The Men’s and women’s 200 meters are prime examples of the challenges for selectors in the British Trials. Stuart Weir wrote this column on the 200m on Day 2.
Adam Gemili who had finished second in the 100m, was the winner of the 200m, which would be deemed to be his stronger event. His time of 20.08 into a -1.2 him win was a championship record. Zharnel Hughes, third in the hundred took second place with Miguel Francis a sub 20 runner this year third. Nethaneel Mitchell Blake was fourth, with the top four all coming inside the Doha qualifying time of 20.40.
Gemili commented afterwards: “I feel exhausted now but leaving I’m really happy. I knew coming in I didn’t have the qualifying time and I knew the field was unreal with four of us in there that are sub-10 seconds for the 100m and Zharnel [and Miguel] is sub-20 seconds for the 200m in his career and anyone could have taken it”. In another interview Gemili commented on how he had been dropped from the UK funding as an individual performer, retained only as part of the relay squad and seemed to enjoy making his point.
That leaves Ojie Edoburun and Gemili with automatic selection for the 100 and Gemili and Hughes for the 200. Reece Prescod who has the qualifying time in 100 and Richard Kilty in the 200 were both absent through injury. If the selectors go with the third place runner ineach case it would be hard to argue the decision. It does however mean that Nethaneel Mitchell Blake will go to the world championships only to run the relay.
With Dina Asher-Smith being allowed not to run the 200 only two world championship places were up for grabs in the women’s 200 m final. Jodie Williams dominated the race, winning in 23:06 – a meaningless time with the swirling -4.3 wins to contend with. Beth Dobbin took second place.