IAAF World Junior Champs - Grosseto, Italy - 13-18 July 2004
James Ellington through to final - Chris Gearing just misses out
The Opening day of the IAAF World Junior Champsionships in Grosseto, Italy, saw Belgrave's James Ellington move up another notch in his career as he qualified for the final of the 100 metres. Second in his heat, he later placed 2nd again in his semi-final, clocking a personal best of 10.41 and moving up to be second on the Belgrave rankings for 2004. British rival Leon Baptiste placed 3rd in James's semi - and went out! With training partner Chris Lambert qualifying for the Olympic Games just two days earlier it's been a great few days for John Powell's sprint squad.
Chris Gearing was unhappy that he missed qualifying for the shot final with a putt of 18.48m - just 2 centimetres behind the qualifying mark. But he really shouldn't be disappointed for yet again he was close to his best and was third of those who will still be eligible for the next edition of the Games.
100m: 2s3 J.Ellington 10.41/0.8 (2h9 10.59/-0.7).
SP: 7GroupB C.Gearing 18.48 (13th overall) 18.23, 18.35, 1848.
Left James Ellington
Coach delighted with Ellington's 7th - Ryan Dinham must now wait for the relay.
It was a brave try by James Ellington as he crossed swords with the top young sprinters in the world and ended up first European. The final of the 100 metres was won by Ivory Williams of the USA in 10.29 while James placed 7th in 10.56. Had he been able to reproduce his personal record set in the semi, he would have still only placed 5th.
A faulty start didn't help the nerves and at the second time of asking it was James who tried to get the best possible start - but unfortunately for him, he beat the legal reaction time. The third attempt at getting the sprinters away was successful but after one explosive start, James couldn't muster another and he now had to put every sinew under pressure just to get back to the field.
Coach John Powell said, “I am delighted with James. Eight weeks ago, he was on crutches with a multiple tear in a hamstring. It’s been the kind of comeback I have never seen before. He was been so mature – fantastic!”
Ryan Dinham was 5th in his heat of the 400m hurdles, with the first two and two of the fastest losers qualifying for the final ahead of him.
So it's all down to the relays now.
100m: 1 I.Williams (USA) 10.29; 2 D.Ole (USA) 10.31; 4 D.Bailey (Antigua) 10.39; 5 Y.Al-Gahes (Saudi Arabia); 6 G.Ifill (Bahamas) 10.51; 7 J.Ellington 10.56; 8 S.Efthimios (Greece) 10.58.
400mH: 5h2 R.Dinham 52.86.
Both relay squads qualify for the finals
With James Ellington taking the third leg, the GBR team won their heat of the 4 x 100 metres in a time that took them to 13th on the UK all-time list. Will Wade Bennett-Jackson come into the quartet for the final? We must wait and see.
Also majestically qualifying for the finals was GBR's 4 x 400 metre outfit. Ryan Dinham took second leg for this terrific team which clocked 3:06.52 - the fastest time in the World for juniors in 2004 - until the USA team got to work in heat two where they clocked 3:05.28!
4x100m: 1h3 GBR 39.72 (Pickering, Fifton, Ellington, Baptiste).
4x400m: 1h1 GBR 3:06.52 (Buck, Dinham, Rimmer, Davenport).
Relay medals failed to materialise. World Junior Records from the USA's 4x100m and 4x400m teams headed a host of fast times which the GBR teams failed to match and for the first time ever in these championships no medals came Britain's way.
4x100m: 1 USA 38.66; 2 Jamaica 39.27; 3 Japan 39.43; 4 Germany 40.00; 5 Poland 40.13; 6 Cyprus 40.50; 7 Botswana 40.83; dq GBR (Pickering, Fifton, Ellington, Baptiste).
4x400m: 1 USA 3:01.09; 2 R South Africa 3:04.50; 3 Japan 3:05.33; 4 Brazil 3:05.44; 5 GBR 3:07.02 (Buck, Dinham, Rimmer, Davenport); 6 Poland 3:07.20; 7 Australia 3:07.95; 8 Germany 3:08.83.