Who does not love the 200 meters? The furlong is a half a lap and, as athletes come off the turn, some excel, and some, fall apart. The British Trials featured two fun races, and thanks to Stuart Weir for an exemplar coverage of the British Championships! Beth Dobbin broke the Scottish record earlier this season, that was 34 years old (Sandra Whittacker, LA 1984, 22.98) with her 22.84 on 1 June 2018.
200 meters action
On day 1 we saw two amazing 100 meter races. Day 2’s two 200 races were, if anything, even more exciting. In the women’s race Jodie Williams ran a beautiful bend, and seemed to have the race won but as she tied up a little, she was passed by Bianca Williams and Beth Dobbin. But which of them had won and had Jodie held onto third place?
After a long wait, Beth Dobbin was declared the winner with 22.59, beating Bianca Williams by one hundredth of a second. Jodie Williams did hold on to third place but Shannon Hylton in fourth was given the same time 22.78. The race was run into a negative wind of -1.3m.
Beth Dobbin commented: “It’s crazy. I’m just looking at far I have come. Last year my aim was to make the final and the last few years I have just been happy to make the final. This year, I knew if I ran a good race I could come away a British champion. It’s a dream come true. I’ve worked so hard for this. It’s crazy”.
Bianca Williams said: “Second is so bitter sweet, I wanted to win, especially after having a fantastic 100m yesterday. I did feel tired, but I felt good enough to run well. I am happy with the time but I am gutted that I didn’t get the win. Being pipped on the line is something that just happens sometimes and it’s wasn’t my draw of the cards today. I am grateful to be here and I have run my fastest 200 in four years so it’s good but I just wish I won”.
The drama in the men’s race started in the prelim when Adam Gemili was DQed for a false start. After interminable wait he was reinstated. The delay was so great that there was speculation in the media seats that the issue had been referred to the VAR in Moscow [a reference to the soccer World Cup].
In the final, Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake won in a championship record 20.24 with Gemili second in 20.26. Gemili’s reaction time was 0.266 to Mitchell-Blake’s 0.167 – perhaps because of the previous start? Mitchell-Blake said after the race: “This is the hardest test I’ve had in athletics. It’s been such an up-and-down season. I saw some little children earlier and they said good luck to me but I told them I have to pull it out of the bag. I had no idea how I’d perform. I’ve had four races in two days which is crazy. Before, I had times where I would have called it a season because nothing was clicking, so this is extra motivation”.
The last race I had seen Nethaneel run was in Stockholm. He was not pleased with that race. Sometimes athletes will blame the track, the weather, travel. His comments to me that night were: “Terrible. Terrible time. No excuses, nothing really”. I admired his brutal honesty and was therefore delighted to see him put it right tonight.
And still the reigning 200m national championðŸ‡¬ðŸ‡§ 20.24 SB. Let me give you guys a lil insight to the rollercoaster leading up to this race. It’s the first time I actually doubted myself in the sport. The ‘what if’s’ were flying through my cranium. I was trying to rationalize my mediocre performances all season trying find a reason why I’ve been running like this and this is coming from a guy who doesn’t make excuses only to get a grips and say you better fix this, albeit I had a couple set backs earlier on in the year I swore everything would have been calm. Just like every athlete I train hard and make sacrifices to be the best. Going into the final I had no clue what I was gonna do, I knew I had to pull it out the bag. I got into a good headspace whilst doing block starts and said ‘bruddah you gotta pattern this enuh cuh it’s gonna be a scrap’. Love to all that support me massive shout out my sponsor @adidasrunning my agency, my medical team everyone at British Athletics, Love to my family my circles tight wouldn’t want it any other way and most importantly my coach who’s stuck with me as we’ve made constant attempts to fix things. To anyone who took the time to read it. Keep grafting and never stop believing in yourself ðŸ’¯. Now it’s time to forget about this race and ready up for what next! ðŸ“· @5or6 @peteman82 #takecharge