European Team Cup Athletics: Females show Fine Form

Jessica Judd leading from Russian and Ukrainian athletes.

This weekend saw Team GB exceeding their prediction of 5th place in the European Team Cup held at Gateshead International Stadium by coming in a very credible 3rd behind Russia and Germany who finished 1st and 2nd respectively. GB’s success was largely contributed to by the teams fierce females who showed that they are a team to be reckoned with on the world stage at the fast approaching World Championships in Moscow this August.

Providing two of the most impressive performances from Team GB was two of the younger members at just 18 and 19: Jessica Judd and Emelia Gorecka. Judd ran a fantastically judged race and showed no fear of her elder more experienced European competitors as she stormed down the home straight to seal her victory and send out a strong message to her future competitors on the international stage. Renowned for her dominance throughout the age group categories in previous years Judd now chases the UKA’s A standard for the world championships in the 800 metres of 1.59.90 after attaining the B standard no less than 3 times. Gorecka, surely inspired by Judds performance the previous day showed her gutsy nature as she battled hard in the final 400 metre of the tactical 5000 metre race just managing to maintain her lead over the French and German athletes to finish second in a race that was won in a time of 15:32.45 by Russian athlete Golovkina.

Captain, Perri Shakes-Drayton ran the 400 metre flat rather than her preferred event of the 400 metre hurdles. Shakes-Drayton showed her class by winning the event in impressive style to lead by example. Proving Team GB’s strength in depth across the longest sprint on the athletics circuit was the women’s 4 X 400 metre relay team. Eilidh Child lead the team out strongly to throw Cox in to the lead, Cox mirrored Childs effort and passed on to Meghan Beesley who showed the fierce nature of Britain’s women to hold off the French and Russian athletes to release Ohuruogu who slid through an almost non-existent gap on the inside of the French athlete to bring the baton home in the top position and reward the rather soggy fifth member of their team, the crowd with an exhilarating performance.

It was not only the Female track athletes that showed such fighting spirit, Sophie Hitchen the 21 year old hammer thrower placed 3rd with a distance of 72.97 metres and was rewarded for her efforts with the A standard for the World Championships and the British Record much to her delight.

Other performances of note came from Tiffany Porter in the 100 metre hurdles and Anika Onuora in the 200 metres. Of course the team’s success could not have been replicated without their male counterparts who should live in fear but take note of this female fighting spirit.

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