Irish sprinter Gina Akpe-Moses targets World Junior win

Place in semi-finals beckons for athlete as she enters fifth heat in second place

Gina Akpe-Moses celebrates winning the 100m at the European Athletics Under-20 Championship in Grosseto, Italy last summer

Gina Akpe-Moses celebrates winning the 100m at the European Athletics Under-20 Championship in Grosseto, Italy last summer

 

First Europe, now the world. That represents an obvious step up and for Gina Akpe-Moses it’s also the natural progression, given this week’s World Junior Athletics Championships in Tampere, Finland.

Last summer, Akpe-Moses made history by becoming the first Irish athlete to win a European sprint title at the European Junior Under-20 Championships, winning the 100m in Grosseto, Italy: the World Junior Championships – also under-20 – offers the chance to win bigger again.

Now based in Birmingham, it’s a naturally more competitive stage too for the Nigerian-born athlete who moved to Ireland aged three. Akpe-Moses has improved her 100m best to 11.46 this season, and goes in this morning’s fifth of five heats ranked second to Daija Lampkin of the US, who has run 11.34. With four to progress, a semi-final beckons at the very least.

Excellent

Ciara Neville goes in heat four with a best of 11.52 and both athletes will be joined by Rhasidat Adeleke and Patience Jumbo Gula in the 4x100m relay – Adeleke, still only 15, winning 200m gold at the European Under-18 Championships in Gyor, Hungary at the weekend, while Jumbo Gula finished fifth in the 100m.

Team Ireland already got off to a good start with Davicia Patterson, finishing second in her 400m heat, through to the semi-final with an excellent time of 53.20, while Ciara Deely just missed out when finishing sixth in 54.69, just one place short of qualifying. Jo Keane also made the 800m semi-finals as a fastest loser, finishing seventh in her heat in 2:09.59.

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