State of British Athletics, one month before London 2017, by Stuart Weir


Chris O'Hare-1.jpgChris O'Hare, won British Trials and London DL 1,500m! photo by David Wearn

Stuart Weir wrote this, his second of four articles on the Muller Anniversary Games on the state of British Athetics. Stu was fond of Chris O'Hare's fine win here, his second in one week at the British Trials. Chris will be competing in London 2017. O'Hare trains with the BAA Track Club in U.S. under the watchful eye of Terrance Mahon. Chris O'Hare, as most of you know, is the bronze medalist from both the European Indoor and Outdoor Championships.

So what did the Anniversary Games tell us about the state of British Athletics a month before the IAAF World Championships. The event included an outbreak of mascots with BritBear (Brtish Athletics) Tasty B (The event sponsor Müller) and the two 2017 mascots WhizBee and Hero the Hedgehog. There was the farewell to Mo Farah on his last appearance on the track in the London stadium in a Diamond League on a Sunday. (Not to be confused with his last appearance on the London track - and any track for that matter - in the World Champs next month).

At least Sir Mo, as we are supposed to call him, won the 3000m in 7.35.15. Laura Muir was attempting to break the British record in the mile - the optimistic stadium announcer kept telling up the splits for the World record as well. In the end, Laura, who had just recovered from an injury, had to settle for a PB of 4.18.03. Hellen Obiri clearly had not read the script about Laura's night and Hellen rather selfishly won the race herself. She won't be invited back, I imagine.

Arguably the British highlight of the day was Chris O'Hare winning the 1500m, digging deep down the home straight to pass Vincent Kibet and Filip Ingebrigsten in 3.34.75. Post-race O'Hare said: "It was great. I knew with 200 to go I had a lot to do. I was mad at myself for that so I thought I had better go and hope there was enough track left and there was by half a metre. I feel so much stronger than I have ever been. I have put in a lot of work. I didn't use any of my finishing speed until the last 150m".

Other GB highlights included:

  • Elliot Giles running sub 1.45 for the first time in the men's 800m;
  • Chijindu Ujah winning 100m with a 10.02
  • Shelayna Oskan-Clarke second in the 800m 1.59.82
  • Tom Bosworth broke the one mile world race-walk record in 5.31.08.

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