Team captain Lorraine Ugen’s inspired victory in the women’s long jump helped Great Britain & Northern Ireland to an impressive third-place finish in the inaugural Athletics World Cup.
Ugen’s recorded 6.86m jump was enough for her to breeze to victory, with the next highest recorded jump falling 0.38m shy from American Quanesha Burks. Despite fouling on her last attempt, Ugen looked comfortable throughout and recorded her competition-high score in the second round.
The 26-year-old Londoner has been in scintillating form of late and is the woman to beat in the track and field. Having competed as part of the gold medal-winning women’s 4x100m relay team at the Gold Coast in April, she also acquired the World Lead for 2018 outdoor long jump with her recent 7.05m leap at the World Championships in June.
The long jumper’s success was replicated over the weekend by Holly Bradshaw in the pole vault and the women’s 4x100m relay team, which consisted of fellow Team England teammates Asha Philip and Bianca Williams.
Bradshaw, a five-time British Champion and 2018 Commonwealth Games participant, set a season-best score of 4.75m after America’s Katie Nageotte and Frenchwoman Ninon Guillon-Romarin failed to clear. The Preston-born athlete, who finished fourth at the Gold Coast in April, didn’t foul on any of her attempts as she continues to reach her peak form.
The scoring system put in place at the London Stadium meant that teams were awarded eight points after clinching gold, seven for silver and a bronze was enough for six.
On top of the gold medals for Ugen, Bradshaw and the women’s relay team, there were several other points brought in to culminate in the British team’s 155 points. Gold Coast gold medallist Nick Miller took a narrow silver while fellow Team England Commonwealth representative Morgan Lake also came second in the women’s high jump with a clearance of 1.93m.
Sophie Hitchon, Adelle Tracey and Meghan Beesley were the other members of the successful England Commonwealth team who all clinched silver over the weekend in the women’s hammer throw, 800m and the 400m hurdles, respectively.
Elliot Giles, who competed in the men’s 800m in April at the Gold Coast, took bronze in the same event to add a further six points to Britain’s total, beating France’s Gabriel Tual in a photo finish to clinch bronze.
In other news outside the Athletics World Cup, Team England favourite and athletics sensation Niamh Emerson won gold in the heptathlon at the World Junior Championships in Finland, holding off reigning champion Sarah Lagger to clinch the title. The Derbyshire athlete set a personal best run of 2:09:74 in the 800m to snatch victory away from her Austrian counterpart, and also round off a personal best total heptathlon score of 6,253.