Today is July 30. I lost July 28-29 due to a huge storm in Wisconsin. 60-70 mph winds took out power, wifi, and the week of heat was making it very difficult to work. I reposted Stuart’s pieces on Sophie O’Sullivan and Keely Hodgkinson from U23s, so you could gain an appreciation of the excellent performances of the U23, and the future of British and European Athletics looks bright! Thanks, Stuart Weir.
Oh, and our power is back on, and we found a generator for power failures and three window AC units for our old farmhouse, which is a bit of a curmudgeon, but we do call it home.
GB took seven gold medals at the European Under 23s at Espoo, Finland. This is what they said about the experience.
Women 400 Yemi Mary John 51.04 PR
YEMI MARY JOHN, GREAT BRITAIN, photo by Getty Images for British Athletics
“The rain came through before the final, but definitely happy with how it went. To run a PB
and win really surprised me. I feel like rain is my lucky charm- when it rains, I win.
They say my strength is on the home straight, so maybe that is where I got it. For the rest of the season, I just hope for the more senior races to come”.
Women 5000 Megan Keith 15:34.33
Megan Keith, 5,000m, European U23s, photo by Getty Images for British Athletics
“Looking into the start list, my coach and I did not think there were any obvious fast runners to take it out hard, so we settled on a hard move until 3km, and I knew the pace should be enough at least to get a medal. In the end, I felt pretty strong and am quite happy with how I managed it. – but I was not sure until the end. We have been training very consciously and carefully developing since last year.I really was not ready to do the 5k last year. But today, it was like, come out, run on this track, get the show started. Now, I am so happy with how I managed”.
Women 10000 Alice Goodall 33:16.45
Alice Goodall takes Euro U23 10,000m, photo by Getty Images for British Athletics
“I am literally in shock. Before the race, I knew that there is a chance for a medal, maybe a silver… But now, to call myself a European champion sounds unbelievable to me. My race plan was to take it kind of easy until the 5K, which I did, and then just pick up K by K. I was feeling the Italian girl behind my shoulder the entire time. It was scary; I could hear them breathing on my neck. I just really trust in my kick and the final 200. I did not want to change my rhythm, I was very comfy, so I stayed in the front”.
Women 4X 100 43.04 CR
The British U 23 4x100m team, photo by Getty Images for British Athletics
Cassie-Ann Pemberton: “We are so excited, we have worked so hard this season, and now we came here and executed. I wasn’t thinking about anything else outside than just running. I was just happy to get a good head start for the girls for their run, that I wasn’t even thinking about the time”.
Men 100 Jeremiah Azu 10.05
JEREMIAH AZU, GREAT BRITAIN, photo by Getty Images for British Athletics
“I wanted to come over to win and to defend my title (that) I won at the championships two years ago to make history. Coach told me to just do everything like I did yesterday. I think I had a quick reaction from the blocks, and the start is my strong part of the race because running at such a high level, it is all about those details. Sometimes you cannot control that, but starting is definitely the strongest part of my race. But you have to do it right when it matters. The conditions were not too great, and also we started a bit later than planned due to the rain. When I saw the rain, I started to have those flashbacks about the British championships and started to feel some cramps in my legs”.
Men 5000 Charles Hicks 13.35.07
Charles Hicks takes the 5,000m, photo by Getty Images for British Athletics
“It was a great race. The U23 has always had a great spirit. I would have liked it a bit faster today, but I was kind of hit by the wind on the home stretch. I just tried as much as I could. It was a very unique and exciting race, and I was ready to run from the gun. I am glad I managed to take this great opportunity. I would have liked to push a bit harder, but you have got what you have at the end of the day. This is racing, and it does not always go the way you plan. Coming home with the win is the best we could hope for”.
Men 10000 Rory Leonard 29:08.33
Rory Leonard wins European U23 10,000m, photo by Getty Images for European Athletics.
“The first 5K felt very slow. For the first 5K, everybody was going to feel exactly the same. So it was about to wait for someone to break. I knew that at some point, someone will go through it, and happily, it happened. So I was just trying to be as patient as possible. When I saw the Polish runner going to the front, I thought: If he is going to win this race from this position, he deserves to win. Because it was very windy and that is lonely 25 laps, and that is very hard to play… I have been to all the championships since I was under 18 and underperformed at every single one. But this time, I was like, I have done my homework, I have done all the training, be patient, do not do anything silly, and hopefully, that will pay off”.