KHAI Riley-La Borde is hoping his second place at the England Under-20 Championships and World Trials was 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, should be selected alongside him as he too as the qualifying standard.
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.
“I’m hoping to get selection for the Mannheim International in Germany and hopefully I can run fast there and build my confidence up and then hopefully get selected for World Juniors.”
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.”
There were plenty of other medals and fine performances over the weekend.
Gemma Kersey (Basildon AC) gave it a real go in the under-23 1,500m before eventually having to settle for silver behind Melissa Courtney in 4m 20.07s, while Poppy Lake won the same colour medal in the under-20 women’s high jump.
The Southend High School for Girls student missed out on gold on countback after clearing 1.74m.
“I’m happy with the medal, but it’s usually me that wins on countback,” she said. “I’ve had a tough time this year with exams and have been suffering from hayfever. I’ve been feeling wiped out. But I can’t complain. Training hasn’t been going great so to come here and get a medal is something.”
Winning bronze medals for the first time at AAA Championships were Liam Yarwood and Tom Head.
Yarwood, from Rayleigh, cleared 4.75m to win bronze in the under-23 men’s pole vault.
“I’m happy with that,” he said. “Now the aim is to go over 5 metres before the end of the season.”
Head, from Grays, threw a season’s best of 64.53m for a bronze medal in the under-20 men’s hammer.
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 fellow middle-distance talent Kaylee Dodd went agonisingly close to a medal in the under-20 women’s 800m.
Dodd, of Basildon AC, left her final sprint too late and finished fourth in 2m 7.70s, a season’s best time. Her team-mate 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, two places ahead of club-mate Dale Clutterbuck (3m 55.40s).
Southend AC’s Jake King was sixth (48.00s) in the under-23 men’s 400m final while Thurrock’s Duane Jibunoh finished fifth in the under-20 men’s discus in 48.28m.
FOR FULL RESULTS, PICTURES AND MORE REACTION FROM MEDALISTS, SEE THIS WEEK’S ECHO