JADE O’DOWDA TAKES SILVER AT THE SENIOR WOMEN’S PENTATHLON AT SHEFFIELD
Published: 1 February 2020
After winning the Under 20 title the past two years, Holly Mills (Andover AC, Laura Turner-Alleyne) completed a hat-trick by moving up to take Senior gold in fine style. However, she had to fight for it after particularly good performances from silver and bronze medallists, respectively Jade O’Dowda (Oxford City, Toni Minichiello) and Kate O’Connor (St. Gerards, Toni Minichiello). Mills’ PB score of 4261 puts her 10th on the UK all-time list and only 36 points short of the Championship record. A 110-point improvement over her Under 20 championship best set here last year.
The Andover AC athlete started well with an 8.49 (1019) in the 60m hurdles – 0.07 outside her PB and enough to give her the lead with 1019 points. In the high jump, she was six centimetres below her best with 1.72m (879) as O’Dowda improved her PB to 1.78m (973) to close the lead to just 10 points. The shot then saw a big throw of 12.99m (727) from Ireland’s Kate O’Connor, who moved into the lead. As O’Dowda set a PB of 12.38m (686), she relegated Mills, who threw 11.70m (641), to third.
It was looking like a close battle as the three six-metre long jumpers prepared for the penultimate event. It was O’Dowda who prevailed with 5.95m (834), four centimetres further than European junior long jump bronze medallist Mills (822), as O’Connor jumped 5.63m (738). It meant O’Dowda had a 47-point lead going into the 800m.
Mills, with coach Laura Turner-Alleyne cheering her on, led from the start but O’Dowda chased closely all the way. Clearly giving it everything, her winning time of 2:14.46 (900) was a PB. O’Dowda also produced a lifetime best, clocking 2:19.53 (830). Just 23 points separated them at the end, with O’Dowda also setting a PB tally of 4238. O’Connor took bronze with 4072. The three also took the Under-23 accolades.
OCAC’s Alice Hopkins was in fourth place before withdrawing before the last event.