One of the highlights of the European Athletics Under 23 Championships in Poland this weekend was Loughborough student and team captain Jessica Turner, who won a sensational silver medal in the 400mH.
Coming into the Championships with a personal best of 56.68 and ranked second, she got through her heats seamlessly and managed to live up to her ranking with a personal best run of 56.08 to take silver. The time she produced is also the qualifying standard for the World Championships in London later this summer.
Naturally she was delighted with her run:
I thought I could get in the mix but knew it would take a fantastic run and probably a PB. I just had to run my heart out and I did! I was in lane nine on the outside so just pushed as hard as I could from there.
I clipped the last hurdle a bit then dipped on the line. When it really mattered, I pushed at the end and to get such a big PB, after three races, is very satisfying indeed. As I crossed the line I wasn’t sure if I had the silver until I saw the result on the screen and my mum and dad going crazy with a flag up in the stand.
I was named captain with Cameron earlier this week and that was a huge honour. I know a lot of the athletes here over the years and have friends in the team. I am sure a few will grow from this experience.
Another medal was won by Great Britain in the men’s 4 x 400m relay, where Loughborough student Thomas Somers helped the team qualify for the finals with a time of 3:06.20s, which put Great Britain second fastest going into the final. On the last day of the championships, the team, which also contained former Loughborough athlete Ben Snaith on the second leg, won a terrific gold. This was the third gold medal of the championships for Great Britain, and was won by beating strong teams Poland and France with a time of 3:03.65.
In the men’s hammer, Loughborough’s Taylor Campbell came agonisingly close to securing a fourth bronze medal for Great Britain, as he placed fourth in a highly competitive final, just 1cm behind German hammer thrower Alexej Mikhailov. Another Loughborough athlete who was close to reaching success was James West in the 1500m, who was just four tenths of a second from qualifying for the final.
Also qualified for the championship were seasoned GB internationals and Loughborough University students Jess Judd (1500m) and Morgan Lake (high jump). Both women have however also been selected to compete in the London 2017 World Championships in a couple of weeks and so decided to sit this one out in preparation for the senior event.