdles record with a 13.17 victory, while Dina Asher-Smith impressed with a sprint double, winning the 100m in a wind-assisted 11.11 and the 200m in a wind-legal 22.74.
Omoregie smashed the championship record in the heats with 13.38, then went significantly quicker in the final, clocking 13.17 into a -0.7m/s headwind to take 0.01 off Wilhem Belocian’s European junior record.
It also takes him to third on the world junior all-time list, just 0.09 away from the world junior record, and is the fastest time in the world this year by a junior over the 99cm barriers.
“I’m so happy with that,” said the former decathlete who – along with Belocian – is now one of the favourites to win gold at this year’s World Junior Championships in Eugene. “I thought I could run that quick but I didn't think I'd do it today after a stressful week.”
On a weekend when the wind played havoc with sprint performances, with many performance on Saturday being run with a tailwind and most of the Sunday races being run into a headwind, Asher-Smith put together a series of outstanding performances.
The European junior 200m champion ran a windy 11.17 in the 100m heats, followed by a wind-legal 11.21 before stopping the clock at 11.11 in the final, aided by a 3.0m/s wind. Behind her, 2011 world youth 200m champion Desiree Henry clocked 11.24.
She then returned the following day and won the 200m in 22.74 in perfectly still conditions. Her time is just 0.04 shy of the UK junior record set at altitude 35 years ago by Kathy Cook and takes her to 11th on the European junior all-time list.
Now leading both the 100m and 200m world junior season list, Asher-Smith will look to succeed Anthonique Strachan as world junior champion in both events when she heads to Eugene next month.
Richards and Kandu underline medal potential
High jumper Chris Kandu and 400m hurdler Shona Richards stamped their tickets to Eugene with dominant victories.
Richards, who is second on this year’s world junior lists with 56.79, clocked 57.61 to win the one-lap hurdles by more than a second.
Kandu continued his good run of form this season to take the high jump with a PB of 2.24m, moving to second on this year’s world junior list for the event. He bowed out by attempting 2.28m.
Elsewhere in the jumps, 17-year-old Jacob Fincham-Dukes added more than 40 centimetres to his lifetime best with a winning leap of 7.61m, the third-best jump in the world this year by a youth athlete.
All-rounders take individual titles
Combined events talents Katarina Johnson-Thompson and Morgan Lake were also in winning form.
World indoor long jump silver medallist Johnson-Thompson won the under-23 100m title in 11.30, which would have been a huge personal best had it not been for the 3.5m/s tailwind. 24 hours later, Johnson-Thompson finished second in the 100m hurdles behind Lucy Hatton (13.35), clocking a PB of 13.41 into a -2.0m/s headwind.
Meanwhile, Lake – winner of the Multistars title earlier this year – took part in just one event this weekend, winning the junior long jump title with a leap of 6.11m. Having been selected for the Commonwealth Games, the 17-year-old will not be competing in Eugene, despite being the top-ranked junior high jumper and the third-ranked junior heptathlete in the world this year.
Kieran Daly was another standout performer in the under-23 age group, securing the sprint double. The 21-year-old took a tenth of a second off his 100m PB, winning in 10.18, and then took the 200m title in 21.07.
Former world youth champion Ben Williams set a lifetime best of 16.31m to win the under-23 triple jump title, European junior silver medallist Sophie McKinna broke the championship best in the under-23 shot, winning with 16.47m, and world 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu’s younger sister Victoria took gold in the under-23 400m with 52.84.
Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF