Williams storms to European lead in Loughborough

Ian Dovaston reports from the Loughborough International Athletics meeting at the Paula Radcliffe Stadium

Rhys Williams (Mark Shearman)

Rhys Williams ran the fastest 400m hurdles by a European athlete this year to cap an impressive win in the Loughborough International Athletics meeting on Sunday.

“In Moscow, I’ll need to go a bit quicker,” said European champion Williams, who clocked 48.90. “To win a medal, I need to be low 48 seconds.”

The race at the Paula Radcliffe Stadium saw Jack Green, running for England, pull up before the finish.

Green’s withdrawal came on the final bend as Cardiff-based Williams whisked by in the lane inside him. He is not thought to be injured.

Other impressive performances came from double European indoor gold medallist Perri Shakes-Drayton, who clocked her fastest ever outdoor 400m at 50.98.

Eilidh Child ran the fastest 400m hurdles by a British woman this year with 56.34 and will now meet Shakes-Drayton over 200m hurdles at the BT GreatCity Games in Manchester on Saturday.

Junior sprinter Dina Asher-Smith provided a meeting highlight, the 17-year-old clocking 23.14 in the 200m.

Another brilliant British junior Jessica Judd only narrowly missed out in her attempt to go under 2 minutes for 800m with 2:00.71.

“To break the 2 minute barrier would be great,” she said afterwards,” adding, “I think it’s in me this year.”

» Find more in-depth coverage and results in the May 23 issue of AW

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