British Athletics Team Trials: Day One
Published 1 July 2017
Release from British Athletics:
Reece Prescod (coach: Jonas Dodoo) delivered the biggest win of his career when it matter most, taking the men’s 100m title at the Team Trials to secure his place on the Great Britain team for London 2017.
Finishing like a train, Prescod squeezed past runner-up James Dasaolu (Lloyd Cowan) with virtually his last stride, the clock showing 10.09 (0.0m/s), a season’s best and inside the World Championship standard.
“I feel great. To come here and get a medal was always the aim. I am so ecstatic now that I managed to produce in the final with a season’s best. Now I hope I can get even faster. I was confident going into today but I was also nervous because I knew that everyone was running well. In a Championship everyone is nervous especially with these fast guys around. I now want to stay healthy, get stronger and make sure everything is good and ready for London.”
Dasaolu finished with 10.11 and was pleased to secure his spot on the team for London. In the battle for bronze Harry Aikines-Aryeetey (Benke Blomkvist) just about held on, pipping Ojie Edoburun (Dodoo) by one hundredth of a second thanks to his 10.20 run. Chijindu Ujah (Dodoo) did not start in the final having run a windy 9.98 (2.8) in the semi-finals.
Just minutes earlier the Birmingham crowd were treated to an equalling thrilling women’s 100m final with the three medallist separated by just seven hundredths of a second.
In the end, like Prescod, it was Asha Philip (Steve Fudge) who brought her A game on the day when it mattered, winning in a season’s best of 11.21 (-1.3) to secure her place on the team for London. Tearing out of the blocks the Newham and Essex Beagle was always ahead, running a great race to secure her fourth British 100m title.
She said: “I wanted to run fast in the final, but I was just so stressed out about getting through the heat! Coming in without the qualifying time wasn’t ideal, but I got that out the way in the heat. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen in that final – it was down to anyone and there was no way you could just say ‘she will win, or she will’. The depth is great to have and I’m just happy to be mixing it.”
Missing out on gold by just four hundredths of a second with an 11.25 run, Daryll Neita (Dodoo) equalled her silver medal run from 2016 to also secure her place on the British team for the IAAF World Championships.
Returning after an injury disrupted few years since her European 100m bronze in 2014, Ashleigh Nelson (Michael Afilaka) finished well in third with an 11.28 time. After an 11.27 season’s best for second in her semi-final, the Stoke AC athlete needs to find just one hundredth of a second to hit the London 2017 standard. Further back in sixth it was great to see Dina Asher-Smith (John Blackie) back on the track after breaking her foot in February, and she finished sixth, having posted a season’s best of 11.41 in the semi-final.
Morgan Lake (Fuzz Caan) set a fantastic 1.96m personal best, the third highest ever by a British women, to win the women’s high jump much to the delight of the adoring crowd. The double World Junior Championship won performance of the say and will now head to London 2017 looking to mix it with the best in the world.
Post-event she commented: “It feels amazing [to get the UK’s third highest ever]. I am over the moon. After I jumped 1.96m I was so shocked, it was tough to focus on 1.99m. I felt good coming into today; I knew it was in there.
My first two jumps at 1.99 felt good but then I just ran out and felt exhausted. I am looking forward to the Anniversary Games and a few Diamond Leagues. And then all the focus is on World Champs. Going into them I feel more confident every week. I had a bit of a disappointment in Lille last week so I was kind of doubting myself a little, but I’ve got more confidence after today.”
Holly Bradsaw (Scott Simpson) was victorious for the ninth time at the British Championships indoor and out, clearing 4.45m at the first time of asking to secure her London 2017 birth. Lucy Bryan (Alan Richardson) performed well with a 4.35m season’s best in the second.
Bradshaw said: “It’s great to get my selection all but confirmed. I’m not totally happy with my performance, but it was coming off a short approach and there was the thought that I didn’t want to miss the meet, so all things considered I’m happy; I love the British champs and I love coming here, so I’m glad I was fit and healthy for today.”
Back on the track Andrew Butchart (Derek Easton) was the class act in the men’s 5,000m final, putting a 30 to 40 metres between himself and rest of the field in the space of 200m to secure his second straight British 5,000m title. The gutsy Scot crossed the line in 13.50.56, four seconds clear of Andy Vernon (Nic Bideau), with Ben Connor (Steve Vernon) a further two seconds in arrears.
Post-race Butchart said: “It went really well, it was the best I could have hoped for. My legs were tight because I’ve been training at altitude, but it was good to secure the place and to get the win. Next up I’m doing the London Diamond League, and it will be great to go to the Olympic Stadium twice this summer.
I’ve been training with Mo and it’s been going really well, so in London it’s just about getting through the heat and then I think I’ve got a good chance as a top contender in the final. I won’t just be going there to take part.”
The men’s 3,000m steeplechase was a much closer affair, Rob Mullett and Zak Seddon securing the one-two finish they needed to bag their automatics spots on the team for London 2017. Mullet was victorious here in Birmingham for the third successive year, his winning time of 8.41.43 putting him two seconds clear of Seddon.
The women’s 100m hurdles saw rising star Alicia Barrett (Toni Minichiello) bag her first British senior title, the British junior record holder stopping the clock at 13.26 (-1.4) to get the better of Yasmin Miller (Robert Smith). She’ll now head to the European Junior Championships hoping to win her first international title.
Power of 10 leader Nic Percy (Vesteinn Hafsteinsson) edged out Zane Duquemin (John Hillier) 60.78m to 60.36m in the men’s discus, whilst Dan Greaves (John Godina) fine-tuned his preparations for London 2017 with a 58.11m effort with the 1.5kg implement.
A first round leap of 13.64m, a huge personal best and the second best ever by a British junior, saw European Junior bound Naomi Ogbeta (Tom Cullen) take the women’s triple jump title. Meanwhile in the men’s javelin Joe Dunnerdale produced a season’s best when it mattered, his 73.58m mark good for the win.
The men’s event saw a brilliant performance from Ben Williams (John Crotty), backing up his runner-up finish at the European Team Championships last weekend with gold in Birmingham. Leaping to 16.71m in round four, he was agonisingly 9cm short of the London 2017 standard. The silver medal went to Nathan Fox (Tosin Oke) who conversely has the London 2017 standard thanks to a 16.81m jump in May, which secures his spot on the British team.
Olympic bronze medallist was the class act in the women’s hammer, a modest 67.58m throw more than enough to take another British title and a place on the British team. In the men’s shot put, Scott Lincoln (Paul Wilson) prevailed once again, a 17.82m effort in both the fifth and sixth rounds putting on the top step of the podium.
In the qualifying rounds of the men’s 400m and 400mH races, Dwayne Cowan (Lloyd Cowan) and Jacob Paul (Marina Armstrong) were the fastest qualifiers, whilst Rio 2016 relay medallist Emily Diamond (Jared Deacon) headed the women’s 400m qualifiers with a composed 52.35 run. In the women’s 400mH pre-event favourite Eilidh Doyle (Brian Doyle) waltzed to the fastest qualifier in the final heat of the day, easing across the line in 56.34.
In the women’s 1500m Jess Judd (Mick Judd) led the qualifiers with a 4.11.96 run in the first heat, with all of the favourites, including Laura Weightman (Steve Cram) who won the second heat, progressing. The men’s event saw Charlie Grice (Bigg), Chris O’Hare (Terrance Mahon) and Jake Wightman (Geoff Wightman) win their respective heats to set up what should be one of the finals of the Championships on Sunday.
In the men’s 800m heats Elliot Giles (Jon Bigg) was the most impressive qualifier, winning his heat with ease in 1.48.50, the fastest of four races. In the women’s equivalent, which was the final event of the day, Lynsey Sharp (Mahon) qualified fastest, fresh off the back of her Power of 10 topping 1.59.33 run last weekend.