Thanks to Stuart Weir, we have an on site report from British Athletics for the British Trials. Stuart has written for us for several years now. I believed, for several years, that he was Scottish, alas, I was wrong. But, this observant and humorous British writer keeps us informed on all things from across the proverbial pond.
The British Athletics Indoor Championships took place in Birmingham last week in the Arena which will host the World Indoor Championships in two weeks. In Portland two years ago GB registered only 3 medals – Tiffany Porter (60 M hurdles), Robbie Grabarz (high jump) and Lorraine Ugen (long jump).
With home advantage a much better haul seems possible. The trials provided some pointers.
Asha Philip won the 60m title, her ninth British title indoors and out. Philip, who won the 2017European Indoor championship, said: “I felt like I had a great winter and the indoor season has started well, so I just had to execute the race and confirm my place on the team for the World Indoor Championships. It is a bit daunting competing here. The next time I’m in here, I’ll be racing at the World Indoors so that was in the back of my mind. It did build up a bit of tension but it was the perfect rehearsal. I will only accept a medal at the World Indoors. This is my time – I’ve finished fourth and fifth, and gone out in semi-finals, but I’m not doing that this time.”
Laura Muir won the 3000m in what looked a tough race until she streaked clear of the field with three laps to go. Muir, the double European Indoor champion said: “I’m really pleased; the win was sort of the important thing and I had to test my speed over the last few laps. I’m really pleased with how I executed the race and happy with the win.”
Eilish McColgan came second in the 3000 and an hour later was back on track to qualify for the 1500m final.
The race of the day was the men’s 1500, where Jake Wightman just held off Charles Da’vall Grice to clinch his first British 1500m title. The only disappointment of the race was the late withdrawal of Chris O’Hare with a niggle, leaving Wightman selected for the Worlds and the selectors with the tricky choice between Grice and O’Hare for the second place.
CJ Ujah won the men’s 60m in 6.56, the second quickest time of his career, saying: “The main thing was to come here and secure my spot on the team. 6.56 – I’m happy with that but my experienced showed. I did what I needed to do. I’m 23 and this is my second British indoor title – it is an amazing feeling, truly. I needed a run-out on this track as it’s a perfect warm-up for a couple of weeks’ time. I cannot wait to be competing at the World Indoors, it will be a very special event.”
17 year old, Molly Caudrey won the pole vault with a 4.25m indoor personal best. Favorite, Holly Bradshaw, did not compete because of a niggle.
Andrew Pozzi, 2017 European Indoor champion, overcame a terrible start to win the men’s 60m hurdles in a season’s best of 7.58 to secure his place on the team for Birmingham 2018, Katarina Johnson-Thompson took the women’s long jump title with a 6.71m season’s best.
Greg Rutherford returned to action for the first time since June 2017 to win his seventh British title with his very first jump of the competition, 7.80m.
Unluckiest athlete of the day was Megan Marrs who won the women’s 60m hurdles in a PR of 8.16, agonizingly just two hundredths of a second shy of the World Indoor qualifying standard.