Published: 00:00, 20 July 2015
| Updated: 08:53, 20 July 2015
Kent athletes led the medal rush as Great Britain completed a record-breaking European Junior Championships in Sweden on Sunday.
Invicta East Kent AC star Bobby Clay was named captain of the squad in Eskilstuna and lived up her her billing as pre-race favourite in the 1,500m on Sunday by storming to gold.
Wingham ace Clay, ranked European number one going into the meeting, broke for home with 800m to go to claim a superb victory in a time of 4mins 17.91secs while close friend and GB teammate Amy Griffiths held-off Germany’s Konstanze Klosterhalfen to complete a GB one-two.
Clay, who only turned 18 in May, said: “It’s amazing – I just started jumping up and down when I crossed the line. I felt these champs have been a long time coming, so to be able to pull it out on the day was really special. To have Amy coming in behind was even better.”
Clay, who completed her studies at Sir Roger Manwood’s School, Sandwich, this summer, added: “I knew I was (team captain) and when I was given the blue number, I thought that was a bit of pressure but I said to myself to rise to the challenge.
“If I’m feeling the pressure than the other girls must be feeling a slight bit of intimidation so I thought I may as well work with that.
“The start was a bit slow and felt a bit boxed in and that’s not how I run. I got myself out and out of trouble and thought if I hit the front, I’ve got to hit it properly.”
She added: “When I got given team captain, that was brilliant - I feel I’ve done my duty as team captain and to have done that with Amy was the best feeling ever.”
Blackheath and Bromley AC’s 18-year-old twins Shannon and Cheriece Hylton, came home with two medals each after adding relay golds on Sunday to their individual silver medals from earlier in the games.
Shannon ran the second leg in the 4x100m, helping the team to a winning time of 44.18secs, the fourth fastest ever by a British junior team.
The final race of the event was the 4x400m with Cheriece leading off the GB quartet which led from start to finish, stopping the clock in 3:34.36 to secure their country’s 11th gold - equalling their previous best performance which came in 1991.
Shannon Hylton qualified fastest for the 200m final with a time of 22.79secs but despite improving by six hundredths in the final, she could only claim silver behind Gina Luckenkemper.
Shannon said: “I’m happy I got a medal – my start could have been better. My reaction was good, but my drive phase wasn’t as good as my semi.
“We woke up this morning and Cheriece said to me we can both win medals at these championships and we did it. We know what we’re capable of and we know if we get our performances right, we could come away with a medal.”
Cheriece had claimed silver in Friday’s 400m final in a Personal Best of 53.16secs - 0.38 seconds faster than her previous best.
She revealed: “I’m so happy, I wanted to come out and run a good time and I came away with a PB so I’m really chuffed. I knew I had to get out hard because the strengths of the other girls was the final 200m. That last bit was a bit tough for me, but I kept it going,”
The Hylton’s training partner Dina Asher-Smith, 19, finished fourth in a star-studded Diamond League field in Monaco on Friday night.
Running over 200m, Britain’s No1 female sprinter stopped the clock in a time of 22.41secs, her second fastest of all-time, however still 0.11secs behind her PB set last month in Birmingham.
Blackheath & Bromley’s Adam Gemili is continuing his fight to be fit for the IAAF World Championships in Beijing next month after suffering a hamstring injury at the same Birmingham meeting.
Fellow London 2012 Olympian Jack Green (400mH) is also on the comeback trail after a knee injury and hopes to prove his fitness in time to claim one of three berths in the squad for China.