In this article, his third of the day, Stuart Weir writes about three British women who performed well on Day one. Watch for our coverage of day two, coming up in a few hours. Stuart wrote about Holly Bradshaw, Lorraine Ugen, and Sophie HItchon.
Take three women
Partly due to an initiative by the Mayor of London, the first Athletics World Cup has been linked to the 100th anniversary of women getting the vote. Each team has a captain who is female. Perhaps inspired by that context, there were three stirring performances by British women on day one
Holly Bradshaw won the pole vault with 4.75, a season’s best. She had a perfect record, taking 4 vaults (4.50 to 4.75) and then retiring from the competition. Katie Nageotte (USA) and French captain, Ninon Guillon-Romarin were second and third each with 4.68.
Bradshaw said of her competition: “It was good. I was really excited to come here and compete. I am really pleased with my height. I kind of wanted to go over 4.82m which would have been a British record. But for me at the minute I am building nicely towards the European Championships. I had so much fun out there. I am really pleased. The crowd was amazing. It really picks you up and energizes you. It is fantastic”.
At the same time as Bradshaw was doing the business on the runway, Sophie Hitchon was throwing 73.48 for second place in the hammer. The winner was double Olympic and triple world champion, Anita Wlodarczyk, who threw a world lead of 78.74.She remarked that she had such happy memories of London where she won the 2012 Olympics and the 2017 World Championship.
Hitchon said: “I thought I threw ok, obviously I would have liked to get the last two throws in [3 and 4 were fouls] because I had a really good feeling today and I went after it hard but, after fouling I couldn’t go after it. My last throws I think they would have been better. However it’s more than I could have asked for today”.
It has been a funny couple of weeks for Lorraine Ugen. She set a PR at the UK Championships of 7.05 then was last in Lausanne, admitting to feeling flat after the exertions of the PR. Then she was named GB team captain and jumped 6.86 to win tonight’s long jump. She commented: “For me this competition was great fun and a great opportunity to be relaxed and enjoy the night. The crowd was fantastic and it was nice to see so many friendly faces in the crowd. I would love to come back and take part again in this competition as I had real fun and it is a good break from the Diamond League.
“I loved the team format. Normally we are individuals and we only focus on our competition but here it is good to look around and see how my team-mates are doing and how the points are going. I have really enjoyed being captain. The team has embraced me as captain and I have tried to inspire them to get maximum points. I hope we can build on this on day two.”