Championship action heading to Bedford

Championship action heading to Bedford

This weekend sees the England Athletics U23 and U20 Championships taking place at Bedford. There looks set to be intense competition for medals and titles across the programme with places at the European U23 and U20 championships also up for grabs*.

We take a look at just a few of the athletes that you may want to look out for this weekend. Once again if you are not able to make it to Bedford International Stadium you can follow the action on our Twitter account @englandathletic or via our live events page.

If you are travelling to Bedford on Sunday please note there is traffic disruption in the area due to another event – please click here to download the information that has been provided to residents.


Under 23 Men

The sprints are always a highlight of the weekend and this year looks set to be no exception with Reece Prescod (Enfield & Haringey AC, Jonas Dodoo), Ojie Edoburun (Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers, Jonas Dodoo), Kyle de Escofet (Birchfield Harriers, Andy Paul), Reuben Arthur (Enfield & Haringey, Ryan Freckleton) and Theo Etienne (Hercules Wimbledon AC, Ryan Freckleton) all likely to be in the battle for the medals. Edoburun also goes in the 200m where his opposition will include Elliott Powell (Leicester Coritanian AC, Glenys Morton) and Tommy Ramdhan (Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers, Ryan Freckleton). In the 400m, Cameron Chalmers (Guernsey, James Hillier) lowered his PB to 45.71 in winning the BUCS Championships and will be looking to add to the Under 20 title he won last year.

For the sprint hurdles the 13.59 of Khai Riley-La Borde (Enfield & Haringey, Ray Gibbins) makes him favourite in an event where his club mate James Weaver (Laura Turner-Alleyne) will also be looking to impress. Over the 400m hurdles, Jacob Paul (Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow, Marina Armstrong) looks to be favourite as the only athlete under 50 seconds this year with a 49.60 PB.

The middle distances should show some high-quality competitions. The 800m line-up sees Daniel Rowden (Woodford Green AC with Essex Ladies, Richard Thurston) going up against Spencer Thomas (Brighton Phoenix, Jon Bigg) and Sean Molloy (Tonbridge AC, Mark Hookway).  Robbie Fitzgibbon (Brighton Phoenix, Jon Bigg) comes into the championships off the back of a 3:36.97 PB in Nijmegen at the start of the month. Neil Gourley (Glasgow City, Ben Thomas), James West (Tonbridge, George Gandy) and Loughborough International winner Tom Hook (City of Norwich AC, Tim Ash) also look likely to be strong contenders. Phil Crout (Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers, Phil O’Dell) will be looking to retain his 5,000m title but will be up against the likes of BUCS Champion Ellis Cross (Aldershot Farnham & District, Mick Woods). Dan Jarvis (Liverpool Harriers & AC, Mick Woods) and Haran Dunderdale (City of Sheffield & Dearne AC, Darren Gauson) will be two to watch in the steeplechase.

Callum Wilkinson (Enfield & Haringey, Andi Drake) is not only World Junior champion and British Junior record for 10,000m walk, but as the second fastest Britain of all time over the distance  he will be looking to make an impact over the distance once again. Reigning Under 20 Champion Cameron Corbishley (Medway & Maidstone, Andi Drake) will also be in action.

Chris Kandu (Enfield & Haringey, Fuzz Caan) cleared 2.22 at Bedford in winning the BIGish Jumps & Throws Fest and could be looking to challenge his personal best of 2.26 set indoors earlier in the year.

Harry Hughes (West Suffolk, Mike McNeill) is reigning U20 javelin champion. He has once again been in impressive form this year and his 76.81 set in winning BUCS stands just over a metre better than the current U23 championship record set in 2012 by Joe Dunderdale.

Taylor Campbell (City of Sheffield & Dearne AC, John Pearson) will be looking to retain his hammer title and having already extended his best to 73.40 this year (in winning at the BUCS Championships), could well be targeting Pete Smith’s championship record of 69.92 from 2010.

The winds on the back straight can provide challenging conditions for pole vaulters but the top three ranked athletes of the year, Adam Hague (City of Sheffield & Dearne AC, Trevor Fox), Charlie Myers (Middlesbrough AC (Mandale), Chris Boundy) and Harry Coppell (Wigan & District H & AC, John Mitchell) will be hoping for the right conditions to enable them to show their full abilities.

In the long jump Jacob Fincham-Dukes (Leeds City AC, Zivile Pukstiene) has gone close to 8m with a 7.96 (+2.0) and over that barrier with a windy 8.02 (+3.4). Oliver Newport (Blackheath & Bromley Harriers AC, John Shepherd) will also be looking to get into the mix.


U23 Women

The Jonas Dodoo coached duo of Imani-Lara Lansiquot (Sutton & District AC) and Daryll Neita (Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers) are among those who look set to make the women’s 100m a great one to watch. Whereas the 200m is likely to see a great competition between Shannon and Cheriece Hylton (both Blackheath & Bromley, Ryan Freckleton), and British Senior Indoor Champion Finette Agyapong (Newham & Essex Beagles, Coral Nourrice) who took the U20 title last year. Cheriece is also entered in the 400m.

In the sprint hurdles Yasmin Miller (Derby AC, Robert Smith) is top of the rankings and will go up against Jessica Hunter (Vale of Aylesbury AC, Scott Grace) and Heather Paton (Birchfield Harriers, Andy Paul). Jessica Turner (Amber Valley, Nick Dakin) has recently lowered her 400m hurdles best to 56.68 in Geneva and to cement her position as favourite for the longer hurdles event.

Revee Walcott-Nolan (Luton AC, self) and Mhairi Hendry (Victoria Park City of Glasgow, William Parker) have just 0.11 seconds separating them on the 800m ranking lists and the event looks likely to be a competitive one.  Jessica Judd (Chelmsford AC, Mick Judd) won an 800m / 5000m double at BUCS but goes over 1500m this time. Amy Griffiths (Aldershot Farnham & District, Mick Woods) is among those who will also be looking to be in contention for the title and medals over that distance.

Morgan Lake (Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow, Aston Moore) leads the entries in both the high jump and long jump. In the latter, Danielle McGifford (Wigan & District H & AC, Sharon-Louise Walls), Simi Fajemisin (Oxford City, Daniel Sawyers) and Ireland’s Sarah McCarthy are also among those likely to be competitive. Fajemisin has jumped 12.96 both indoors and out this year in the triple jump, in which she is also entered, and where medal contenders include Lia Stephenson (Thames Valley Harriers, David Johnson) and Victoria Mould (Southampton AC).

The form book suggests the javelin could be a close fought battle with Natasha Wilson (Sale Harriers Manchester, David Parker), Kerry Murch (Rugby & Northampton AC, Kevin Murch) and Sophie Percival (West Cheshire AC, David McKay) separated by just over 1.5m on season’s bests.

Lucy Bryan (Bristol & West AC, Alan Richardson) comes into the competition as favourite in the pole vault. That mantle looks to be with Adele Nicholl (Birchfield, Vladimir Zinchenko) who has daylight at the top of the rankings in this event.


U20 Men

In the U20 men's sprints Commonwealth Youth Games silver medallist and IAAF World Junior Championships finalist Rechmial Miller (Hercules Wimbledon AC, Ryan Freckleton) heads up 88 entrants including indoor England Athletics 60m gold and silver medallists Dominic Ashwell (Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers, Marvin Rowe) and Oliver Bromby (Southampton AC, Sara/Gary McDonald Gray) respectively. The 200m sees just as high a quality field including almost all the top 10 ranked U20 athletes in the country; Jona Efoloko (Sale Harriers Manchester, John Smith), last year's U17 champ 100m and 200m and European Athletics Youth Champion will be joined by last year's U20 indoor England and British 200m Champion 200m Toby Harries (Brighton Phoenix, Jon Bigg) who also took Commonwealth Youth Games silver in 2015. Also in the mix are Cameron Tindle (Edinburgh AC, Henry Gray & Bruce Scott) who was 3rd at the Loughborough International recently, took BUCS silver and is the Scottish 60m champion, plus British silver indoor medallist Connor Wood (Sale Harriers Manchester, Brian Scobie), and Ryan Gorman (Notts AC, Karen Buck) who has a PB of 20.84.

The one-lap competition sees the top three ranked athletes likely to battle it out to raise their silver to gold - Owen Richardson (Basingstoke & Mid Hants, John Davis) is the indoor 400m champ and took silver outdoors last year, Ellis Greatrex (Wolverhampton & Bilston, Claudio Albanese) took silver indoors and Joseph Brier (Swansea Harriers, Neal Merry) was 2nd at the Welsh senior champs last week. The 400 hurdles sees last year's top three U18 athletes now in the U20 competition; number 1 ranked Alex Knibbs (Amber Valley & Erewash AC, Julie Feeney) won the Loughborough International B race recently and silver last year, ESAA champion Joe Fuggle (Amber Valley & Erewash AC, Julie Feeney) is ranked 2, and last year's U18 winner is 3rd ranked Alastair Chalmers (Guernsey Island AAC, Dale Garland).

The 800m is set to be a very competitive event with the top 7 ranked athletes all having PBs under 1.50. It's also likely to be a Home Countries battle with indoor champion and indoor championships record holder Markhim Lonsdale (Crook & Dist Sports AC, Keith Lonsdale), Welshman Matthew Harding (Colwyn Bay) over from studying in the USA, Scottish indoor champion and English indoor silver medallist Ben Greenwood (Perth Strathtay Harriers, Cat Tavendale), and English Schools' champion Finley Bigg (Brighton Phoenix, Jon Bigg).

Race walker Chris Snook (Aldershot Farnham & District AC, Verity Snook) competes in his first year as an under 20 - as an U17 he came 2nd in the senior champs last year and has competed in an England vest in the Czech Republic.

The high jump could be a really exciting watch with all the top players entered. Tom Gale (Team Bath AC, Denis Doyle) is up against Joel Khan (Worcester AC, Deirdre Elmhirst) and SEAA champion, Thomas Hewes (Chelmsford AC, John Herbert). Can Joel reverse the indoor positions with Tom. He won the Hustopecské U17 event with Tom winning the equivalent U20 competition and hungry to up his silvers from last year's England Senior and U20 events.

In the throws, George Evans (Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers, Colin McCulloch) is the defending discus and shot champion and with a 60m+ PB for discus and putting over 18m he is well ahead of his closest rivals. Defending hammer champion and recent Loughborough winner Jake Norris (Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow AC, Paul Dickenson) is also 9m ahead of club mate Bayley Campbell (also coach Paul Dickenson). Well ahead on rankings ESAA silver medallist James Whiteaker (Blackheath & Bromley Harriers AC, Nigel Whiteaker) is now 3rd on the all time list for U20 javelin behind Steve Backley and David Parker after throwing over 77m last month.


U20 Women

With large entries across the U20 women's events it's going to be a strong weekend of competition. The BUCS and indoor England and Wales 60m Champion Hannah Brier (Swansea Harriers, Steve Fudge) will be aiming to improve last year's 100m silver to gold. Likely to be closely contested is the sprint hurdles with British ranked number 1 and 2 both entered. Alicia Barrett (Chesterfield & District AC, Toni Minichello) is the indoor England and BUCS 60m Hurdles champion, who took silver at the Loughborough International recently with a time very close to her PB, while Sophie Yorke (Cheltenham & County Harriers, Dave Warner) placed right behind her in both Loughborough and indoors at Sheffield.

The 200m has all three indoor 200m medallists; Alisha Rees (Edinburgh AC, Willy Russell) took European Athletics Youth and England 200m outdoor silvers last year, and bronze medallist Maya Bruney (Blackheath & Bromley Harriers AC, John Blackie/David Bruney) is also the BUCS outdoor champion. English Schools' champion Hannah Williams (Herts Phoenix AC, Nick Lloyd) is back to defend her 400m title. Her PB sets her apart from the other competitors on paper but USA-based IAAF World Youth Championship Bronze Medallist Catherine Reid (Manx Harriers, Ken Harden) set a new PB last month, and U17 talent Amber Anning (Brighton & Hove AC, Steve King) will be hoping to make an impression in the U20 competition - she is southern and English Schools' 300m champion and indoor EA 300m champion.

The 800m could be one of the most closely fought races of the weekend. European Athletics Youth Championships silver medallist Anna Burt (Team Bath AC, Kevin Brunt) heads the rankings just 0.12 ahead of Isabelle Boffey (Enfield & Haringey A C, Douglas Stone) with Ellie Baker (Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers, George Harrison) just another 0.03 back but there are also plenty of other athletes likely to be in the thick of the action. The 1500m also sees a great race in prospect. With Harriet Knowles-Jones (Warrington A C, Paul Roden), Amelia Quirk (Bracknell AC, Bev Kitching) and Jemma Reekie (Kilbarchan AAC, Andy Young) all within half a second each other on the rankings list it will be one to watch. Reekie is also entered at 3,000m.

European Athletics Youth Championships winner Holly Mills (Andover AC, James Coney) faces a strong line up in the long jump with Eleanor Broome (Rugby & Northampton AC, Ian Roberts), Rachel Alexander (Giffnock North AC) and Lucy Hadaway (City of York AC, Matt Barton) among those capable of over 6 metres.

Ada’ora Chigbo (North Somerset AC, Fuzz Caan) who was fifth in the European Athletics Youth Championships faces Rebecca Hawkins (Bexley AC, John Bancroft) and Natasha Smith (Stroud & District AC, Kerry Eddie-Jury) in the high jump.

Emma Hamplett (Birchfield Harriers, David Parker) leads the entries in the javelin but look for Grace Casey (Eire g corra Choill AC) and Bethan Rees (Cannock & Stafford AC, Mark Pinner) to be in contention. Divine Oladipo (Blackheath & Bromley Harriers AC, John Hillier) and Ireland’s Michaela Walsh (Swinford AC) go head to head in the shot. While Divine also looks a favourite for the Discus and Michaela for the hammer.

Molly Caudery (Cornwall AC, Stuart Caudery) and Jessica Robinson (Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow AC, Ellie Spain) head the pole vault entries while in the triple jump Emily Gargan (Gateshead Harriers & AC, Sam Stanislaus) and Naomi Ogbeta (Trafford AC, Tom Cullen) are part of a field that could see it needing a 13m+ jump to take gold.



*As well as deciding the national titles the event also acts as the Trials for the British Athletics team for the European U23 Championships to be held in Bydgoszcz, Poland, (for all events except 5,000m, 10,000m, combined events and 20km race-walk) and the European Junior Championships to be held in Grosseto, Italy (for events except 5,000m, 10,000m and Combined Events). (Click here for full selection policy)

 


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