Britain fifth overall after wins in pole vault and long jump
By Paul Prenderville at the London Stadium
Last Updated: 14/07/18 10:32pm
Holly Bradshaw and Lorraine Ugen picked up impressive victories for Great Britain & NI at the Athletics World Cup, but USA lead the way after Day One at the London Stadium.
A mammoth 17 events took place on the opening day as the competition returned with a head-to-head format, pitting the top eights nations from the IAAF’s World Athletics Championship. Another 17 events will follow on Sunday, live on Sky Sports.
With USA claiming victory in the final three track events of the night, the women’s 100m and 4x400m relay as well as the men’s 4x100m relay, they put the seal on an impressive opening day – while it was Britain’s women who kept home hopes alive.
Bradshaw took a brilliant first maximum eight-point haul in the pole vault early on and was followed later in the evening by captain Ugen, who leapt an impressive 6.86m to destroy the women’s long jump field.
However, there was disappointment for Sky Sports Scholar Andrew Pozzi, who did not finish in the men’s 110m hurdles after crashing into a barrier early on.
The US hold a commanding 24-point lead with all eight teams back in action on Sunday for the culmination of the event – the men’s 100m and 4x400m relay, as well as the women’s 4x100m will take centre stage.
Athletics World Cup – Points sysyem
- 1st Place – 8pts
2nd Place – 7pts
- 5th Place – 4pts
6th Place – 3pts
- 3rd Place – 6pts
4th Place – 5pts
- 7th Place – 2pts
8th Place – 1pts
In glorious sunshine at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, a string of top-class athletes were on display, none more so than Poland’s Anita Wlodarczyk – the world record holder in hammer throw as well as the Olympic and world champion.
She stormed to an impressive victory in the opening event with a world-leading 78.74 in the women’s hammer, but Sophie Hitchon picked up Britain’s first points with a brilliant second place thanks to a season-best 73.48m.
That set the tone for the GB women with Bradshaw also recording a season’s best to decimate the women’s pole vault field. A second place for Meghan Beesley in the 400m hurdles meant Britain led the way after three events.
China’s Xie Zhenye won the men’s sprint event, storming home in 20.25secs to claim the 200m from South Africa’s Luxolo Adams and Ameer Webb of the USA.
Pozzi’s hurdles disappointment followed in a high-class 110m won by France’s Pascal Martinot-Lagarde in a season-best 13.22sec from Ronald Levy and Devon Allen, but 1500m runner Jemma Reekie did give British hopes a boost soon after.
The 20-year-old has enjoyed a progressive season and clocked a personal best of 4:09:05 to claim third place in the women’s event that may have inspired Ugen on the other side of the stadium in the long jump pit.
Opening up with an impressive 6.35m, the captain was tied for first before landing her winning 6.86m jump on her second leap and no one was to come close as she won by almost 40cm.
But it was USA who finished the day on a high, American sprinter Ashley Henderson clocking 11.07 in one of the performances of the night.
The field events brought the evening to a conclusion, Sunette Viljoen winning South Africa’s first maximum points total in the women’s javelin but Jerome Robinson claimed the men’s high jump for the USA to close the day with a commanding lead in the chase for the Platinum Trophy.
Athletics World Cup – Standings (After Day One)
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Coverage of the Athletics World Cup continues on Sunday beginning at 7pm on Sunday – you can watch on Sky Sports Action and it’s available to all Sky customers on Sky Sports Mix,channel 121 – Main Event viewers join the climax of two days of competition from 8pm
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