Recently in British Athletics Category


Usain-Bolt-Manchester-CityGames-2009-by-The-Great-Run-Company-750x442.jpgUsain Bolt running history's fastest, Manchester Great CityGames, photo by Great Run Company

The Manchester Great CityGames was one of my favorite events. I visited in 2016, and enjoyed the event immensely. A fine crowd, in overcast, rainy weather, and some fun races. 20,000 fans enjoyed some fine athletes and then, two days later, the Manchester Great Run. Sad thing was, this is how big races should do a weekend of athletics.

Stuart Weir provides a fitting obituary to this fine event...

Holly-Bradshaw-Manchester-CityGames-2017-Philip-Oldham-1250x750.jpgrHolly Bradshaw, Manchester Great CityGames, photo by Great Run Companyr

Tefera_Samuel-Pre18.jpgSamuel Tefera, photo by PhotoRun.net
Tefera WR and Muir two national marks
BIRMINGHAM (GBR, Feb 16): Ethiopian festival in men´s 1500 m resulted in a superb world indoor 1500m record by last year World Indoor champion in the same hall Samuel Tefera at the Muller Indoor Grand Prix Birmingham at Arena Birmingham. The mark - which is still to be ratified - of 3:31.04, took 0.14 seconds off the previous best and he did it in brilliant fashion, powering away from Yomif Kejelcha 3:31.58 and Australian Stewart McSweyn 3:35.10 Oceanian record with Briton Josh Kerr fourth in 3:35.72 PB. Tasked with closing the show Laura Muir crossed the line at the end of her mile race, shattering Kirsty Wade's 31-year-old national record with a mark of 4:18.75 (also a World lead), and also revised her own 1500m British mark which was recorded at 4:01.83. Second Winnie Nanyondo Ugandan record 4:29.40. Chinese World indoor silver medalist Su Bingtian cotinued his solid indoor form as he sealed victory in the men's 60m race, winning from Britain's European 100m silver medallist Reece Prescod in a World leading 6.47 to 6.53 of Prescod (equalled hiS PB). Third Mike Rodgers 6.54 and fourth Japan's Takuya Kawakami also 6.54 NR. It was difficult to distinguish the top three in the women's 60 metres in real time with just 0.02 seconds separating Elaine Thompson, Asha Philip and Marie-Josee Ta-Lou with 7.13, 7.14 and 7.15. An unsurprisingly popular victor on home soil for olly Bradshaw on countback in the women's pole vault with 4.81 over Katie Nageotte and Nikoleta Kiriakopoulou (equalled PB - both 481) and Olympic winner Katerini Stefanidi 471. Shelayna Oskan-Clarke took the 800 m in 2:01.16 for another home win. US Jarret Eaton came out on top in both of his heat and final to claim victory and maximum World Indoor Tour points in the men's 60m hurdles in a swift time of 7.51. Japanese World leader Naoto Tobe notched up another victory on the circuit with a near perfect score-card through to his winning height of 229 in the high jump. After a cautious opening series of laps in which it looked like the field was heading towards a finish dead on 9 minutes, the women's 3000m concluded with an Ethiopian 1-2-3-4 as a frantic final 400m saw the pace wind up and Alemaz Samuel strike for victory by less than half a second ahead of Axumawit Embaye who clocked 8:54.97. Samuel is also the winner of IAAF World Indoor Tour 2019. Joseph Deng broke the indoor Oceanian record with a time of 1:47:27 while winning the 800 m, the race was marred by collision. Last year's world indoor champion Ivana Spanovic claimed another win in the second city, a 6.78m season's seeing the Serbian go from strength to strength in 2019 following an injury lay-off at the back end of 2018. In the men's equivalent, event-favourite Juan Miguel Echevarria lived up to his billing as the one to watch in the field, with a sixth-round best of 8.21 and also celebrated the IAAF World Indoor Tour win. In the women's 400m Jamaica's Stephenie Ann McPherson took the overall victory in 400 m with 52.24 with Eilidh Doyle quick on her heels in 52.43. US Nathan Strother took a commanding and comfortable win over two laps of the track with 46.45. The women's sprint hurdles saw Evonne Britton find personal best form at just the right time, with a swift 7.91.
IMG_6881.JPGArena Birrmingham, photo by Larry Eder

P1080769.JPGStuart Weir with colleague, Brit Bear, photo from the Stuart Weir collection

Stuart Weir has the kind of mind that is always buzzing. In 2014, he suggested to a group of Scottish papers that America just might want to join the CG Games as they were a former colony. This time around, in his column three of 3 for the 2019 Muller Indoor GP Birmingham, Stuart provides some comic relief in the mostly serious world of athletic journalism.

One thing, Stuart, Laura Muir set two NRs in her mile (1,609 meter) run, a 4:01.83 for the 1,500m and a 4:18.78 for the mile!

laura muir.jpgLaura Muir now has Indoor NRs at 800m, 1000m, 1,500m, Mile, 3,000m and 5,000m! photo by British Athletics

Asha Philips.jpgAsha Philip, photo by Getty Images/British Athletics

Prescod_ReeceSF-WC17.jpgReece Prescod, photo by PhotoRun.net

One of the huge stories in athletics is how British Athletics has gone from being a mediocre team with great history in the last decade, to one of the top 4 most powerful players globally. The success and reemergence of British Athletics has to do with funding, which has allowed nearly 100 athletes to have support, travel and training camps worth nearly $100k US each. The money has allowed athletes to focus, coaches to focus and a long term approach to major global championships.

There are many reasons for this, including the saving of British Athletics by Alan Pascoe and his team at Fastrack (among them, Jon Ridgeon, Ian Stewart). The AVIVA sponsorship deal of 55 million sterling a year, done by Pascoe and team and lost by British athletics subsequently, was the largest sponsorship deal in athletics. BBC TV coverage of the meets in UK have provided the British Isles with some of the finest athletic programming in the world, and the social media of British athletics inspires a new generation of athletes and fans.

Even with some missteps, the next generation of British Athletics elite athletes and events continue to build the sport. British events are amazingly successful. In this piece, Stuart Weir speaks on the 60 meters on Saturday and cautions us not to read too much in it. 2019 and 2020 are huge years. Some athletes have focused completely on the late date of Doha 2019, which will affect the Olympics in 2020 as well.

Stuart makes several good points on the 60 meters sprint. The British standards may need to be reaassessed, as the need to put young sprinters in front of big champs is huge. One has to gain experience, so that they do not crumble in front of boisterous, non-GBR crowds.

How will British Athletics fare? History notes good relay form, and the middle and long distances continue to shine. Field events need some work as the potential is there, but the focus has to be out six to ten years, not in 18 months.

Johnson_KaterinaFL1-WorInd18.jpgKaterina Johnson-Thompson, pentathlon, photo by PhotoRun.net

Reekie gettyimages-1128708100-1024x1024.jpgJemma Reekrie, 1,500m, photo by Getty Images/British Athletics

Chris O'Hare wins.JPGChris O'Hare, 3000m, photo by Getty Images/British Athletics

Stuart Weir is a long time writer for runblogrun. He wrote 150 stories in 2018, and we hope that we have not exhausted him for 2019. This past week, we sat next to each other, and even shared a meal on Valentines Day. His sense of humor keeps me smiling. His admiration and knowledge of the athletes is why his writing is so popular with our readers. This is 1/3 on the Muller Indoor GP Birmingham.

IAAF_WIT_Social_Icons_Round_Dark-Birmingham.pngI have been fortunate to visit the Birmingham Indoor GP for over a decade. I first began coming to the meets in Birmingham as the guest of Ian Stewart, who was the meet director of all meets British. I had asked him at the Pre one year, what makes British meets special? Now, after having witnessed Ian Stewart's era and now, Spencer Barden managing the fields at the events, I believe the Birmingham Indoor has athletics magic!

Chris O'Hare wins.JPGChris O'Hare savors the thrill of victory, photo by Getty Images/British Athletics

morgan lake getty spar 2019.jpgMorgan Lake, photo by Getty Images/British Athletics

Oskan Clark.JPGShelayne Oskan Clarke, photo by Getty Images/British Athletics

Here's the update from the official site, www.britishathletics.org.uk on Day 2 of the SPAR British Champs.

Asha Philips.jpgAsha Philip, photo by Getty Images/British Athletics

laura muir.jpgLaura Muir takes the 3000m, photo by Getty Images/British Athletics

Holly.JPGHolly Bradshw, 4.80m, photo by Getty Images/British Athletics

Here's the update from the official site, www.britishathletics.org.uk on Day 1 of the SPAR British Champs.

P1080769.JPGStuart Weir and a keen observer of the sport, photo by Stuart Weir

I asked Stuart Weir, our English Senior correspondent, why at the SPAR British Champs that athletes wore their club colors. In the US, athletes wear the colors of their sponsoring footwear club, for the most part. Stuart found this piece for our edifcation.

gettyimages-1128514271-1024x1024.jpgArena Birmingham, photo by Getty Images/British Athletics

This is the third article by Stuart Weir on the SPAR British Champs by Stuart Weir. One of the themes in this meeting is the fine performances and next generation of British women athletes.

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