U20 and U23 Championships: preview

Ahead of the England Athletics U20 and U23 Championships in Bedford this weekend (July 16 and 17), with high temperatures forecast across the country on both Saturday and Sunday, here is some essential information for all those planning to attend, whether as an athlete, official, coach, or spectator.

Measures in place at the Championships

We are putting in place a series of measures for the two-day Championships:

  • A revised timetable has been scheduled and communicated directly to the athletes and the officials. The most significant change to the schedule is the change of time for the longer distance track races [from 3000m and upwards]. These events will now take place at the start of the programme on both Saturday and Sunday as the temperature will be cooler at this time. This will subsequently impact on all track timings so all attendees should be aware and plan accordingly.
  • Additional supplies of water will be readily available through our official water supplier Water in a Box, including at the start and finish of all track events, and at water stations for field events. There will also be additional ice available all weekend.
  • Water/sponge tables will be stationed on the back and home straight for distance races
  • Additional shelter is being provided for the athletes and officials. This includes shaded areas at all field events

 General guidance for those attending the Championships

  • We ask that all athletes, officials, and spectators come prepared for the high temperatures forecast for the weekend. One of our supporters Melanoma fund will be attending the event and have provided sport specific advice guidance to keep safe in the high temperatures. This can be found here via the Melanoma Fund website.
  • Please bring a sun hat, sunglasses, and plenty of sunscreen for the weekend
  • If you have a gazebo or tent, bring this with you as a place to shade (there is plenty of space around the track). Alternatively, an umbrella or parasol can be used
  • Hydration is critical. Water will be provided for all but please ensure you bring enough fluids. There are water fountains at the venue and drink concessions will be onsite. Do not wait until you feel thirsty, drink continually throughout the day
  • Bring a small towel/flannel which can be drenched in water for cooling
  • It is advisable to take regular breaks from the sun during the day. This should be factored into planning for arrival/warm up

Event preview

Many of the country’s stars of the future will be in action at Bedford this weekend.

For the U20s, the event doubles as the trials for the World Athletics U20 Championships in Cali, Colombia, on August 1-6. The winners of each event except the 3000m and 5000m will gain automatic selection if eligible and if they have gained the qualifying standards. Up to two can be selected for each individual event when selectors meet immediately after the championships to pick the team.

Particularly for some of the U23 athletes, selection standards for the European Athletics Championships in Munich next month will also be a consideration, with the deadline on July 26. Nia Wedderburn-Goodison, Charlotte Payne and Mia McIntosh are some of the top names expected.

Under-20 women

European youth 100m champion Nia Wedderburn-Goodison (Harrow) will be in action in both sprints. Having improved to 11.39 in Jerusalem, she will be looking for a similar improvement over 200m. Joy Eze (Gateshead) is another contender in the short sprint.

Doing battle in the half-lap with Wedderburn-Goodison will be 2021 European junior bronze medallist Success Eduan (Sale; Anita Richardson), who is quickest in the line-up with 23.30. Sophie Walton (Horwich; Trevor Williams) is another to watch in the highly anticipated event. European junior silver medallist Yemi Mary John (Woodford Green with Essex Ladies; Alan James), who is ranked No.3 in Europe, will be going over 400m. Abigail Ives (Abingdon; Luke Gunn), who is ranked sixth best junior in the world, will head the 800m line-up, where European youth bronze medallist Iris Downes (Shrewsbury; Colin Lancaster) is next fastest. European youth champion Mia McIntosh (Harrow; Jake Awe) goes in the 100m hurdles, with Marli Jessop (Shaftesbury Barnett; Scott Grace) among the top challengers. Another champion from Jerusalem will be Ophelia Pye (Marlborough Athletics; David Hemery), who will line up in the 400m hurdles with another top challenger, Emily Newnham (Shaftesbury Barnet). Yet another winner from the European U18 was Cleo Agyepong (Blackheath & Bromley; John Hillier) and she will be hunting for gold in the shot circle. Heading the 3000m line-up will be Fleur Todd-Warmoth (Blackheath & Bromley; Phillip Kissi), who has gone to third on the UK all-time and European 2022 junior rankings with 9:16.35.

Under-20 men

Ed Faulds (Rugby & Northampton; James Wright), the European junior 400m champion from last year, will be one of the top athletes to watch out for in this age group. However, he will have to be on form to beat Sam Reardon (Blackheath & Bromley; Nigel Stickings), who competed in the relay at the World Indoors this year. He is also entered for the 800m, where he is quickest in the line-up. Another with high hopes in both sprints will be Jeriel Quainoo (Blackheath & Bromley; Ryan Freckleton), who is No.2 in Europe over 100m this year and No.6 in the world over 200m. Michael Onilogbo (Newham & Essex Beagles; Carl Graham) and Jason Kalala (Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets; Nat Senior) will hope to push him. The 1500m will have European youth bronze Tendai Nyabadza (Harmeny) with Ethan Hussey (Leeds City; Andrew Henderson) fastest in the field. Further up in distance at 3000m, the line-up has European youth bronze medallist Ed Bird (Poole; Mark Pauley) and James Knockton (Trafford; Richard Goddard), who is closing in on the World Junior standard of 8:10.

Under-23 women

UK senior champion Charlotte Payne (Reading AC; Paul Dickenson) will be a strong favourite in the hammer. Having made a big breakthrough this year to 70.59m, she will have an eye on the European standard of 71.80m. A close contest is expected in the 100m hurdles where event specialist Jenna Blundell (Bristol & West) takes on heptathletes Holly Mills (Andover; Laura Turner-Alleyne) and Jodie Smith (Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow; Laura Turner-Alleyne). Lucy Hadaway (City of York; Matt Barton), a 6.63m jumper, will attempt to defend her long jump title – as will UK No.5 Serena Vincent (City of Portsmouth; Bronwyn Carter) in the shot put. Australia’s Jessica Bell, who has thrown 54m, will be favourite in the javelin.

Under-23 men

James Hanson (Woking; Jake Awe), who was fourth in the UK Championships with his PB of 20.46, will highlight the sprints, taking part in the 200m. Also looking to continue good recent form will be discus thrower Chukwuemeka Osammor (Sheffield & Dearne; James Taylor), who is fifth best in the UK with his PB last month of 60.81m. Hammer thrower Bayley Campbell (Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow; Paul Dickenson) will be looking to improve on his silver from last year after his recent PB of 70.15m. Owen Heard (Harrow; Kate Rooney), who is third best in the UK this year with 5.45m, will be one to watch in the pole vault. Australian high jump champion Yual Reath, who has jumped 2.25m, will be challenged by Kelechi Aguocha (Blackheath & Bromley; Fuzz Caan). Also among several good Australians at the event will be Isaac Heyne, lining up in the 500m with a PB of 13:30, and 110m hurdler Sam Hurwood, who has clocked 13.63.