Belfast Telegraph

Sports Awards

Davicia shines with impressive show in Finland


By Brian Hill

Davicia Paterson of Beechmount ran a superb first round heat in the 400 metres at the World Junior Athletics Championships in Tampere, Finland to reach today's semis.

The 17-year-old Hunter House schoolgirl was under immense pressure, participating in one of the most competitive events of these Championships, but rose to the occasion despite being drawn in the unfavourable outside lane.

After a measured 300m, she blasted down the home straight to snatch second in 53.20 secs, with Taylor Manson of the US winning in 52.68. While Davicia's time only ranked her ninth of today's 22 qualifiers, her PB of 52.88 achieved recently makes her the fifth fastest in the field, giving her an excellent chance of progressing to the final.

"I am happy with how that went. It was hard being out in lane 8 as I could see nothing for most of the time," she said.

"I tried to coast it but the other girls were coming and I had to give it everything in the last 100m."

Team-mate Ciara Deely was sixth in her heat in 54.69 and did not qualify.

In the 800m, Jo Keane of Ennis just qualified for the semis when she finished seventh in 2.09.59.

Meanwhile, Commonwealth bronze medallist Leon Reid continued his impressive season with another excellent performance in the big athletics meeting in Lucerne, Switzerland.

In a high powered 200m event, Reid struggled in the early stages to stay with the opposition. However, in the home straight he fought back as usual and crossed the line in 20.40. The race was won by Panama's Edward Alonso in 19.90.

Leon's time, which is a European qualification mark, proves that he is maintaining the form he displayed a few days ago when he set a new NI record of 20.27 secs when taking bronze in the British Championships.

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