The long jump competition on the final day of The IAAF World Junior Championships in Barcelona on Friday was an event to be remembered as Aviva Great Britain and Northern Ireland team mates Katarina Johnson-Thompson and Jazmin Sawyers and German Lena Malkus, battled it out to take home the medals.
After the first round of jumps, Sawyers (pictured above on the left) was in the lead with a leap of 6.67m, a new PB and World Junior Leading Performance, while after her first attempt Johnson-Thompson (pictured above on the right) was just behind her in second place at 6.57m.
In the third round however, Johnson-Thompson who will also compete at London 2012, jumped an impressive 6.81m. Just when it seemed that the British pair had gold and silver in the bag however, Malkus scored a jump of 6.80, stealing second place from Sawyers.
Johnson-Thompson admitted: “When Lena did her big jump I couldn’t really see what distance it was – I had to ask an official. What a relief to find out it was a 6.80m and not a 6.82, I don’t think I could have responded as my big jump had taken all adrenaline out of me.”
The Liverpudlian’s gold medal was the second for the Aviva team, after Adam Gemill claimed gold in the men’s 100m. Sawyer’s bronze saw the team’s tally raised to five and will accompany Jessica Judd’s 800m silver and Emelia Gorecka’s 3000m bronze.
Sawyers, who had begun the competition at the top of the World rankings was unable to hide her disappointment however. She commented: “I know it’s a PB and I know I should be happy with a medal – but I won’t be satisfied until my best will be the absolute best.”
The eighteen-year-old who is an international heptathlete and bobsleigh Youth Olympic Medallist also spoke of the difficulty in competing against Johnson-Thompson, who is her roommate and one of her best friends.
Elsewhere in the women’s 200m finals, Desiree Henry finished fourth with a time of 23.24 seconds, while Dina Asher-Smith took 0.07 seconds off her PB, finishing seventh at 23.50 seconds.
Emma Buckett and Katy Marchant completed the two day heptathlon, competing in the javelin and 800m. Marchant achieved a score of 36.10m in the first of the two events, while Buckett gained a new PB with 31.83m before going on to achieve another PB in the 800m, with 2:25.88. Marchant finished at 2:29.77, bringing her overall score to 5046 points and putting her in 21st place. Meanwhile Buckett’s new PB of 5838 points placed her in 15th position.
Following the collective lap of honour, Buckett commented: “These two days were incredible. It was just so good to be here, these Championships are something that I looked at last year and thought I could have made if I had one extra year to prepare. I am so grateful I was selected to compete, and to come here with no pressure allowed me to enjoy the event and have so much fun.”
In the second heat, the women’s relay team composed of Annie Tagoe, Hannah Thomas, Rachel Joncock and Sophie Papps scored a Season Best and the third best score in the whole field at 44.47 seconds, beaten only by the USA and Germany.
Sophia Smith, Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine
Image credit: DECA Text&Bild