One of the events that I try to attend is the SPAR British Indoor Champs, as it gives me a big chance to see some of the finest British Athletes early in the year. The British Champs had some big performances, and we asked Stuart Weir to cover the event, this year in Glasgow, Scotland, at the Emirates Arena, one of my favorite athletic venues.
Day 1 highlights
Last weekend, the crowd was treated to an exhibition of pole-vaulting as Mondo Duplantis set a new world record (Feb. 14). A week later, Sophie Cook won the women’s PV with a PR of 4.50. Cook first cleared 4 meters in 2018. She set a new PR of 4.40 last year. This week’s PR was her third of 2020. She is only 25 so has time on her side. She is coached by Kate Rooney, who as Kate Dennison, held the GB record in the event. She is married to Martyn Rooney.
Cook said of her day: “I’m over the moon with the victory, it’s going to take a while for this to sink in. I’m extremely happy with a PR performance. This is what I have been aiming for all of the indoor season and to be able to do it at the British Championships made it really special. In a couple of weeks I’ve got an event in Cardiff where I can experiment on a few things and then the focus will turn to outdoors and trying to jump even higher”. Pole-vault is always exciting but more so indoors when the action is close to everyone.
Last week 17 year old Amy Hunt lined up alongside Shelly-Ann in the 60m. This week she became British champion, running 7.39. On Monday she is back to school. Of the 8 finalists in the women’s 60m, 5 were 21 or younger with the time and potential to get seriously quick. “This is crazy”, Hunt said afterwards, “it’s my first British Champs and to come away with a gold is surreal. Everything went so well. The margins are so fine in the women’s 60m and it was so close between all three of us and to come out on top has blown my mind. The 60m isn’t my top event but it’s got 2020 off to a great start. I didn’t think I’d be doing this well so early in my career but here I am! There’s a lot to think about outdoors depending on what competitions I do, we’ve learned a lot but let’s see what happens”
Andrew Robertson won the men’s 60 in 6.66. In the longest race of the day, the 3,000m Jonathan Davies won in 8:07.96.
The sprint hurdles were won by Yasmin Miller (8.29) and David King (7.78). Scott Lincoln took the Shot Putt title with 19.49.
The men’s and women’s 800m were run in three heats with only the winners progressing plus the three fastest non-winners. There was some criticism of this structure on social media, which people noting that 9 athletes had run PRs without progressing. I understand the issue but three 800 races in just over 24 hours would have been a big ask.