First champs of 2017 this weekend

This coming weekend sees out first England Athletics championships of the year, with the England Athletics Senior and U20 Combined Events indoor Champs and Walks (Saturday), also including the Welsh, North and Midlands champs. We also host the BMC indoor fixture on the Sunday afternoon which covers 800m, 1500m and 3000m for both men and women.

The Combined Events action takes place at the EIS in Sheffield (10.30am Saturday and 10am Sunday), with the women completing a one day pentathlon (U20 on Saturday, Senior on Sunday) and the men an indoor heptathlon over the whole weekend.

All reigning champions from 2016 are back to defend their titles and entry numbers exceed 125 including 44 senior men. In the walks there's the opportunity to see 2016 World Junior Champion (10k walk) Callum Wilkinson (Club: Enfield & Haringey AC, Coach: Mick Graham) in action. Entry is by programme on the door (£2).

Senior Men

The Senior Men take on the indoor heptathlon, and it's a mostly experienced group of athletes entered. All three of last year's medallists including champion Liam Ramsay (Club: City of Sheffield & Dearne AC, Coach: Mike Corden) return to Sheffield, and Aiden Davies (Club: Doncaster/Leeds Beckett Uni, Coach: Sam Stanislaus) who won the outdoor decathon in the summer will hope to improve on his indoor bronze. U23 Lewis Church (Club: Tonbridge AC, Coach: David Hull) took bronze outdoors and has a strong high jump and pole vault. Jack Andrew (Club: Sale Harriers Manchester, Coach: Ian Grant) has a fast 1000m time and should be hoping to upgrade from silver to gold this year. John Lane (Club: City of Sheffield & Dearne AC, Coach: Toni Minichiello) has the highest points PB for the heptathlon with a score of 5982, and an impressive set of PBs for individual events but did not complete a combined event last year. Anthony Hogg (Club: Gateshead Harriers & AC, Coach: Sam Stanislaus) is another to watch with a PB of 5100 points and was the 2015 winner as an U20. Commonwealth Games Decathlon silver medallist Ashley Bryant (Club: Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow/Brunel Uni, Coach: Aston Moore) has also entered and hopes to make an impression indoors.

Senior Women

The senior women compete in a one day indoor pentathlon. Both the indoor champion Katie Stainton (Club: Birchfield H/Loughborough Students, Coach: Kelly Sotherton), and the outdoor champion Jessica Taylor-Jemmett (Club: Sale Harriers Manchester, Coach: Mike Holmes) are entered and in the mix also are Jo Rowland (Club: Crawley AC, Coach: Antonio Minichello) and Marilyn Nwawulor (Club: Harrow AC, Coach: Lloyd Cowan) who have 4000+ point PBs and took the other indoor medals in 2016. Niamh Bailey (Club: Corby AC, Coach: David Corby) should be hot on their heels with a 4th in both indoor and outdoor championships spurring her on, and Emma Canning (Club: Edinburgh AC, Coach: Iain McEwan) who took U20 silver last year moves up to the senior competition. With a number of athletes entered who are strong in one or two events, and a quarter not having competed in a multi-event competition, Sunday could see lots of excitement and changes of position.

U20 Women

The U20 women compete in their pentathlon on the Saturday. Niamh Emerson (Club: Amber Valley & Erewash AC, Coach: David Feeney) had a great year in 2016 indoors and out and will defend her indoor pentathlon title - since then she also won our outdoor U18 heptathlon, and medalled in a number of international matches. Isabel Wakefield (Club: North Devon AC, Coach: Martin Brockman) and Ada'ora Chigbo (Club: North Somerset AC, Coach: Fuzz Caan) also did well last Summer and Anna Rowe (Club: Liverpool Harriers & AC, Coach: Mike Holmes) will be wanting to improve on last year's indoor bronze. Jade O'Dowda (Club: Oxford City AC, Coach: Marcia Marriott) is strong in the jumps and hurdles which could put her in the running for a podium position.

U20 Men

The U20 men are a small field but full of quality. About half have not competed in an indoor heptathlon. Defending champion indoor and out (U18) Sam Talbot (Club: Exeter Harriers, Coach: Martin Brockman) has a points PB well ahead of the field, but Joseph Hobson (Club: Sheffield Running Club, Coach: Mike Corden) with a strong finishing 1000m, and Dylan Carlsson-Smith (Club: Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers, Coach: Ian Grant) are also entered. Ireland's 17-year-old Daniel Ryan (Club: Herne Hill Harriers, Coach: Garry Power) who placed 4th in the European Youth last year is also one to watch with excellent reported PBs. There are a number of strong high jumpers including Ben Clarke (Club: Worcester AC, Coach: Kerry Eddie) and Howard Bell (Club: Edinburgh AC, Coach: Iain McEwan) who also has a 7m+ long jump, and Scott Connal with strong high, long and vaulting scores.


The 1k and 3k Indoor Walks champs have attracted a good number of entries, including most of last year's top ranked seniors, U23 and U20 athletes, including Emma Achurch (Club: Leicester Walking Club, Coach: Steve Arnold), Cameron Corbishley (Club: Medway & Maidstone AC, Coach: Andi Drake), plus 3k British record holder Sophie Lewis Ward (Club: Cambridge Harriers, Coach: Noel Carmody). and U20 record holder (10k walk) and 2016 World Junior Champion Callum Wilkinson (Club: Enfield & Haringey AC, Coach: Mick Graham).

The 1km race will start at 12 noon and 3km race will start at 12.30pm on the Sunday.

Click here for live results and further information