Lucy-May Sleeman (Leevale AC) and Lucy McGlynn (Tír Chonaill AC) failed to advance to the semi-finals of their respective events on Day Four of the World U20 Athletics Championships in Cali, Colombia. Both athletes depart South America however having put in strong performances.
Having finished sixth in her 100m semi-final the night before, running a new PB of 11.62s in the process, Sleeman returned to the track hoping to advance once poor. The 18-year-old faced a very tough heat draw that included two athletes that would go onto make the final automatically, Polyniki Emmanouilidou (Greece) and Viwe Jingqui (South Africa). Into a slight headwind Sleeman finished in fifth just outside her personal best clocking 24.08s, just 0.17s off a non-automatic qualifier place in the semi-finals.
McGlynn had been incredibly unlucky not to make the semi-finals of the 400m Hurdles two days earlier, missing out on a place by 0.01s. She was looking to go one step further in the 100m Hurdles. The 17-year-old ran superbly to finish fourth in her heat in a new personal best of 13.92s just one tenth of a second off a fastest non-automatic qualifier spot in the semi-final. Having ran really well in both of her races at the championships, the Donegal athlete can look to build on her performances going into 2023.
Tonight sees two Irish athletes in world finals with Nicola Tuthill (Bandon AC) and Nick Griggs (Mid Ulster AC) returning to action following impressive performances on Wednesday.
Tuthill will throw in the final of the Hammer from 9:11pm. The Bandon athlete threw a superb personal best of 61.87m in qualification to advance ranked sixth overall. It capped off a remarkable recovery from injury for the 18-year-old who dislocated and fractured her elbow in March and only returned to competitive action at the National Junior Championships in Tullamore last month. Italy’s Rachele Mori is the clear favourite for gold. Mori has a personal best over two metres further than anyone else in the field.
Griggs’ final is set to get underway at 11:04pm. The 17-year-old from Tyrone who won gold in this event at the European U20 Championships last summer will face incredibly tough opposition from many of the East Africans in the field. Griggs is the fastest European this season and with his lightning turn of pace will be hoping to contest for a medal. The young athlete comfortably qualified for the final finishing fourth in his heat on Wednesday. Ethiopia’s Diriba Girma has a personal best some fifteen seconds quicker than Griggs’ having ran 7.38.79 at the World Athletics Indoor Tour meet in Liévin back in February.
The World U20 Athletics Championships are live streamed on the World Athletics YouTube channel