A look ahead to the European Junior Championships taking place in Eskilstuna from July 16-19
The European Junior Championships has been a happy hunting ground for British athletes since the early
1970s and former champions include Steve Ovett, Steve Cram, Roger Black, Darren Campbell, Steve Smith, Greg Rutherford, Daley Thompson, Katharine Merry, Fatima Whitbread, Jessica Ennis and many more.
Mo Farah, France’s Christophe Lemaitre, Sweden’s Carolina Kluft and Russia’s Yelena Isinbayeva are also some of the global stars who have won European junior titles in the past and many senior champions of the future are sure to be among those in action in Sweden over the next few days as Eskilstuna hosts the 23rd edition of this event.
Great Britain has a 55-strong team in action, with hammer thrower Taylor Campbell and middle-distance runner Bobby Clay announced as joint captains. Seven athletes, including Clay in the 1500m, top the European junior rankings in their respective events – double world junior champion Morgan Lake in the high jump, Ojie Edoburun in the 100m, Shannon Hylton and Elliot Powell in the 200m, Adam Hague in the pole vault and Laviai Nielsen in the 400m.
“I didn’t expect to be team captain but I’m really pleased,” said Clay, who leads the European lists by more than a second with her 4:12.20 from May. “I think Great Britain are always under pressure and we’re always recognised as we walk around and people want to speak to us.
“Everyone shines when they need to and as a team we can come together and support each other. I definitely think everyone will put out a performance that they’ll be proud of.”
Also among the ones to watch will be European junior indoor record-holder Konrad Bukowiecki who is set to be a dominant force in the men’s shot competition. The Polish world junior champion will be looking to follow in the footsteps of the likes of world and European champion David Storl of Germany, with Storl having won the European junior title in 2009. Hungary’s world junior silver medallist and 2013 world youth champion Reka Gyuratz goes in the women’s hammer and she leads the rankings with her 70.39m national under-23 record from May.
Iceland’s Anita Hinriksdottir is set to defend her 800m title and has run 2:01.50 this season, while her PB is 2:00.49. Germany’s Alina Reh takes on the 5000m. The 18-year-old is the quickest so far this season over both 5000m and 3000m and having just missed out on an individual medal at the European Cross Country Championships in Samokov, she set her sights on Sweden. Switzerland’s Julien Wanders has run 13:48.21 for 5000m this year, while Italy’s Yemaneberhan Crippa is among the entries.
European Indoor Championships 60m finalist Ewa Swoboda goes in the 100m and has a PB of 11.24, while Romania’s European indoor long jump bronze medallist Florentina Marincu, who has the European junior record of 6.79m to her name, has leapt 6.66m this season. She is also entered for the triple jump.
Among those representing the host nation is Simon Litzell who leads the javelin rankings with his national junior record of 78.37m.
The action gets underway on Thursday July 16 with men’s shot put qualifying at 9.25am local time, 8.25am in the UK.
The full timetable can be found here.