This is the third column on Day 1 of British Championships by Stuart Weir for 24 August 2019. The battle for second was facinating.
The women’s 100m it was really all about who got second place and the automatic selection. It was, rightly, assumed that Dina Asher-Smith would win comfortably. She did running a championship record 10.96 into a 0.9 headwind.
She commented afterwards: “I’m happy to have got the win and lower the championship record considering the headwinds. 11.03 to 10.97s is a big drop, normally it’s a couple of hundredths but I’m not complaining. When you have two rounds in a day, you run them like they’re world championships semis and finals. You have to run for each and every place”.
Asha Philip is the “senior” sprinter at 28. The question being whispered was whether she was in danger of being overtaken by the new generation of British sprinters – Daryll Neita (22), Imani Lansiquot (21) and Kristal Awuah (20). Was her relay place in danger too?
Philip answered her critics with 11.29 for second place, one hundredth of a second ahead of Daryll Neita with Kristal Awuah fourth in 11.40.
Jodie Williams who has set a PR in the 100 and 400 this year was fifth but her sights for Doha are firmly on the 200. Imani Lansiquot was sixth and Rachel Miller – remember her amazing story of returning to the sport after 8 years – was 7th.
But that is not the end of the story as Philip does not have the qualifying standard of 11.24 while Imani Lansiquot, Jodie Williams and Daryll Neita do. Interestingly while Philip ran 12 indoor 60s this was only her 5th 100m race this year, due to injury.
Philip commented afterwards: “Next week I’m going to race in Berlin so I’m hoping that I can get the standard. It’s do or die basically! At least I got the second position so I know I’m eligible for that spot. I just have to get the time.
“I wanted both the time and a medal today but it was a lot to ask of myself. I’ve had a slow season, it’s not been the best. I got injured and I’m only just starting to get back into the swing of things but there isn’t that many races left. But I just have to keep pushing and pushing and with the opportunity to run next week and the fact that I finished in the top two today is perfect. It’s almost like, that’s one thing out the way, now let’s go and get the time. I ran that in a minus wind so I’m happy with that”.
Several athletes will have a nervous few days until the team is selected in early September.