This is the sixth and final piece by Stuart Weir on the 2023 British Athletics Indoor Trials, held February 18-19, 2023 at one of my favorite arenas, now under another name, in Birmingham, England. England’s second city has canals, with actual water, wonderous curry, great places of history, walks, and many of my dear friends.
Stuart Weir covered this meeting once again for RunBlogRun. We are grateful for this keen observation skills, and wry sense of humor. Early in our writing relationship, I believed that Stuart was Scottish, but then, I figured out that I could actually understand him, so knew he was not Scottish, but English who lived near Scotland.
Field events review
There were five field events for men and for women. I don’t think it would be unfair to say that the standards were quite variable. One understands, of course, that in some cases outstanding athletes had opted not to have an indoor season.
Field performance of the championship was Jazmin Sawyers’s long jump with 6.73, having recorded a 6.75 last week. Jazmin, always a thoughtful athlete, said: “I’m so happy to be the UK Champion, it’s what I came here to do, and to achieve that, I’m delighted. I was hoping to jump a little further today, but I think that is just the competitor within me coming out. I feel like I have more in the tank, but the consistency I have been showing is telling me I have a big jump coming, which I hope comes at the Europeans in two weeks’ time. I use the indoors as an indicator to see where I am, I feel like I’m in a strong position for the start of the outdoor season”. The winner of the men’s event, Reynold Banigo recorded 7.85.
Morgan Lake became British champion in the high jump for the eighth time – 38th if you count age-group titles as well. Following her 1.99 earlier in the month, she jumped to 1.90 in Birmingham. She commented: “The result was OK. I feel in better form than I actually jumped but I can take that into the next competition”. William Grimsey took the men’s title with 2.16.
The men’s triple jump seems to be at an impasse at the moment. Jude Bright became the British champion with 16.05 – on the same day that The US title was won with a jump of 16.38. In the absence of Naomi Metzger through injury, Mary Elcock won with 12.71, a PB.
Mary Elcock wins TJ at the 2023 British Athletics Indoor Trials, photo by Getty Images/ British Athletics
Scott Lincoln was a comfortable winner of the men’s shot with 20.36 while the women’s competition was an exciting duel between Sophie McKinna (17.20) and Amelia Strickler (17.01).
McKinna’s comments are a reminder that indoor competitors are not a level playing field with athletes at different stages and with different goals. She said: “To come away with gold is nothing more than I wanted. The distance isn’t there. I wasn’t expecting the distance today– I’m not in physical shape at all. I’m in a really heavy training block right now, so to come away with a win is more than I could have asked for and I’m ecstatic. I’m going back into a heavy training block and I won’t compete until later on in the outdoor season so I’m making sure I’ve got the training under my belt”.
With Holly Bradshaw not competing, Jade Ive won the women’s Pole Vault with 4.35. She said: “I feel over the moon, ecstatic, beyond words honestly. It’s been a long time coming and just one of these long journeys but I’m just so glad I pulled it out of the bag today. Pole vaulting is really technical, you have to stick to a plan. I’m not used to big crowds, the clapping gets you going and if you let it take over and overwhelm you then it’ll throw the jump out. Forget the crowd, just stick to your plan and it just comes through”. Charlie Myers won the men’s with 5.05m, but no time to speak to the media.
A final note from your editor. Stuart Weir can not help himself, but when he goes to the British Indoor Nationals, the Giraffe is always there. He first sent me a picture of the giraffe in March 2018, covered with snow. Stuart Weir sent me a note, “What discipline would the giraffe be best at. Hurdles? High jump? ” I do not know, it just makes me smile.
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