GB & NI under-20 team leader Trevor Painter discovers who would win in a head-to-head competition of junior athletes through the ages

Who would win in a 100m hurdles contest featuring an under-20 Sally Gunnell and Jessica Ennis-Hill, or a 100m starring Adam Gemili, Dwain Chambers and Mark Lewis Francis as juniors?

Following the cancellation of the Loughborough International last month, an event which puts a GB & NI juniors squad up against teams representing England, Scotland, Wales, Loughborough and British Universities, team leader Trevor Painter decided to create his own type of contest.

A head-to-head competition of junior athletes through the ages.

Dina Asher-Smith (left) in 2014, a year in which she ran 11.14 for 100m, and Jessica Ennis-Hill (right), pictured six days before her 13.26 100m hurdles in 2005. Photos by Mark Shearman

Painter started out by taking the best junior result by an athlete in each decade for the past four decades, but the last decade proved to be a strong one so he split it in two – 2010-14 and 2015-19.

Each athlete was only allowed to do one event plus a relay.

This created a five-way match, so in each event athletes scored 5 points for the win, down to 1 point for fifth place.

Dwain Chambers (left) celebrates his world junior 100m record in 1997 and Charlie Grice (right) on his way to breaking the UK U20 1500m and mile records in 2012. Photos by Mark Shearman

In the women’s events such as pole vault and steeplechase that were not contested in some of the earlier decades, the team received 3 points for an average score.

In the relay events the top four times were added to create a total time. “No batons got dropped!” Painter says.

Max Burgin (left) breaks the UK U20 800m record with 1:45.36 in 2019 and Amy Hunt (right) pictured during a 2019 season when she broke the world U18 200m record with 22.42. Photos by Mark Shearman

“As you can see, it led to quite an epic match with many familiar faces and some events being very close,” he adds.

“For example only .06 separated the top three in the men’s 400m. Also, when you look at some of the relay teams, it would have been a fabulous contest to see head-to-head.

“What is quite apparent when you see the final scores is that the standards of coaching and sports science support has really helped the junior athletes in this past decade, which is a great kudos to all of the work both UKA, the various home nations along with the personal coaches and support teams have been doing.”

 1980s  1990s  2000s  
100mBev Kinch11.303Kath Merry11.521Ashleigh Nelson11.362
200mSandra Whittaker23.241Sarah Wihelmy23.232Vernicha James22.934
400mLinsey Macdonald51.855Donna Fraser52.543Lisa Miller53.181
800mLynne MacDougall2:01.113Jeina Mitchell2:05.851Charlotte Penford (Moore)1:59.755
1500mZola Budd3:59.965Andrea Whitcombe4:14.561Stephanie Twell4:05.834
3000mPhilippa Mason9:03.352Paula Radcliffe8:51.785Emily Pidgeon9:06.871
1500m SCNot competed3Not competed3Louise Jackson4:44.234
100mHSally Gunnell13.301Diane Allahgreen13.253Jessica Ennis-Hill13.262
400mHSimone Laidlow58.31Vicky Kennedy57.273Perri Shakes-Drayton56.464
High JumpJo Jennings1.903Lea Haggett1.914Rebecca Jones1.881
Pole vaultNot competed3Tracey Grant3.752Jade Ive4.053
Long jumpFiona May6.825Sarah Claxton6.523Amy Harris6.381
Triple jumpNot competed3Michelle Robinson13.052Yasmin Regis13.133
ShotMyrtle Augee17.14Alison Grey15.721Eden Francis15.822
DiscusLynda Whiteley54.784Emma Merry52.583Claire Koom-Dadzie55.035
HammerNot competed3Rachael Beverley57.973Nicola Dudman57.632
Javelin?3Nicky Emblem56.965Goldie Sayers55.44
RelayBev Kinch11.30Kath Merry11.52Ashleigh Nelson11.36
RelayShirley Thomas11.43Marcia Richardson11.53Vernicha James11.40
RelaySimone Jacobs11.45Rebecca Drummond11.59Shaunna Thompson11.46
RelayStephi Douglass11.59Donna Hoggarth11.61Montell Douglass11.56
RelayLinsey Macdonald51.85Donna Fraser52.54Lisa Miller53.18
RelayJane Parry52.65Lauretta Thorne54.27Laura Finucane53.23
RelaySian Lewis52.80Alison Curbishley54.28Kim Wall53.52
RelayAngela Baxter52.99Carey Easton54.28Gemma Sharp53.79
100mJamie Henderson10.212Dwain Chambers10.064Mark Lewis Francis10.103
200mAde Mafe20.542Christian Malcolm20.295Dwayne Grant20.641
400mRoger Black45.364David Grindley45.413Martin Rooney45.355
800mDavid Sharpe1:45.644Curtis Robb1:46.633Ricky Soos1:47.181
1500mGary Taylor3:40.723Brian Treacy3:40.684David Forrester3:41.61
5000mPaul Davies-Hale13:35.955Keith Cullen13:54.523Mo Farah13:56.312
2000m SCTom Hanlon5:32.845Alastair O'Connor5:40.93Mark Buckingham5:41.72
110mHDerek Wilson14.131Chris Baillie13.572Lawrence Clarke13.373
400mHMartin Briggs50.223Noel Levy50.701Richard Davenport50.24
High jumpGeoff Parsons2.253Steve Smith2.375Robbie Grabarz2.221
Pole vaultAndy Ashurst5.211Neil Winter5.504Luke Cutts5.403
Long jumpStuart Faulkner7.984Steve Phillips7.913Greg Rutherford8.145
Triple jumpMike Makin16.223Tosi Fasinro16.585Jonathan Moore16.434
Shot?1Emeka Udechuku17.562Curtis Griffith-Parker19.305
DiscusSimon Williams56.001Carl Myerscough61.814Brett Morse60.462
HammerGareth Cook63.802?1Peter Smith76.674
JavelinSteve Backley79.505David Parker77.484James Campbell73.182
RelayJamie Henderson10.21Dwain Chambers10.06Mark Lewis Francis10.10
RelayLincoln Asquith10.34Christian Malcolm10.12Craig Pickering10.22
RelayElliot Bunney10.38Jason Livingston10.25Simeon Williamson10.24
RelayMarcus Adam10.46Jason Gardner10.25Leevan Yearwood10.26
4 x 400183.933182.95183.354
RelayRoger Black45.36David Grindley45.41Martin Rooney45.35
RelayPeter Crampton46.03Mark Richardson45.53Chris Clarke45.59
RelayWayne McDonald46.22Mark Hylton45.83Tim Benjamin46.10
RelayDerek Redmond46.32Guy Bullock46.13Nigel Levine46.31
 2010-14  2015-19  
100mDina Asher- Smith11.145Kristal Awuah11.164
200mJodie Williams22.943Amy Hunt22.425
400mSabrina Bakare52.772Amber Anning52.184
800mJessica Judd1:59.774Emily Dudgeon2:02.322
1500mLaura Weightman4:09.603Bobby Clay4:10.612
3000mEmelia Gorecka8:55.114Harriett Knowles-Jones8:56.083
1500m SCKatie Ingle4:50.893Victoria Weir4:40.235
100m HYasmin Miller13.134Alicia Barrett13.075
400m HShona Richards56.165Lauren Williams58.092
High JumpMorgan Lake1.945Abby Ward1.892
Pole VaultKatie Byres4.524Molly Caudrey4.535
Long JumpJazmin Sawyers6.674Holly Mills6.512
Triple JumpLaura Samuel13.755Naomi Ogbeta13.644
ShotSophie McKinna17.125Divine Oladipo16.643
DiscusShadine Duquemin51.481Amy Holder51.892
HammerSophie Hitchon66.015Charlotte Williams62.844
JavelinIsabelle Jeffs54.893Emma Hamplett52.272
4 x 10045.00545.034
RelayDina Asher- Smith11.14Kristal Awuah11.16
RelayJodie Williams11.18Imani Lansiquot11.17
RelayDesiree Henry11.21Amy Hunt11.31
RelayBianca Williams11.47Hannah Brier11.39
4 x 400214.242209.235
RelaySabrina Bakare52.77Amber Anning52.18
RelayKatie Kirk53.69Laviai Nielsen52.25
RelayLucy James53.87Catherine Reid52.25
RelayKirsten McAslan53.91Hannah Williams52.55
100mAdam Gemili10.055Dom Ashwell10.251
200mThomas Somers20.374Jona Efoloko20.483
400mJack Crosby46.352Ethan Brown46.441
800mNiall Brooks1:47.022Max Burgin1:45.365
1500mCharlie Da'Vall Grice3:40.952Jake Heyward3:36.905
5000mJonathan Hay13:57.161Alex Yee13:37.604
2000m SCZak Seddon5:36.374Archie Walton5:47.761
110m HDavid Omoregie13.175Joshua Zeller13.264
400m HJack Green50.492Alastair Chalmers50.075
High JumpChris Kandu2.242Tom Gale2.304
Pole VaultAndrew Sutcliffe5.362Adam Hague5.605
Long JumpElliot Safo7.862Shandell Taylor7.781
Triple JumpKola Adedoyin15.932Montel Nevers15.831
ShotAnthony Oshodi18.683Lewis Byng19.184
DiscusLawrence Okoye63.925James Tomlinson61.643
HammerNick Miller73.763Jake Norris80.655
JavelinJoe Dunderdale72.551James Whiteaker77.033
4 x 10040.76441.162
4 x 100Adam Gemili10.05Dom Ashwell10.25
4 x 100Ojie Edoburun10.16Jeremiah Azu10.27
4 x 100Chijindu Ujah10.26Oliver Bromby10.31
4 x 100David Bolarinwa10.29Rachmial Miller10.33
4 x 400186.392186.511
4 x 400Jack Crosby46.35Ethan Brown46.44
4 x 400Elliot Rutter46.39Owen Richardson46.49
4 x 400George Caddick46.77Cameron Chalmers46.51
4 x 400Jarryd Dunn46.88Ben Pattison47.07
Final team standings

1 2010-14 – 125 points
2 2015-19 – 123 points
3 1990s – 113 points
4 1980s – 112 points
5 2000s – 108 points

» Top photo shows Fiona May in 1988, Mo Farah in 2001 and Katharine Merry in 1993

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