ATHLETICS: KHAI Riley-La Borde is hoping his second place at the England Under-20 Championships and World Trials will be enough to book himself a seat on the plane to Oregon for the World Junior Championships.
The 18-year-old Palmer’s College student finished second in the 110m hurdles behind an awe-inspiring display from Welshman David Omoregie who set an all-time British record and world-leading time of 13.18s in Bedford.
The win meant Omoregie booked the one guaranteed spot in the 110m hurdles for the World Junior Championships, but Riley-La Borde, who finished in 13.74s, is hoping be selected alongside him as he too as the qualifying standard.
He will find out for sure on Tuesday when a second wave of selections for the GB team will be made.
The Purfleet teenager raced despite suffering from a hamstring niggle in the warm-up and he says that showed his level of determination to be part of the GB juniors squad.
“It would mean so much to go to the World Juniors, that is what I’ve been working so hard for ever since the winter,” said the former William Edwards School pupil.
“I felt my hamstring go a bit when I was stretching in the warm-up area and if it was any other competition, I probably wouldn’t have raced the final, but I knew I had to show the selectors my commitment.”
Riley La-Borde, whose personal best set this year of 13.62s is the 13th fastest in the world this year, knew that he had to finish ahead of Euan Dickson-Earle to give himself the best shot of selection.
Dickson-Earle, like Omoregie and Riley La-Borde had a qualifying standard going into the trials, but he hit a hurdle and was out of the race early on.
“The niggle in my hamstring was in my head throughout and then I saw Euan pull up and I thought ‘don’t be next’ and ran within myself,” he said.
Robbie Clarricoats, from Tilbury, looked to be joining Riley La-Borde in the final of the 110m hurdles but crashed into the last barrier in his heat to finish fourth in 14.80s.
Elsewhere in Bedford, Hayley McLean cruised to victory in the women’s under-23 400m hurdles.
The 19-year-old, from Stanford-le-Hope lived up to her tag as favourite and ran inside 57 seconds again, finishing in 56.74s.
“I wanted to go under 57 seconds again and show a bit more consistency,” said McLean. “There’s always pressure when you go into these events as favourite but I’m getting a bit more relaxed about it now. I’ve done nationals for the past three or four years now and am used to the pressure.”
McLean, who has been selected to represent England at the Commonwealth Games, will now race the senior national championships this weekend where she will be hoping to make a real impact for the first time.
“I will be taking it a lot more seriously,” she said. “Everyone in the top five has a point to prove. There are three of us (Shona Richards, Ese Okoro and McLean) who are all bunched on top of each other in the rankings (behind Britain’s one and two, Elidh Child and Meghan Beesley) so we will all want to be finishing above each other.”
Another Palmer’s College student, Thomas Head, won his first medal at an England Championships when he won bronze in the under-20 men’s hammer with a season’s best throw of 64.53m.
There were plenty of other notable performances over the weekend too, including a superb PB from Thurrock Harriers’ Gemma Holloway in the under-20 women’s 1,500m.
Holloway ran 4m 25.60s for fifth place while East Tilbury’s Tom Richardson was another to have a good run as he finished seventh in the under-23 men’s 1,500m final in 3m 54.31s. South Ockendon’s Massi Dendani just missed out on a spot in the under-23 men’s 800m final. His time of 1m 54.59s was an agonising half a second away from making the final after he finished fourth in his heat.
Thurrock’s Duane Jibunoh finished fifth in the under-20 men’s discus in 48.28m.