As the heat wave continues across the United Kingdom, the temperature at this weekend’s Sainsbury’s British Championships is set to reach boiling point as over 600 athletes compete for the chance to be named the British champion.
With Great Britain & Northern Ireland team places up for grabs for the forthcoming IAAF World Championships in Moscow, the stage is set for a weekend to remember at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham. Athletes will guarantee their seat on the plane if the win their event and hold the current A standard.
With 28 athletes holding the A standard across 14 different disciplines, it’s all to play for at the Alexander Stadium as they have one last chance to achieve the A standard and impress selectors before the team is announced on Tuesday.
London 2012 Olympic medallists Christine Ohuruogu (coach: Lloyd Cowan) and Robbie Grabarz (Fuzz Ahmed), as well as rising stars such as Jessica Judd (Rob Denmark), will be leading the way in front of one of the biggest crowds the British Championships has seen in the West Midlands.
James Dasaolu (Steve Fudge) is the hot favourite in the blue ribbon event. The likes of Joel Fearon (Michael Khmel), defending British champion Dwain Chambers (Rana Reider), Harry Aikines-Aryeetey (Reider) and James Ellington (Reider) will be hoping to upset the odds.
World Junior champion and London 2012 semi-finalist Adam Gemili (Michael Afilaka) will not be competing this weekend as he is on international duty with the GB & NI under 23 team at the European Championships in Finland.
This is set to be one of the most intriguing races of the weekend with no British athlete yet to secure the A standard of 45.28. But with the men’s 4x400m team places also up for grabs, all those who make the final will be vying for team selection.
Michael Bingham (George Harrison), Richard Strachan (Linford Christie), Nigel Levine (Christie), Conrad Williams (Christie) and Martyn Rooney (Reider) are all capable of achieving the standard so.
Men’s 110m Hurdles
Similar to the men’s 400m, this event does not have one athlete with the golden time of 13.40. William Sharman (Jerzy Maciukiewicz), Lawrence Clarke (Malcolm Arnold) and Gianni Frankis (Tony Jarrett) will all be aiming to win and achieve the standard.
Men’s 400m Hurdles
It’s the battle of Wales as Dai Greene (Arnold) takes on fellow countryman Rhys Williams (Adrian Thomas). Williams last defeated Greene in this event in 2006, but may have the upper hand finishing ahead of the defending World Champion at the recent Sainsbury’s Grand Prix – Birmingham.
Men’s Pole Vault
Luke Cutts (Trevor Fox) is an athlete heading into the Sainsbury’s British Championships in good form. Cutts, who has jumped a 2013 British outdoor leading vault of 5.61m, will provide 2012 champion Steve Lewis (Dan Pfaff) with stiff competition.
It’s a family affair for the Ohuruogu family as sisters Christine and Victoria (Cowan) could potentially be racing against each other, whilst like the men’s field there are coveted Moscow relay spots available. Anyika Onuora (Reider) who has made a significant breakthrough over 400m this season will line up in the 200m
Teenage sensation Jessica Judd (Denmark) will be going head to head against the experienced Marilyn Okoro (Johnny Gray). Both have the A standard having ducked under the two minute barrier this season, but who will make it across the finish line for the Championship title?
2011 World silver medallist Hannah England (Bud Baldaro) faces stiff competition for the national title against compatriots Lisa Dobriskey (Ricky Soos) and Laura Weightman (Steve Cram) – all possess the current A standard, making it a tasty line up for the middle distance enthusiasts.
Women’s 400m Hurdles
Could this be the race that Eilidh Child (Arnold) beats Perri Shakes-Drayton (Chris Zah)? It would be the 14th time of trying, yet Child has moved into world class territory with her recent personal best's, and both will line up knowing they have a high quality race ahead of them.
Greg Rutherford (Pfaff) will not compete at the Sainsbury’s British Championships this weekend following an injury to his hamstring at the Paris Diamond League last weekend. The Olympic long jump champion said:
“I’m disappointed not to be competing at the Sainsbury’s British Championships this weekend, but I’m hoping to be back on the track soon.” Tickets for the Sainsbury’s British Championships are available at: http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/packages/british_athletics_series_2013.html