Dad and coach watch in pride as Jessica Judd wins silver at World Junior Championships (From Southend Standard)
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Dad and coach watch in pride as Jessica Judd wins silver at World Junior Championships
THERE will not have been two prouder men inside Barcelona’s Olympic Stadium over the past couple of days than Mike Judd and Jeremy Freeman — father and coach respectively to Jessica Judd.
Neither man could barely watch Jessica’s 800m final. And for both, her silver medal was the reward for the hard work and dedication they have put into making the 17-year-old one of the most-talked about junior athletes in Britain.
Mike Judd, who was joined in the stands by Jessica’s younger sister Jodie, said: “I couldn’t sit still, I was so nervous. To be in the Olympic Stadium in Barcelona, watching Jess is something I could never have imagined in my wildest dreams.
“I’m so proud. She has come a long way since I took her to her first race when she was 10 and she beat me in a 5km!
“I thought at one point she might be run out of the medals but she was strong. There always seems to be drama in Jess’ races!”
Freeman, who is the brains behind Judd’s training pro-gramme, was also a proud man.
And he predicted his young charge’s battle with American Ajee Wilson, which first started in the World Youth Championships 12 months ago, is one that could go on to dominate the sport in future years.
“The race really couldn’t have gone any better and it’s progress,” he said. “A PB and a silver medal in the juniors when she is just 17 is fantastic and great for her. “However the race went, I was sure it was going to be those two (Judd and Wilson) at the end. “I almost looked away during the race. I can remember her getting out of a difficult position, which I’m pleased about because that’s something we’ve worked on, then I looked up again and it was just the two of them there with 150m to go.
“Ajee Wilson is the best in the world. “And that could be a real battle between those two for the next 15 years or so.”