Some of Britain’s top athletes will be chasing titles and Commonwealth Games standards this weekend at the England Athletics Senior Championships including Disability Championships in Bedford.
While the CAU Inter-Counties Championships – held in conjunction in recent years – have been cancelled, the two-day event nevertheless promises some quality competition. Morgan Lake, Amelia Strickler, Nick Percy, Libby Clegg, Sophie Hahn and Chris McAlister are some of the top names expected to appear.
After her PB of 18.11m this month lifted her to sixth on the UK all-time rankings, Amelia Strickler (Thames Valley; Zane Duquemin) will head the shot put line-up in Bedford. Former European youth fourth-placer Serena Vincent (City of Portsmouth; Bronwin Carter) should be her main threat.
In the hammer, UK No.2 Jessica Mayho (Birchfield; John Pearson) is set to defend her title.
Amy Holder (Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow; Neville Thompson) may have to be at her best to repeat her 2019 win as she faces Kirsty Law (Sale; Zane Duquemin), who improved her PB to 59.60m last month.
Defending champion Nick Percy and Greg Thompson, who are ranked second and third in Britain, will go head to head in the men’s discus. Paralympic F44 champion Dan Greaves will also be in the discus circle.
Three-time Paralympic champion Stephen Miller (Gateshead; Rosalynd Miller) and Gemma Prescott headline the club throw. F20 athletes Paralympic champion Sabrina Fortune and recent European champion Lydia Church (Peterborough & Nene Valley; Jim Edwards) will line up in the shot. Also in action in the shot will be Aled Davies (Cardiff; Ryan Spencer-Jones), the F42 Paralympic champion.
George Hyde (Harrow; Stuart Carlaw) will be favourite in the men’s shot, having improved his PB to 17.13m last month. Craig Murch (Birchfield; Lorraine Shaw) will be seeking his third consecutive hammer title.
After his PB of 49.16 at the Stockholm Diamond League, Chris McAlister (Thames Valley; Marina Armstong) returns to home soil and will have Jacob Paul (WSEH; Armstrong) as his biggest challenger.
James Weaver (Enfield & Haringey; Michael Baker) will be favourite in the 110m hurdles but Jake Porter (Birchfield; Andy Paul) and Miguel Perera (Harrow; Laura Turner-Alleyne) will be looking to challenge.
In the 100m hurdles, Olympic trials runner-up Alicia Barrett (Trafford; Bemke Blomqvist) defends her title against Jenna Blundell (Bristol & West; Toni Minichiello).
Trials finalists Hayley McLean (Shaftesbury Barnet; Chris Zah) and Nicole Kendall (Thames Valley; Marina Armstrong) lead the entries in the women’s 400m hurdles.
Andrew Robertson (Sale), Sam Gordon (Cardiff; Matt Elias) and Eugene Amo-Dadzie (Woodford Green with Essex Ladies; Steve Fudge) are among the fastest on display in the 100m. Double Paralympic T44 champion Jonnie Peacock will be competing against them.
Paralympic T11 double gold medallist Libby Clegg is entered for the 100m and 200m. Another Paralympic champion in action will be Sophie Hahn, who has recently added the 100m T38 European title to her collection.
England senior 400m champion Yasmin Liverpool (Coventry; Stewart Marshall) steps down to 200m this time, while clubmate Amy Hillyard (Marshall) and Victoria Ohuruogu (Croydon) and (Coventry; Stewart Marshall) will go over one lap. Paralympic T44 400m champion Kadeena Cox will take part in the 200m.
Several recent champions from this year’s World Para Athletics European Championships are also entered, including Ola Abidogun (T47 100m), Zak Skinner (T13 100m), Thomas Young (T38 100m), Maria Lyle (T35 100m), Fabienne Andre (T34 100m), Columba Blango (T20 400m) and Rafi Solaiman (RR3 100m).
Three weeks before she competes at the Olympics, high jumper Morgan Lake has clearly not forgotten her roots.
Alongside her international career, the Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow athlete competed in the England Athletics U23/U20 outdoor championships every year from 2015 to 2019 (with last year’s events having been cancelled), winning the high jump on each occasion. She has in fact competed in a plethora of England Championships every year since 2009, including in combined events, and her first winning appearance was in the long jump as an under-13.
Having jumped 1.97m this season, the Fuzz Caan-coached athlete is on great form and looking to round off her preparation for Tokyo.
Long jumper Jacob Fincham-Dukes (Leeds; Zivile Pukstiene), after his 8.08m indoors, has competed sparingly this summer. He faces Efe Uwaifo (Harrow; Laura Turner-Alleyne), who will be favourite in the triple jump with Jonathan Ilori (Blackheath & Bromley; Aston Moore) the threat.
In the high jump, Adam Brooks (Yate; Jeremy Dale) and Joel Khan (Worcester; Deirdre Elmhirst) will renew their rivalry from the England Athletics Under-23 Championships, where they finished first and second respectively.
Alice Hopkins (Oxford City; Marcia Marriott) aims to move up from silver two years ago in the long jump but Jahisha Thomas (Blackheath & Bromley) is the No.1 on season’s bests. Paralympic silver medallist Stef Reid (Charnwood; Aston Moore) will be on the runway in her category.
Laura Zialor (Marshall Milton Keynes; Jade Surman) will be a strong favourite in the high jump after her 1.90m PB this year.
Sophie Cook (Halesowen; Scott Simpson) and Jade Ive (Sutton & District) are expected to battle it out for the pole vault title, having jumped 4.25m and 4.30m respectively this season.
In the 1500m, James Young (Morpeth) is closing in on the 3:37.00 Birmingham 2022 qualifying standard with his recent big PB of 3:37.72. He goes against former European under-23 cross-country champion Jonathan Davies (Reading; Luke Gunn).
Mari Smith (Birchfield; Luke Gunn), Isobel Ives (Basildon; Mick Judd) and Sabrina Sinha (Cambridge Harriers; Bud Baldaro) are the top entries for the women’s 800m, with the latter also down for the 1500m.