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On the blocks

Britain's young athletes were in action at the World Junior Championships in Beijing.

Chris Clarke (400m relay) and Sarah Holt (hammer) wrote diaries for the Academy from China.

Chris' second diary sees him preparing to finally race and cheering on his team-mates to the medal podium.

Academy diaries from the World Junior Championships
Chris Clarke
Great Britain 400m relay runner

It has been a good week here in Beijing, the team has adapted well to the new location since our departure from our holding camp in Macau.

Beijing's Tiananmen Square and the Museum of Revolutionary History
Chris discovers the Chinese capital is rather large

I told you last time I had been nominated as flag-bearer for the GB team in the opening ceremony, which was amazing.

The ceremony was really well organised - there was loads of dancing and music. However I didn't get to see much of it as I had to stand outside the stadium waiting for the teams to be led in.

I saw the fireworks go off, which were pretty impressive. If this is what the Chinese do for the World Juniors in Beijing, then the 2008 Olympics will be a sight to see.

I'm still waiting to compete - the lack of action has made the week even longer than normal. When you see everyone else competing you just want to get going on the track.

Luckily I find it easy to rest and relax and hang around the hotel.

I went shopping to the famous Pearl Market, but haven't done much else. You need to keep off your feet and recover from the last bits of training.

Harry Aikines-Aryeetey shows off his new gold medal
Aikines-Aryeetey enhanced his growing reputation in Beijing

Besides I'd probably get lost out in these streets, it is a huge city.

The team has had a real buzz over the last few days with Harry Aikines-Aryeetey winning gold in the 100m.

I was watching in the stands at the top end of the home straight, so I couldn't see who crossed the line first.

But when Harry raised his arms we knew he had done it and we went mad.

I thought Martyn Rooney did well to win bronze in the 400m.

It wasn't what he wanted as he was seen as the favourite for gold, but he has had a really long, tough season. I hope he can look back and be pleased eventually.

Saturday sees the heats of the 4x400m relay. I am on the lead leg and it will be good to start competing at last.

I have done a bit of training this week and feel in good shape. Finally it's my turn to get going! I'll let you know how we do.

Read the final installments of Chris' and Sarah's diaries on Monday.


Rooney misses out on junior gold
17 Aug 06 |  Athletics
Britain add two bronzes to tally
20 Aug 06 |  Athletics
Fortunate Nelson captures bronze
18 Aug 06 |  Athletics
Aikines-Aryeetey wins sprint gold
16 Aug 06 |  Athletics


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