Edward Faulds and Toby Makoyawo were crowned European Athletics U20 champions on day two in Tallinn, as Mary John and Joy Eze also sealed medals for the British team.
Faulds [men’s 400m] and Makoyawo [100m] both secured their titles in personal best times, while Mary John won silver in the women’s 400m, and Joy Eze earned the bronze in the women’s 100m, both in lifetime bests.
In the men’s 400m final, Edward Faulds (James Wright, Rugby and Northampton) was in phenomenal form once again as he ran his second personal best in two days to secure a hard-fought gold medal, while Charlie Carvell (Stuart Hamilton, Telford) was narrowly fourth after a fine run.
After setting a PB of 45.95 in the semi-final on Thursday, Faulds was focused on going even faster at the Kadriorg Stadium, and he was on course for that in the opening 200m of the race as he built an advantage over his opponents. In a tense run-in to the line, he had too much for the Italian Lorenzo Benati as he powered away to win in 45.72, also a European U20 lead.
An ecstatic Faulds said afterward, “It’s pretty cool, isn’t it? It’s not every day you get an U20 athlete saying they’ve run under 46 seconds twice. I´ve got another year in U20, there is a lot more to come. Let’s see what I can do.
“Around 150m I was thinking ‘this is my medal; they are not taking this from me’. I was willing to give my absolute everything and I’m glad I did. I might be in pain now, but it was fully worth it.”
17-year-old Carvell fought hard in his first major final and was narrowly outside the medal positions in a time of 48.84.
Toby Makoyawo (Peter Griffiths, Windsor Slough Eton and Hounslow) brought his best to the track for the men’s 100m as he sealed a first European title, with Ethan Wiltshire (Jake Awe, Marshall Milton Keynes) fourth in a PB and Jeriel Quainoo (Ryan Freckleton, Blackheath, and Bromley) fifth.
After a faulty start initially, the men got underway at the second time of asking and Makoyawo produced a sublime display of sprinting to take the gold medal in a European U20 leading time of 10.25 (1.3) which was a PB and just 0.02s ahead of France’s Jeff Erius with Italy’s Matteo Melluzzo in third.
Wiltshire continued to scythe time off his previous best, taking his lifetime best down to 10.33 just 0.02 outside the medals, while Quaindoo was just behind in 10.35.
The newly-crowned European U20 champion said afterwards, “This has been my aim the whole season, just to get in this place after all those hard sessions and hard reps, it all matters when something like this happens. I’m just happy!
“I could see him on my back [Jeff Erius], so all I had to do was keep my shape. Every time, look at the finish line, keep my shape, this is what my coach said every time, I just execute. As soon as I felt my drive, I knew I’ve got this. All I had to do was to keep my shape and the speed will just come.”
Mary John (Alan James) followed up her PB in the semi-final with another assured performance in the women’s 400m final to take a silver medal in another career best of 53.06.
She had rounded her PB down to 53.17 in the semi-final on Thursday and returned hungry for more. The Woodford Green Essex Ladies athlete attacked it like she had done during every race in Tallinn, with conviction, and despite Poland’s Kornelia Lesiewicz moving away to win in 52.46, the Briton showed her composure to seal the silver medal in style.
John commented soon after the race, “I’m very pleased with today’s run, especially as I got another PB, which was one of my aims. When comparing today with yesterday, I think there was more push in the end, obviously being the final, everybody came to give their absolute best.
“Usually it becomes very hard to hold my form in the last hundred metres, but hearing the cheering and my motivation to get to the line in the best possible place definitely helped me keep my form and keep running. The silver medal gives me a lot of confidence, I’m very happy with what I’ve done, so I’m excited to see what comes next.”
There was delight for Joy Eze (Michael Donnelly, Gateshead) as she won the bronze medal in the women’s 100m final in yet another PB and European U18 leading time.
It was her third PB of the week and this time it led to her first European medal. In a very quick race, Ireland’s Rhasidat Adeleke sealed the gold in 11.34 (1.4) with Serbia’s Ivana Ilic in silver in 11.42. However, the 17-year-old Eze came through in 11.44 to pip Switzerland’s Melissa Gutschmidt into fourth and earn a place on the podium.
She said afterwards, “I just planned to run my own race and I saw people around me so coming third was a big surprise. Especially with a new PB as well. It’s my third this week, it’s mind-blowing for me. There were so many hurdles on the way getting here and then doing so well – I’m over the moon. I obviously came with high expectations but going home with a medal and getting to stand on this podium is very rewarding.”
In a high-quality women’s triple jump final, Temi Ojora (Nick Newman, Windsor Slough Eton and Hounslow) was fourth with a best jump of 13.59m (0.8). She was just 3cm outside the medals as Daria Sopova of Latvia grabbed bronze with 13.62m, while the competition was won by Sweden’s Maja Askag in a European U20 lead of 14.05m.
Ojora opened with 13.47m which would be her second furthest jump of the competition, with her longest coming in round two. There was no further improvement for the Briton in her first major final for Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
A hot conditions, Osian Perrin (Andrew Walling, Menai) battled hard as he captured fifth position in the men’s 5000m final. The Welshman took on the pace in the early stages so he could track the moves of the leading names in the race. As the laps counted down, the numbers in the leading pack decreased and the Briton was well in contention, but on the final lap, the top three moved away and he would ultimately claim fifth place.
Alastair Marshall (Derek Easton, Central) was 16th in the race as he recorded a time of 14:57.44.
After finishing day one of the heptathlon on 3486 points to lie in third position, Abigail Pawlett (Joe Frost, Stockport T&F) returned to the track for the long jump. After a foul on her first attempt, a season best of 6.03m (1.1) came at just the right time. She followed that mark with an equal PB of 6.09m on her final jump, her second PB of the competition so far. Following the event, she stood in third position in the overall standings on 4363 points.
A 35.09m PB in the javelin added over two and half metres to her previous best which stood at 32.36m. With other athletes claiming big points in the javelin, Pawlett moved down to fifth overall following the penultimate event.
In the 800m, her time of 2:32.90 saw her finish the competition with a personal best points total of 5593 in seventh position. The European U20 title went to Finland’s Saga Vanninen with a world U20 leading score of 6271.
Samantha Callaway (David Callaway, Newham and Essex Beagles) finished eighth in the women’s discus final, while Taia Tunstall (Stuart Carlaw, Harrow) was 12th.
Callaway’s mark of 49.53m earned her a further three throws as she progressed as the top eight after three efforts, and she improved on her final appearance in the circle, throwing 49.87m. Tunstall managed a best of 42.39m with her third and final attempt after two fouls.
After a blistering start to his 110m hurdles semi-final, Joseph Harding (Laura Turner-Alleyne, Basildon) finished third in a time of 13.68 (2.5). He clipped a couple if hurdles along the way, but he powered through to take an all-important high placing. He had to wait to see if he had bagged one of the fastest non-auto qualifier spots into tomorrow’s final but after the completion of the last semi-final his place in the final was confirmed. He will be back in action at 15:00 BST on Saturday.
In only his third ever 3000m steeplechase race, Alex Alston (Simon Goodwin, Bedford and County) reached the European final as a fastest non-auto qualifier. He bided his time in heat two but ended the race strongly for sixth position and posted a time of 9:09.74 which saw him through.
Lily Parris (Julie Benterman, Chelmsford) and Mallory Cluley (Lorna Boothe, Blackheath and Bromley) did not progress to the women’s 100m hurdles final but were content with solid performances at their first major Championships.
Parris, who ran a wind assisted PB earlier in the day, was fourth in her semi-final in a time of 13.66 (0.5). After she received a yellow card warning after the first faulty start, she admitted that she had to be more conservative for the second start. She just finished outside the fastest non-auto qualifying positions.
Meanwhile, Cluley was seventh in her semi-final clocking a time of 13.95 (0.3).
In the women’s 800m semi-finals, the British duos Championship came to an end. Eleanor Colbourn (Joanne Day, Harrogate), one of the youngest members of the team, finished fifth in the first semi-final. She was involved in a tear up for the line in the final 100m and came home in 2:09.13. In the second semi-final, Stephanie Moss (Trevor Painter, Sale Harriers Manchester) crossed the line in 2:10.19.
Success Eduan (Anita Richardson, Sale Harriers Manchester) and Sophie Walton (Trevor Williams, Horwich) both earned safe passage into the women’s 200m semi-finals on Saturday.
16-year-old Eduan posted a time of 23.81 (0.6) for third in the second heat, while Walton was second in 24.01 (0.4), so both athletes secured automatic qualification.
Louie Hinchliffe (Rudolph Paul Hohn, Sheffield and Dearne) and Derek Kinlock (Paul Weston, Croydon) both progressed to the men’s 200m semi-finals.
Kinlock earned a big Q next to his name after a strong performance. Heading the field as they entered the final 100m, the Croydon athlete drove it home for third place in a personal best of 21.04 (1.2). Hinchliffe was fifth in his heat but advanced as one of four next fastest in a time of 21.57 (2.7).
The event is streamed on the European Athletics website and live results can be found here: https://tallinn21-u20results.european-athletics.com/en/results/athletics/daily-schedule.htm
British team medals:
Edward Faulds – Men’s 400m
Toby Makoyako – Men’s 100m
Mary John – Women’s 400m
Joy Eze – Women’s 100m