In this article, Stuart Weir discusses the performance from GBR team, which was comprised of many young athletes and some well positioned veterans. The British media was crucifying meet management for not getting more the British star power. Truth was, this was more like an American track meet, where a fine meet is organizes and managed and little promotion is done, as the mantra is, “If you put on the meet, they will show up.” I have not seen this from British Athletics before.
The meet is a strong idea, but the problem in global athletics is the absolute lack of a real schedule or a group with jurisdiction over making some sense of the schedule so we do not wear out the athletes, fans or sponsors.
GB Day 1
Fifth place after day 1 of the inaugural Athletics World Cup, presented by MÃ¼ller for Team GB, but it could have been better.
Team captain, Lorraine Ugen (long jump) led by example securing a win as did Holly Bradshaw (pole vault). A win would have been a tall order for hammer thrower, Sophie Hitchon, competing against Poland’s Anita Wlodarczyk, the world record holder, world and Olympic champion, but an excellent performance secured second place. See earlier post of these three women.
Meghan Beesley in the 400m hurdles also secured second place behind Jamaica’s Janieve Russell. Beesley’s comment was: “Silver was the minimum I wanted to achieve, I knew I had to come second to prove myself. I am a little disappointed about the race from my point of view because I didnt execute the race like I wanted to. I know I have a strong finish and I need to keep on going and get the race I want. Usually as an athlete you compete as an individual and it does not really impact you how a team does. But as a team you want everyone to do well as the team need points and you are really looking forward to see how everyone does, so it’s nice to be part of a team occasionally”.
20-year-old Jemma Reekie seized an unexpected chance to represent GB in the 1500m. On her senior international debut, but she posted a lifetime best of 4:09.05 to take third place. Reekie said of the experience: “It was really fun. I wanted to come out here and have fun in my first senior appearance for GB, and to come out here and get a PR and a medal out of it is fantastic. I actually felt really relaxed. I said to myself just go out and enjoy it. Anything else is a bonus this year as I have already done so well. I am competing against world-class athletes regularly now so I am getting more experienced every race”.
Elliot Giles (800m) was third and Anyika Onuora (400m) fourth position with Bianca Williams fourth in the 100m behind Ashley Henderson (USA) and Olympic champion, Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson. Williams was just 0.04 seconds outside the podium places.
There were fifth places for Chris Baker (high jump) and the women’s 4x400m relay team. Nathan Douglas (Triple Jump), Delano Williams (200m) and Laura Whittingham (javelin) were sixth and Brett Morse (discus) and Scott Lincoln (shot) were seventh.
GB may be 4 by 100 meter relay world champions, but with none of the 2017 winners in the race, an inexperienced GB team came in last.
The real disappointment of the day was World Indoor champion in the 60m hurdles, Andrew Pozzi, crashing at hurdle three in the men’s 110m when a podium finish looked likely. But then that is the hurdles..