The New Zealand team got just the start they wanted at the World U20 Athletics Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland, with Alison Andrews-Paul winning the third heat of the womens 800m in 2:08.13.

Cruising in for the win after making a move with 300m to go, the Masterton 18 year old emerged as the 11th fastest in the five heats, but importantly qualified easily without having to work too hard.

"That was really good," said Andrews-Paul. "It was quite pushy out there and I had water coming at me from some of the girls in front, which was a bit distracting."

"At the start of the second lap I assessed where I was and how the other girls were going. With 300m to go I made a move because I dont like moving on the bend. I didnt want to risk not making the semi-final, and I felt really good with 200m to go, so I just went for it. It wasnt as hard as it usually is, so thats a good sign."


"Now Ill go back to the hotel to rest up as much as I can for the semi-final tomorrow," added Andrews Paul.

She now faces the tough task of qualifying for the final starting in the second of three semi-finals, needing to finish in the top two in the heat or in one of the next two fastest times to progress. The semi-finals will be on Thursday morning (NZ time).

Meanwhile Lauren Bruce (Timaru) didnt progress past the qualifying round in the discus, throwing a best of 42.30m, 6.32m short of making the top 12 for the final. Bruce has her main event, the hammer on Thursday evening.

Next up will be Auckland shot putter Maddison-Lee Wesche with the qualification round this evening and the final the next morning. In action on the track this evening will be speedsters Zoe Hobbs (Auckland) and Lucy Sheat (Blenheim) in the womens 100m heats.

- This story has been automatically published using a media release from Athletics New Zealand