European U23 silver medallist Danny Talbot (Dan Cossins, Birchfield Harriers) powered home in the closing stages of the men’s 200m to clinch gold in front of his home crowd on day two (Saturday 28 June) of the Sainsbury’s British Championships at the Alexander Stadium.
The 23-year-old underlined his place at the top of the British rankings, tearing round the bend – despite the rainy conditions – before powering past Adam Gemili (Steve Fudge, Blackheath & Bromley) and James Ellington (Rana Reider, Newham & Essex Beagles) to cross the line in 20.42.
Talbot – the first athlete to secure his place in the GB & NI team for the European Championships – said:
“You always come to a Championships hoping you can win. I was up against great competition today so to win was a different matter. I’ve got a great rivalry with Adam – we are really good friends off the track and it’s great when we can race each other.”
Gemili took silver with a season’s best 20.61, with Ellington clinching bronze.
Niall Flannery (Nick Dakin, Newham & Essex Beagles) claimed his first ever British title as well as a GB & NI vest for the Europeans as he stormed home in the 400m hurdles, getting the better of training partner Tom Burton (Dakin, Tamworth) in the home straight to clock 49.54. Burton’s second place was enough to make it on the team to Zurich too, with the duo arguably the biggest breakthrough act of the year.
“I am delighted, it’s my first British title and I have booked myself on to the team for the summer, I can’t really complain,” said Flannery. “I came in knowing I had to do my own thing and to do a job and I have done just that and I am so happy.”
A jubilant Michael Rimmer (Jon Bigg, Liverpool Pembroke Sefton) secured his seventh victory in the men’s 800m, running a terrific final 100m to get past top ranked Andrew Osagie (Craig Winrow, Harlow AC) in 1:48.00.
“I was half thinking I could win,” said Rimmer. “I can’t describe the emotions – it’s been the toughest season of my life so far but this is my proudest title. I bounced back from yesterday’s heat by resting my legs and eating chocolate, so it’s a great turnaround.”
In the women’s 100m hurdles, Tiffany Porter (Reider, Woodford Green Essex Ladies) claimed her seat on the plane to Zurich as she raced to victory in 12.85. Lucy Hatton (John Anderson, Corby) registered her second personal best of the day, crossing the line in 13.20 for silver.
Former world junior champion Jodie Williams (Christine Bowmaker, Herts Phoenix) and Bianca Williams (Lloyd Cowan, Enfield & Haringey) have also qualified for the Europeans, finishing first and second respectively in the women’s 200m.
Williams (Bowmaker, Herts Phoenix) also topped the qualifiers in the women’s 100m, whilst British 60m Indoor champion Asha Philip (Bowmaker, Newham & Essex Beagles) looked in great form ahead of tomorrow’s semi-finals, winning heat three.
“It was a good run out, it felt easy so roll on tomorrow,” said Philip. “The weather wasn’t great but we are going to be in Glasgow soon, so we’d better get used to it.”
Chijindu Ujah (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo, Enfield & Haringey) looks determined to take the 100m crown from seven-time champion Dwain Chambers (Reider, Belgrave) as he led the way with the fastest time in the heats of the 100m, clocking 10.26.
“I just hoped to come out and execute, stay consistent. The weather conditions weren’t good – it’s just about winning, if the time comes, the time comes,” Ujah said.
Laura Weightman (Steve Cram, Morpeth) was chased home hard by Laura Muir (Andy Young, Dundee Hawkhill) in the final of the 1500m, but the 22-year-old – who celebrates her birthday on Tuesday – held on for the win. Both athletes will be on the plane to Zurich.
“I wanted that so much, I’d rather it be a hard race – it was a really strong battle,” said Weightman. “It was a great race and I’m feeling good. It’s been a great season so far with my big PB, I’m feeling a lot stronger and fitter. Now I’m looking forward to both the major championships.”
Eilish McColgan (Liz McColgan-Nuttall, Dundee Hawkhill) hit the front with one lap to go in the final of the 3000m steeplechase, and held on for gold ahead of compatriot Lennie Waite (Jim Bevan, Aldershot, Farnham & District), clocking a season’s best 9:50.06 in the process.
“I have never been so happy to win a British Championships in my life,” she exclaimed. “This year has been awful with non-stop illness but it’s been the first year I haven’t had any injuries. I ended up picking up food poisoning on Thursday so the build-up hasn’t been ideal. To come away with a 9:50, to run a season’s best and to win the British Championships – you could not find a happier person in this stadium.”
In the men’s event gold went to James Wilkinson (Philip Townsend, Leeds City) and the 23-year-old heads to the European Championships alongside the winner of the 5000m, Tom Farrell (Dave Smith, Border Harriers) who sprinted to gold in 13:51.43.
Another athlete bound for Zurich is long jumper JJ Jegede (Peter Stanley, Newham & Essex Beagles). The 28-year-old achieved the standard back in May and managed 7.83m in his final jump to take the title, improving on the bronze he won last year.
Eden Francis (Glenys Morton, Birchfield Harriers) made it double gold, clinching both the shot put and discus titles ahead of last year’s champions. A best of 16.66m was enough to beat Rachel Wallader (Geoff Capes, Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow) in the shot put, whilst she got the better of Power of 10 leader Jade Lally (Andrew Neal, Shaftesbury Barnet) in the discus with 55.93m.
“I’m thrilled, it was my furthest throw ever in Birmingham. Discus is all about timing and in this weather, I always struggle to throw 56m but I’m happy with the throw,” said Francis.
In the men’s javelin, Lee Doran (Chris Watts, City of Sheffield) opened with 70.71m, which proved enough to retain his British title ahead of Bonne Buwembo (Michael McNeill, Enfield & Haringey), whilst Nick Miller (John Baumann, Border Harriers) won the hammer throw with 73.96m.
Yamile Aldama (Frank Attoh, Shaftesbury Barnet) left it to the final round of the women’s triple jump to secure gold – hop, skip and jumping her way to 13.60m – just 2cm ahead of last year’s champion Laura Samuel (Aston Moore, Birchfield Harriers).
Sally Peake (Scott Simpson, Birchfield Harriers) was the only athlete to clear 4.30m as she retained her British crown in the pole vault.
British Indoor bronze medallist Isobel Pooley (Fuzz Ahmed, Aldershot, Farnham & District) won the women’s high jump, going clear up to 1.90m, with multi-eventer Katarina Johnson-Thompson (Mike Holmes, Liverpool Harriers) clearing 1.86m for silver.
Conrad Williams (Linford Christie, Kent) leads the way into tomorrow’s 400m finals with a time of 45.79 today. Michael Bingham (George Williams, Birchfield Harriers) also won his semi-final, as did in-form Martyn Rooney (Reider, Croydon).
Scotland’s Commonwealth silver medallist Eilidh Child (Malcolm Arnold, Pitreavie) dominated the 400m hurdles semi-finals, finishing well ahead of the rest of the field in the second semi to line up as the one to beat in tomorrow’s final.
“The heats are sometimes the worst because you know it should be quite comfortable but you can’t take it easy in hurdles because you need to get your stride pattern right,” explained Child. “I went off quite assertive and took it a bit easier off the last hurdle to try and conserve some energy for tomorrow.”
There’s everything to play for in the women’s 400m, with all the athletes chasing the standard required for the European Championships in August.
Kelly Massey (Stephen Ball, Sale Harriers) and Laura Wake (Dakin, Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow) were first to qualify for Sunday’s final, whilst 2013 British silver medallist Shana Cox (Williams, Woodford Green Essex Ladies) and Seren Bundy-Davies (Ball, Trafford) went through automatically in heat two. Emily Diamond (Cossins, Bristol & West) came through with 150m to go to win the final heat, pushed to the line by Victoria Ohuruogu (Cowan, Newham & Essex Beagles).
There was plenty of excitement in the men’s 1500m, with Charlie Grice (Jon Bigg, Brighton Phoenix), Frank Baddick (George Gandy, Newham & Essex Beagles) and Chris Warburton (Norman Poole, Notts) all winning their heats.
In the women’s 800m heats former world bronze medallist Jenny Meadows (Trevor Painter, Wigan) went out hard to lead from the gun, securing her place in the final tomorrow, whilst Jessica Judd (Rob Denmark, Chelmsford) and Alison Leonard (Bud Baldaro, Blackburn) battled to the line in the second semi. Lynsey Sharp (Reider, Edinburgh), fourth in Hengelo this month, won the third.
“I didn’t intend to go as quick – I made it a hard-run race then backed off when I had a large lead to cruise home and enjoy it. The job’s half done and I’m safely through to the final. Women’s 800m is as good as ever right now,” said Meadows.
After day two, the Club:Connect standings are led by Newham & Essex Beagles on the men’s side, with Birchfield having a virtually unassailable lead in the women’s standings; the winners of each competition will receive a £500 grant.
For full results head to: https://www.britishathletics.org.uk/british-athletics-series/sainsburys-british-championships/athlete-information/