The Men’s 800m was noted as the British Champs race of the day. Stuart Weir sent us this piece on an exciting 800 meters.
British Champs race of the day
The race of the day was the men’s 800m and the winner, Daniel Rowden, was the official athlete of the day.
Rowden ran a 1:44.97 in 2018 and was selected for the GB team for the European Championships in Berlin. He then had surgery and did not run at all in 2019. He has come back with a vengeance. Prior to the GB Champs he had had just two races, both in Sweden, running a 1:44.74. Psalm Roberts-Nash made the early running but Jake Wightman took the lead with about 200 to go. Rowden at one point looked boxed in but found space and a change of gear to win in 1:45.94, beating Wightman by 0.32 of a second. Steve Cram and Hannah England on commentary said that Wightman had got his tactics right and done nothing wrong. He was simply undone by the kick of Rowden.
The protagonists said afterwards: (Rowden) “This has been very special. It has been such a weird year with not knowing what is going to happen, if any events will take place. It was great to come here in front of a big TV crowd – it is very special. I am very happy after a difficult year with surgery in April 2019 so it has been a tough road back. It sorted me out but it took a while to get back going again. To take the British title for the first time is incredible. When I saw Jake I just remembered my coach saying stay relaxed and keep my form and go when I’m ready to go and give it everything”.
Wightman, who is always worth listening to, commented: “I am frustrated with that. I came here with one intention which was to win it but I feel like I did everything. When you are running against a guy like Daniel with the form he is in, I knew he was going to be hard to beat and he proved that today. I am still on the search for an outdoor British title. The plan was always to target the 800m, I am in alright 800m shape and I have got a couple of races to prove that. I always like to compete against the best in the country at 800m.
“I feel like doubling up between the 800m and 1500m is how the old school middle distance used to run and I put myself in that category which is why I don’t like being called 1500m guy stepping down to a 800m runner. I am an 800m runner as well. I have a quick turn round with a Strava on Tuesday for the 800m and you can’t replicate the back to back racing anywhere else in the year. It is what we need to do to get through rounds at the big championships so why not practice it on home soil.
“The stronger the domestic scene is, the better we will perform on the international stage like in the 1500m in Doha with three of us making the final. I will hopefully be running in Zagreb after then be done on the 15th“.
Rowden also commented: “The strength in depth at 800m in the UK is amazing. Next year’s Champs will be crazy”. On Thursday last week Ferguson-Cheruiyot Rotich won an 800 in Marseilles in 1:44.34 with Elliot Giles (1:44.68) second and Guy Learmonth third in 1:46.57. Kyle Langford ran 1:47.55 in the same race.