This is Stuart Weir’s second column on Oregon 22, and this is about how the Brits did on day 1. Stuart Weir is our European senior writer and my partner in Athletics Chats. We have done 100 of them, so check them out. We will be most fortunate to have Stuart Weir writing for us each day of the World Championships. Soon, once, I am done isolating (I got Covid for a second time), I will see my friend for the first time since Doha 2019.
Brits in Action
Athletics Weekly – that highly respected monthly magazine – estimates that GB will win 4 individual medals and two relay medals. I would say that we have 8-10 medal shots and that 5-6 is a realistic estimate.
The desperately sad news is that a freak accident led to the end of Holly Bradshaw’s pole-vault campaign. She explained: “On the last jump of the warm-up my pole snapped in half and then I landed kind of in the box. It was a bit of a blur to me as I was rotating and landed quite high on the back of my neck. I didn’t land on the floor, but I slid down and did a bit of a number on my back. Initially, I had pain through my wrist from the vibrations of it breaking and then something going on with my hamstring which I was striding [at] 70% OK, but when I tried to up the intensity to over 80% I couldn’t.”
Also in the pole-vault, Molly Caudery, at her maiden global championships, cleared 4.20m but did not progress through to the final. She commented: “It was a good experience, and I’ve got a lot more to look forward to later in the summer with the Commonwealths and Europeans, and then Worlds next year, so it’s not the end. I made the move to Loughborough two years ago, and I think that is one of the best decisions I made. I train with Scott (Simpson) and Holly (Bradshaw), which has really helped me. My consistency is better, and I’ve dedicated more of my time to athletics. It is paying off because I am here at a World Championships, which I am super grateful for.”
Britain had three runners in the women’s 1500m, with Laura Muir second in her heat in 4:07.53, commenting: “I kept out of trouble. I felt comfortable, and I thought I ran really well. I’ve only got 24 hours to wait until the next round rather than 36. It’s usually morning to next day evening, but this one is evening to evening so yes, quick turnaround”.
Katie Snowden was 10th in her heat, explaining, “I actually felt really strong until a lap to go, and then the legs started falling off a bit. I’ve not raced for 4 or 5 weeks now as I had a bit of bad luck with an injury then followed by Covid, so I missed that sharpness out there today”. However, her time was fast enough to progress to the semi-final. Adelle Tracey, who was running for Jamaica, having switched allegiance from Britain, also made the semi-finals.
Melissa Courtney-Bryant was 11th in 4:09.07 and did not progress. She said: “I’m really disappointed with that. It’s been a really hard year coming back from injury, but I really expected more from myself. In the shape I was in during the holding camp, I felt I could be in PB shape. So I just think that was not a reflection of where I am”.
In the men’s 100m, Zharnel Hughes ran 9.97 to secure a place in the semi-finals. Reflecting on his performance, Hughes said, “I trust in my ability, and I’m pleased with how I ran today. I just need to focus on the race, focus on the gun, and get the job done. I am really excited to compete again on this fast track.”
Reece Prescod, who had run 9.93 earlier in the year, clocked 10.15 and did not progress, said: “I was just on the outside and couldn’t really gauge it.”
In the throws, Nick Miller qualified for the hammer final. Commenting before the second pool results, he said: “We thought 75.50m would be enough to get through, so 77m in the first round I’m happy to make, and I’m pretty sure that’ll make it through, and tomorrow we have the final. It’s nice being in the middle of the stadium for once instead of kind of in a corner. I’m sure when we have the final, it’s going to be a little bit louder and I’m looking forward to that. It’s been a little bit quiet in the last few years, so hopefully, this year, it’ll be good.
Elsewhere, Sophie McKinna (17.21) and Amelia Strickler (17.40) were eliminated in the women’s shot put qualifying. Round. In the men’s shot put, Scott Lincoln (19.97) also saw him bow out at the qualification stage. Joel Clarke-Khan, with 2:21, did not make the high-jump final.
Britain was ninth in the mixed relay, with eight making the final.
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