Reynolds Shines at World Championships
NI hurdles record holder Ben Reynolds exceeded all expectations by qualifying for the semi- finals in the weekend's World Indoor Athletics Championships in Istanbul.
The 21 year old Holywood man responded in brilliant fashion to the intense pressure generated by the biggest athletics occasion of his life.
In his heat Ben admitted to pre race event nervousness and this combined with warm up problems made relaxation difficult. He then clattered some hurdles during the race. He was therefore extremely relieved to reach the semis as one of the fastest losers in a time of 7.82 secs. Fastest qualifier was Ben's training partner Andrew Pozzi who set a PB of 7.61 secs.
In his semi race Reynolds was joint first over the first hurdle with former Olympic champion Liu Xiang. He then continued to hold his own against much faster hurdlers to eventually finish 7th in 7.80 secs. The race was won by Xiang in 7.53 secs with Pozzi second in another PB of 7.56 secs. Times were slower than normal because of sound problems in the stadium which resulted in slow reaction times.
Ben said; "I really enjoyed that-it was a great experience for me.I started well and went over the first hurdle with Liu who is my all time hero. I relaxed more than in my heat but unfortunately I still hit a hurdle. Iwas sore from my heat as my old injuries have meant that I am still not in shape for rounds of races."
Ben now intends to embark on an intense 6 weeks training period with a view to the European Championships in Helsinki and possibly even the London Olympics.
Speaking of the Irish performance, High Performance Director, Kevin Ankrom said “ Ben produced two solid performances showing his championships credentials at his first majors. Derval and Ciaran would have liked to have performed better and given their talent they are understandably disappointed but this championships is just a stepping stone for both of these athletes towards their ultimate target, the London Olympics”
Reynolds Qualifies for World Semi Final
Ben Reynolds has qualified for tomorrow’s semi-finals of the men’s 60 metres hurdles at the World Indoor Championships in Istanbul.
The North Down athlete put in what he described as a stuttering performance in progressing as a fastest loser to the last 16, taking the second-last of the four fastest loser spots this morning in Istanbul.
Reynolds went into his first-round heat with the second-slowest season’s best and personal best, but still got through a wave of runners in a fast heat, taking fifth spot in 7.82 seconds – American Aries Merritt won in 7.66.
By competing in the fourth and final heat, the 21-year-old didn’t have long to wait to discover he had got through by one-hundredth of a second – but wants to improve things for tomorrow’s semis.
“It’s not a very good time to be honest, but the result is what counts in the end. I’m through, giving me another chance,” Reynolds admitted afterwards.
“I am through, and that’s the important thing, but I’m not happy with the time. I know it was a very bad race for me. It’s just a matter of getting into the semis, and taking it a bit more relaxed and see if I can actually execute a better performance.
“The whole situation was quite daunting. Usually I’m a pretty relaxed guy and I can handle these things. I just need to relax in the semi-final and enjoy it.
“Why do I do it? For enjoyment. I can’t lose sight of that.”
Interview with Ben Reynolds (Will Downing)