Eyes on Manchester for weekend's senior and disability athletics championships
Some of the best athletes in the country will gather in Manchester this weekend (28-29 July) for the England Athletics Senior, AAA and UK CAU Championships, including Senior Disability Championships. World medallists, defending champions and international stars are all set to feature; this is what to look out for across the two days.
World championships 1500m silver medallist from 2011 Hannah England (Oxford City AC, Bud Baldaro) returns to defend her 800m and 1500m titles. She has clocked 2:04.48 for 800m this season, marginally slower than Jessica Judd (Blackburn Harriers, Mike Judd) with 2:04.26. Both are sub-2 runners at their best, but are ranked behind Mari Smith (Birchfield Harriers, Bud Baldaro) this year, who has lowered her PB to 2:02.64.
Judd also joins England in the entries for the 1500m. She has run 4:08.82 this year, a couple of seconds quicker than England, who owns the swifter PB. They lead the entrants, but not far behind is Emily Hosker-Thornhill (Aldershot Farnham & District, Mick Woods), who has improved her PB to 4:14.40 this season. Judd has also entered the 5000m. She won bronze in at the World University Games last year and leads the entrants with her 15:49.54 SB; her PB from last year is close to 25-seconds quicker still.
In men's middle distance, four men entered for the 800m have run sub-1:50 this year. Commonwealth Games representative Joe Reid (Cardiff AAC Matt Elias) leads them with his PB 1:48.32. Will Snook (Harlow AC, Nat Fisher), Max Wharton (Liverpool Harriers & AC Mark Goldie/Craig Winrow) and Alexander Birkett (Kendal Amateur AC Helen Clitheroe) make up the quartet.
The straight final in the mile pits Andrew Smith (Pudsey & Bramley AC, Aaron Thomas), who has the fastest 1500m time of the entrants with a PB 3:42.15, against Archie Davis (Brighton Phoenix, Joel Kidger), who has dropped his best over 1500m to 3:43.09. While there are other sub-3:50 men featured, if the race proves tactical then Liveprool Harrier Jamie Webb (Adrian Webb) could prosper – he has run 1:45.73 for 800m this year.
Two-time UK indoor champion Andrew Robertson (Sale Harriers, Sam Robertson) is the fastest this year of the men’s 100m entrants with 10.30; he has also run a wind-assisted 10.26 in 2018. British indoor 200m champion Edmond Amaning (Thames Valley) is not far behind him with 10.31, while the superb form of 18-year-old Kaie Chambers-Brown (Birchfield Harriers, Sharon Morris), who clocked a PB 10.34 at the U20 championships last month, should see him contesting at the front end. Amaning perhaps has stronger chances in the men’s 200m, an event he improved his PB to 20.38 in March. That’s faster than last year’s champion Antonio Infantino (King's College London AC & X-Country Club, Joshua Nevers-Simpson) has run this year, although his 20.65 SB suggests he will be in shape to defend his title. Defending men’s 400m champion Sadam Koumi (Birchfield Harriers, Tony Hadley) also returns. He has run 46.00 this year, and is capable of 45.41 at his best.
Hayley Mills (Notts AC, Steve Mills) owns the fastest SB of the women’s 100m entrants, with 11.67, and is also a 10.31 runner at her best. Charlotte Wingfield (Cardiff AAC, James Hilliar), Katy Wyper (Blackpool Wyre & Fylde AC, Donald Moss) and Sharhnee Skervin (Notts AC Giare Skervin) have all run within 0.10-seconds of that this season, promising a hot final. All four will also compete over 200m, with the 18-year-old Skervin owning the best time of all the entrants with her 23.81 PB. 2016 European 4x400m champion Seren Bundy-Davies (Trafford AC) will also compete over the half lap, as well as her favoured 400m; although her 2018 outdoor best is 54.81, her 51.26 PB makes her a real contender. Mary Abichi (Enfield & Haringey AC, Lloyd Cowan) is the fastest this year with 52.74, while Phillipa Lowe's (Dacorum & Tring) PB 52.85 this month suggests a challenge.
The women’s steeplechase should be entertaining. Nicole Roberts (Birchfield Harriers), with 10:15.99, and Emily Moyes (West Suffolk AC Mick Woods), with 10:16.46, are both in PB shape. However, Katie Ingle (Royal Sutton Coldfield AC, Margaret & Ian Rileyboth), who finished third at the 2017 British Championships with a PB 10:02.34, could be in the mix should her form be close to that.
In men’s steeplechase, Daniel Eckersley (Kingston AC & Poly Harriers, Geoff Watkin) leads the entrants. He dipped under the 9-minute barrier for the first time earlier this month, posting 8:59.23. Harry Lane (Bristol & West AC) and Chris Perry (Vale Royal AC) are both capable of that at their best, but haven’t yet dipped under nine this year.
Last year’s men’s 5000m winner Alexander Teuten (Southampton AC, Rod Lock) has lowered his PB to 13:51.08 this year. No other entrant has broken 14-minutes in 2018.
The men’s 110m hurdles should be fast, with plenty of contenders. Jake Porter (Birchfield Harriers, Andy Paul) has a 13.68 PB, and although he has only run 13.84 this year, that is still enough to lead the field. Nonetheless, the PB form of Miguel Perera (Harrow AC, Jerzy Maciukiewicz), who has run 14.03, and Cameron Fillery (Woodford Green AC with Essex Ladies, Mike Baker), with 14.08, should keep the pressure on.
James Forman (Southampton AC, Andy Forman) will attempt to defend the 400m hurdles title, although there are two men faster than him this year. While Forman’s best for 2018 is 50.94, Marina Armstrong-coached pair Chris McAlister (Thames Valley Harriers) and Jacob Paul (Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow AC) have both gone quicker, 50.48 and 49.90 respectively.
Two-time British champion Alicia Barrett (Chesterfield & District AC, Toni Minchello) leads the entrants for the 100m hurdles. She won that title in 13.19, but will have to contend with defending champion Yasmin Miller (Derby AC, Robert Smith), a 13.13 runner at her best who has clocked 13.33 this year. Megan Marrs (Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow AC, Jerzy Maciukiewicz) is also in good shape, having clocked a PB 13.32 this season. Similarly, Jessica Hunter (Shaftesbury Barnet, Scott Grace), has found 13.33 this season, her best career clocking.
Fastest this season in the 400m hurdles field is Hayley McLean (Chelmsford AC, Chris Zah), who has clocked 47.71. Aisha Naibe-Wey (Thames Valley) has not got under 58-seconds this season, but her lifetime best of 57.26 means she cannot be ruled out.
In the field, the men’s high jump should see a good battle between David Smith (Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers, Paul Harrison) and Ryan Webb (Birchfield Harriers, Fuzz Caan), who have both gone over PBs of 2.26m and 2.20m, respectively, this season.
Joel Leon Benitez (Notts AC, Bob Phillips) returns to defend his pole vault title. Last year he won win 5.25m, a mark he has exceeded this year with a PB 5.52m. Harry Coppell (Wigan & District H & AC John Mitchell) has jumped 5.40m this season. Joseph Lister (Harrow AC, Egryn Jones) and Jack Phipps (Birchfield Harriers, Nick Phipps) are the only others over 5-metres this year.
Since winning the men’s long jump with 7.43m in 2017, Newham & Essex Beagle Jack Roach has improved his PB to 7.71m. That ranks him second among the entrants behind Jacob Fincham-Dukes (Leeds City AC, Mat Barton), who has found 7.89m this season, still 8cm short of his very best.
Defending champion Nathan Douglas (Oxford City AC Aston Moore) leads the entrants for the men's triple jump, with 16.83m, although that mark was wind-aided. That was enough to defeat Julian Reid (Manchester) at the British Championships, where the Sale Harrier posted 16.70m, also wind-aided. Under normal conditions, Reid holds the edge in 2017, although Douglas has the better personal best. A good battle should be in store.
In women’s triple jump, Angela Barrett (Thames Valley Harriers, Frank Attoh) could have a fight on her hands. Naomi Ogbeta (Trafford AC, Tom Cullen) won the British Championships with a PB 13.95, well exceeding Barrett’s season best of 13.32m. Abigail Irozuru (Sale Harriers Manchester, Tom Cullen) has produced marks of 6.64 (+3.7) and 6.60m this season, to lead the long jump entrants. Alice Hopkins (Oxford City AC, Marcia Marriott), Josie Oliarnyk (Halesowen ACC, Dominic McNeillis) or Sarah Abrams (Blackheath & Bromley Harriers AC John Shepherd) have all set PBs beyond 6.30m this season, so could halt Irozuru’s title pursuit.
In the high jump, Fuzz Cann-coached Emily Borthwick (Wigan & District H & AC) cleared 1.84m indoors this season. She has gone over 1.80m outdoors, while Emily Race (Worksop, Peter Anthony Fendley) has cleared a 1.81m PB. This year’s PB 1.78m clearance of Amelia Bateman (Gateshead Harriers & AC) puts her in contention.
Last year's women's pole vault winner Jade Ive (Sutton & District) has cleared 4.25m indoors this year, but outdoors only 4.20m. Sophie Cook (Birchfield Harriers, Ray Webb), who cleared 4.25m for a PB and silver medal at the British Championships, could be the woman to challenge her crown.
Since winning the shot put title in 2017, Amelia Strickler (Thames Valley Harriers, Zane Duquemin) has improved her PB to 17.26m. However, Sophie McKinna (Great Yarmouth AC, Mike Winch) has done better still, going out to 17.76 for fifth at the Commonwealth Games.
Defending champion Amy Holder (Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow AC, Neville Thompson) will battle with Jade Lally (Zane Duquemin) for the discus title. Holder has improved her PB to 55.48m this year, but could be helpless: Lally found 59.13m at the Anniversary Games, still some 6m down on her British record best.
Javelin entries are led by defending champion Laura Whittingham (Sale Harriers Manchester, Mike McNeill),with 55.55m. Of the rest, only Emma Hamplett (Birchfield Harriers, Mike McNeill) has exceeded 54m this season, with her PB 54.08m.
From the 2018 rankings, Pippa Wingate (Kingston AC & Poly Harriers, Gareth Cook) leads the entrants for the women’s hammer throw. Her PB 62.53m gives her a narrow SB edge over Jessica Mayho (Birchfield Harriers, Jorge Rodrigues), who, though 2cm shorter this year, has as 63.05m PB from last year. In the men’s hammer, a PB of 70.12m by Craig Murch (Rugby & Northampton, Lorraine Shaw) from this year sees him lead the entrants.
Seven-time British champion Scott Lincoln (City of York AC) returns to defend the shot put title he won with 18.54m last year. He has already found 19.24m this season and leads the entrants by over a metre.
The leading entrant in the men’s discus is Gregory Thompson (Shaftesbury Barnet, Neville Thompson), courtesy of his PB 61.29. Also in good shape is George Armstrong (Newham & Essex Beagles AC, Zane Duquemin), whose 57.33m PB ranks him second for the competition. The 63.00m lifetime best of Chris Scott (Southampton AC, Andy Neal), though from 2011, means he cannot be ruled out.
Manx Harrier Joe Harris will attempt to defend his javelin title. Though he hasn’t exceeded the 75.71m personal best he won with in 2017 this year, he still heads the entrants with 74.11m. He should find resistance from Joseph Dunderdale (City of Sheffield & Dearne AC), who has thrown 73.96m this season.
Senior Disability Championships
The weekend’s champs also incorporate the England Athletics Senior Disability Athletics Championships. Added to this year’s programme is RaceRunning, which will be feature at the WPA Europeans next month for the first time. There will also be a full range of disciplines in ambulant and seated throws, wheelchair races and ambulant races.
Ahead of her European campaign in Berlin, five-time Paralympic champion Hannah Cockroft (Leeds City AC, Jenni Banks – T34) has entered to compete over four distances, the 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m.
On the men’s side, Nathan Maguire (Halton & Frodsham Harriers, Ste Hoskins – T54) is also entered to compete across the four distances. Dillon Labrooy (Weir Archer Academy, Jenny Archer – T54), who has posted PBs on the track this season, will join him in the 400m, 800m and 1500m.
T34 800m world bronze medallist Isaac Towers (Blackpool Wyre & Fylde AC, Pete Wyman/Jenni Banks) looks set to compete in Manchester ahead of a return to Berlin for the Europeans. He has already enjoyed success there this season, winning medals at the WPA Grand Prix in the German capital earlier in July.
Another athlete tuning up before Europeans is Sabrina Fortune (Deeside AAC, Ian Robinson), who will want to back up the 13.70m F20 shot put world lead she produced earlier this month.
In discus, Daniel Greaves (Charnwood AC – F44) is building well ahead of his European title defence. He has improved through the season, most recently with a 58.18m, and could go further in Manchester. Elsewhere in throws, Stephen Miller (Gateshead Harriers & AC, Ros Miller) will also be in action in the F32 club throw.
In women’s ambulant long jump, Stefanie Reid (Charnwood AC, Aston Moore – T64) comes into the competition fresh from victory at the Anniversary Games. Joining her is world finalist Martina Barber (Stevenage & North Herts AC, Paddy O’Shea – T20) and Ali Smith (Guildford & Goldalming AC, Paul McGregor – T37), who is also entered for the 100m and 400m. In the men’s, the recent PB 6.75 of Zak Skinner (Loughborough Students AC, Aston Moore – T13) at the British Championships is promising ahead of the Europeans.
Global medallists Olivia Breen (City Of Portsmouth AC, Aston Moore – T38), Sophie Kamlish (Bristol & West AC, Rob Ellchuk – T64) and Maria Lyle (Jamie Bowie – T35) highlights the women’s ambulant 100m field. Lyle will also race over 200m; Northern Ireland’s Eve Walsh-Dann (North Down AC, Roger Sexton – T36) also doubles up in the sprints.
The men’s sprints are just as stacked. Graeme Ballard (Wigan & District H & AC, Trevor Painter – T36) has performed well over 100m and 200m this season, and will race across both against fellow Berlin-bound athletes Rhys Jones (DSW Para Academy, Christian Malcolm – T37), Kyle Keyworth (Manchester Harriers & AC, Kes Salmon – T35) and Javaughan Parks (Birchfield Harriers – T36).
In RaceRunning, British team member Rafeek Solaiman (City of Sheffield & Dearne AC, Lee Walker – RR3) competes over 100m, 200m and 400m. It will be a great chance to perform in front of a home crowd ahead of the category’s debut at the WPA Europeans in Berlin.
The action begins at Manchester Regional Arena on Saturday at 11:00 and you can buy tickets on the gate (£5 / £3).