On Day 2 of the Anniversary Games at the Olympic Park, WGEL's juniors took part in the annual Club Connect Relays just before the main events of the day, and on such a big stage there were some highs and an unfortunate low.
Our 13 Boys squad
The U/13 Boys (Gregor Samson, Ethan Franklin, Jean Marc-Harriott & Godwinner Nkebani) took to the stage first and definitely didn't feel daunted by the occasion and venue. The race was tough and they were always up against it, but even though they finished 9th it was an excellent time of 53.88. This was the best since 2017, even more encouraging was that 2 of the team were in year 6, so definitely more to come.
The U15 Girls squad
After them came the U/15 Girls (Tiya Canning-Lawrence, Zahara Malcolm, Levania Ugonna Mba & Shona Vincent). Even with a slight injury to Levania they were still able to finish 8th with a season's best time of 50.16, which was 0.66s off their previous best this year, and the fastest time by an U/15 WGEL team for over 10 years.
The squad with sub 10 man Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake
GB's Adam Gemili flanked by (in vest) Aiden Fernando and Merveilles Massembo
In the U/17 Men there was great expectation leading into the race, as they were ranked in the top 5 in the country. The team (of Sikiru Onigbanjo, Tolani Alaba, Aiden Fernando & Merveilles Massembo) got off to a flying start from the gun and continued to power their way around the track but unfortunately, when leading into the last leg, like many world-class teams have experienced before, the changeover didn't quite go to plan and, even though they battled their way to the line to finish in 2nd place in a time of 42.05, which is phenomenal, they were later disqualified for an out-of-zone changeover. This was a real shame for such a talented bunch of guys who have so much potential.
The last team were the U/20 Men (Jordan Akinpelu, Joey O'Neill, Winfred Hakeem & Matthew Adum Yeboah). They ran very well and the race seemed to go smoothly in most places. They finished with a time of 42.30 for a season's best and 5th place.
All these teams have shown greatness throughout the year and hopefully they can only getter better and WGEL will have more representatives in next year's event.