30th June 2024


On a day where championship records fell and Olympic spots were confirmed, Phoebe Gill (coach: Deborah Steer, club: St Albans), Dina Asher-Smith (Edrick Floreal, Blackheath & Bromley) and Matt Hudson-Smith Anning (Gary Evans, Birchfield Harriers) were among those to light up the Microplus UK Athletics Championships in Manchester.

In fine form following European 100m gold three weeks ago, Dina Asher-Smith returned to home soil to take a commanding victory in the women’s 200m final.

Firing out from lane five, Asher-Smith ran a fine bend to slingshot off ahead of European 200m silver medallist Daryll Neita (Marco Airale, Cambridge Harriers).

Only widening her lead down the home straight, Asher-Smith streaked away to take an emphatic win, the winning time of 22.18 a new championship record. Having won the 100m British title just yesterday, Neita ran a season’s best of 22.46 for silver, with Amy Hunt (Marco Airale, Charnwood) third in 22.78, the time also a season’s best.

Asher-Smith said: “There has been a lot of big changes for me this year [moving to the States] but coming back to Britain has been nice. I have definitely missed it.

“Something new was definitely needed and I have an amazing coach and set-up over there. I am very happy with today’s performance. It’s very cold here especially coming from Texas ,so I really wanted to finish the race healthy. I wasn’t looking for a time given the conditions.

“When it comes to Paris , it’s about executing the race. I have done enough of these to know that I need to get there in good shape and form then navigate myself through the rounds. Leading to the final , it’s then just about giving everything you’ve got.”

After turning heads earlier this year with times well under two minutes, teenage sensation Phoebe Gill navigated her biggest test yet, delivering a huge win in the women’s 800m final to confirm her spot at the Paris Olympic Games at just 17 years old.

In what was essentially a gun to tape victory, Gill went toe to toe with eventual silver medallist Jemma Reekie (Jon Bigg, Kilbarchan) for 650m, before Gill managed to move away down the straight, the time of 1:58.66 equally as impressive as the title itself.

Reekie too claimed her Olympic spot for what will be her second Games, her sub-2 clocking of 1:59.28 another huge tick in the box for her 2024 season, while Erin Wallace (Trevor Painter, Giffnock North) finished third in 2:00.88.

A tearful Gill said: “I am really emotional, I am trying not to cry. I am so happy as I never thought this would actually happen. This is crazy to me, it’s like I’m dreaming. I can’t describe it to be honest.”

“The fact I am going [to Paris] and competing against those who I have been watching on TV for ages is crazy. I think it will be so much fun as the stressful part of getting a place is over.

“Paris wasn’t on my radar at all, the fact I am going now means I can go without having any expectations. We will see what happens as I’ll go with the flow and am very excited to compete with the other amazing athletes.”

Moving down in distance as part of a concerted focus on his shorter speed, and having navigated earlier qualifying looking supreme, Matt Hudson-Smith (Birchfield Harriers) took a brilliant title win in the men’s 200m, setting a personal best of 20.34 (-0.4) for a first ever British title in the event.

Coming off the bend neck and neck with Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake (Newham & Essex Beagles), Hudson-Smith found another gear to power away over the final 50m, extending his lead to a couple of metres and he blazed over the line to take a few tenths of his quickest time over 200m.

Mitchell-Blake followed in for silver in 20.55, the time among his quicker this calendar year, while there was a brilliant bronze for Michael Ohioze (Craig Cox Shaftesbury Barnet) as he clocked 20.68.

Speaking post-race, Hudson-Smith said: “I came in to compete and get a bit of speed practise in to prepare for the Olympics and Diamond League. I am not used to the 200m so I am just learning it and I tried to take it as I would a 400m.  I am in good shape, the shape to win and I just want to get that gold.  I am not worried about time, just the medal is what I want.  I am very excited, of course, and I am healthy, so I know I am amongst the best and I just want to show the world I can do it.”

In fine form this year after a magnificent performance best back in May, Amber Anning (Chris Johnson, Brighton & Hove) lived up to her pre-event favourite tag by producing a championship record of 50.47 in the women’s 400m final.

Committing hard to the opening 200m, Anning appeared to coast round the final bend before gliding through the line and confirming her spot on the team for Paris, the winning time seeing her almost half a second clear.

The competition for the podium was fierce behind Anning, with Laviai Nielsen (Tony Lester, Enfield & Haringey) doing precisely what she needed to by finishing in the top two to secure her Olympic berth, her time of 50.92 holding off the late charge of Yemi Mary John (Alan James, Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow), who finished in a season’s best of 51.23 for bronze.

Anning said: “It feels amazing as I have been working towards this all year. To make the Olympics is the pinnacle of  any sporting career so I am so excited and proud to represent my country. The whole season has been quite pressurised, being in the America collegiate system there is always pressure anyway amongst the team as I have the aim of being pro; everything is earned, nothing is a given so I have worked hard to get in that top two spots.”

Both carrying the Olympic qualifying mark, and running from adjacent lanes, Lina Nielsen (Tony Lester, Shaftesbury Barnet) and Jessie Knight (Marina Armstrong, Shaftesbury Barnet) were the headliners of the women’s 400m hurdles final.

Pushing out strong and hard, Nielsen looked to move up on Knight over flights three and four as she built a lead coming round and off the final bend. Showing no sign of relenting, Nielsen navigated the final flight with success and charged over the line in 54.81, winning what was her first British title, having previously competed in the flat 400m for some years.

Also knowing that a top two finish would book her seat to Paris, Knight kept her composure to come in half a second after Nielsen, her time of 55.36 a season’s best ahead of Jessica Tappin’s (Thames Valley) 56.86 for bronze.

Nielsen said: “It feels incredible to officially qualify for the Olympics. I had already run the standard a few times this season and again today, I knew all I needed to do was execute a good race and time, which I did. Today I was really calm, focused and so clear. I haven’t felt like this in years and the confidence is there, I’ve got so much faith in my training – this is the strongest and fastest I’ve ever been.”

The penultimate event of the weekend, the women’s 1500m saw Georgia Bell (Trevor Painter, Belgrave) continue her fine return to the sport with a hugely eye-catching victory over Olympic medallist Laura Muir (Steve Vernon, Dundee Hawkhill), with both athletes booking their seats to Paris as the 1-2 finishers.

With both the race and pace appearing to be controlled by Muir through the mid-section, Bell stayed in touch throughout and then moved wide down the straight to roar beyond both Muir and Revee Walcott-Nolan (Luton), to cross the line arms aloft in 4:10.69 to Muir’s 4:11.59.

Muir herself did enough to keep off the charge of Walcott-Nolan, as the latter finished third in 4:11.70 for bronze.

Bell said: “It is amazing and hard to take in at the moment but I am sure it will hit me later that I have qualified.”

“I was confident going in to today, and taking a lot from my silver at the Europeans a couple of  weeks ago. I knew it would be really hard today, and even though I took a few years off, I have been racing since I was 11, so to achieve this I am quite overwhelmed.”

The men’s equivalent, the final event of the weekend, saw 2023 champion Neil Gourley (Ben Thomas, Giffnock North) retain his title and find himself Olympic Games-bound for the first time.

Led out by Adam Fogg (Cory Leslie, Coventry), the field clocked just over 60 seconds for the opening 400m, with Fogg continuing to lead at 800m before George Mills (Thomas Dreißigacker, Brighton Phoenix) hit the front at the bell to make a run for home.

Gourley shadowed the pair wisely, keeping himself in striking distance as the field circled round for the finish. At 200m it was Mills from Gourley, but by 120m to go Gourley had struck, timing his move perfectly to move up and past Mills.

There was the occasional backward glance down the home straight for the Scot, but in reality he was all on his own as he stopped the clock in 3:37.67 for gold, Mills following in 3:38.29 to join Gourley on the team for Paris. Having made the early running, Fogg came in for bronze in 3:39.17.

“I feel really good to win and also confirm my spot in Paris,” said Gourley. “Especially considering that three months ago I wasn’t able to run, never mind quickly. Today was a relief, the weight on my shoulders has been lifted and I am proud that I am able to become British champion again.”

In what was a stacked field carrying a handful of athletes with the Olympic qualifying mark, the men’s 800m boiled down to a chaotic final 200m in which Ben Pattison (Dave Ragan, Basingstoke & Mid Hants AC) ultimately came out victorious to punch his ticket to Paris.

World bronze medallist last year, Pattison stayed out of trouble down the home straight as much jostling around him saw both Josh Kerr (Edinburgh AC) and Elliot Giles (Jon Bigg, Birchfield) take heavy falls, with Pattison’s time of 1:45.49 taking the title ahead of Max Burgin (Ian Burgin, Halifax), an athlete who will also be in Paris having finished in the top two in 1:46.01. Finley Mclear (Exeter) got up for bronze, nipping in to make the podium in 1:46.33.

“I went into today not thinking I had secured my spot; I wanted to go and prove I deserved that spot and the only way to do that was to go and win,” said Pattison.

“I knew I could win it whichever way I wanted to and I’ve done a few races this year leading from the front, but I wanted to sit in a bit and see if I have that sprint finish which is a bit more tactical, and that’s what I did. It was a pretty messy race but I felt pretty comfortable throughout. I got myself in a few bad positions but luckily I have the experience now to know when to move and get out of it. When it came to it I just kicked hard and no-one could keep up thankfully.”

Fresh from European silver just weeks ago, Charlie Dobson (Leon Baptiste, Colchester) showed he is very much a global contender with another sparkling performance as he took British 400m gold.

Pushed hard early doors by the reigning champion Alex Haydock-Wilson (Earl Herbert, Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow), Dobson kept something in reserve for the final 150m as he found another gear to storm clear down the home straight, the winning time of 44.56 a stadium record, as Dobson now heads for the French capital next month.

Having made the early hard running, Haydock-Wilson was reeled in by Ben Jeffries’ (Bristol & West) personal best run of 45.63, with Haydock-Wilson left to settle for bronze in 45.92.

Dobson said: “I had one job to do today and that was to run the race and qualify for Paris. There will hopefully be a couple more races before Paris and I will definitely try and fit one more in.

“The preparations coming in were the same as any other race; I was totally focused on the job. I was focused on my lane and my race with one goal in mind and I’ve done that.”

UK leader Morgan Lake (Robbie Grabarz, Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow) ensured she will head to her third Olympic Games as she reigned supreme in the women’s high jump to take an eighth-consecutive British title outdoors. Entering at 1.82m, a height she cleared at the second time of asking to scoop gold, Lake went on to then clear 1.85m before three failures at 1.88m.

In personal best form in 2024, US-based Lucy Walliker (Exeter) won her first British medal courtesy of a 1.79m jump for silver, going clear at the height at the second time of asking before then bowing out at 1.82m. Clearing the same final height as Walliker, but carrying a scorecard with more failures, indoor and outdoor BUCS champion Halle Ferguson (Andrew Wood, Trafford) secured British bronze.

“I am super excited to have secured my ticket to Paris as that was my first aim today,” said Lake.

“It can be difficult in the nationals as it can take a while to start jumping compared to on the circuit. My legs weren’t so sure about that the 30 to 40 minutes wait but once I got going I felt ok. The last few competitions have gone well and I wanted to keep that consistency and stay in the 90s [1.90m] but the weather wasn’t very conducive so I just concentrated on getting the win to be sure of my place for Paris.  Another title always means something; it never gets old and it is special in Olympic year.”

In what was a topsy turvy competition, the final round of the men’s triple jump saw Efe Uwaifo (Daniel Hooker, Harrow) defend his title with an outstanding sixth round personal best of 16.22m (+0.1). Uwaifo had held the competition lead early doors courtesy of an opening jump of 15.90m (-0.5).

Overcoming what looked to be a persistent niggle, Ben Williams (Aston Moore, City of Stoke) opened with 15.93m (0 wind), before then boldly improving to 16.10m (+0.3) in round three to take the lead, only for Uwaifo to produce his brilliant clutch jump and bump Williams into silver.

Bronze medallist Jordan Aki-Sawyerr (David Johnson, Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow) also produced his best jump of the day with his opener, 15.56m (-1.3) enough to make the final step of the podium by a margin of 11cm.

Speaking afterwards, the two-time British champion Uwaifo said: “I feel fairly happy…although I think I was in shape for a bigger jump out there today. Manchester is always great with a good supportive crowd. My opening jump was good which is unusual for me then a great second jump – although it was a no jump – but I took it on the final jump.  I am grateful to take another championships and remain healthy.”

There was much to play for in the final of the men’s 3000m steeplechase, as a handful of athletes chased the UK Athletics ‘B standard’ of 8:18.50 ahead of Paris’ Games.

The clear breakaway group of four – Zak Seddon (Geoff Wightman, Bracknell AC), Will Battershill (Luke Gunn, Bristol & West), Phil Norman (Tomaz Plibersek, Woodford Green Essex Ladies) and Mark Pearce (Luke Gunn, Shaftesbury Barnet) – set out on their plan to keep a firm and collaborative pace to keep on track for sub-8:19.

The quartet went through the opening 1km in 2:46, bang on what was required, as Seddon then let Pearce hit the front to take on the running. Roared on every step by the Manchester Arena crowd, Phil Norman circled round to take the lead with 600m to go, with a gap growing between Norman and Seddon, back to Pearce and Battershill.

Norman and Seddon endeavoured to stretch away as they raced both one another and the clock, with defending champion Norman leading through the bell. Norman looked the stronger and it showed, as he moved away with gritted teeth and take gold, the time a brilliant yet agonising championship record of 8:18.65, just shy of the standard he and others were hunting.

Battershill kept his legs underneath him to overhaul Seddon and take silver in 8:21.83, with Seddon boxing off the podium as he clocked 8:27.32.

Reflecting afterwards, Norman said: “This is my last British champs, so to have the crowd backing me and sign off with a win was really special.

“Throughout the race I was feeling great – I came into the race in good shape running 8.20 a few weeks ago, and 8.19 last week, so I knew on a good day that I could run inside the qualifying time. I took the last barrier well – then I looked at the clock to see it 1500’s of a second out of the time. It’s real mixed emotions, because it was a good race and time, but ultimately not what I needed.

In women’s field action, the long jump was won by multi-event specialist Jade O’Dowda (John Lane, Newham & Essex Beagles), as a fourth-round personal best leap of 6.55m (+0.1) saw the title sewn up ahead of Alice Hopkins (Linford Christie, Oxford City).

Hopkins’ jumped a largely consistent and clean series on the day for silver, her best being 6.38m (-0.7), while Molly Palmer (Lukasz Zawila, Thames Valley) won British bronze, her best attempt being a 6.11m (-0.3) leap in round five.

O’Dowda reflected: “As a heptathlete, the long jump is my favourite event and it is quite nice to go and just do one event for a change.

“My coach thought it would be good to focus on my best event.  I come with no pressure as a multi-eventer but of course it is great to win as I am a competitor. I’ll wait now to see if I am selected, as I have the B standard for the heptathlon, so I hope I may get to Paris.”

After facing a short delay due to a slippery throwing circle, the women’s shot put was won by Amelia Campbell (Zane Duquemin, Thames Valley) with a best of 17.49m, the throw bringing up her first UK outdoor title since 2018.

Serena Vincent (Mike Winch, City of Portsmouth) found her best throw – 17.32m – in round five to clinch a notable silver, while discus champion Divine Oladipo (Blackheath & Bromley) took bronze with a season’s best 17.24m.

An emotional Campbell said: “It is very overwhelming as I couldn’t really walk until Thursday as I hurt my back so to even be here and throw has been a challenge.  To get so close is really bittersweet but obviously it is great to have won.”

The men’s hammer went the way of Jake Norris (Paul Dickenson, Windsor Slough Eton and Hounslow), as a stadium record throw of 76.03m brought up a defence of the British title won last summer.

Opening up with a throw in excess of 74m, Norris increasingly found more and more distance in the lead in to his fifth-round best winner. It wasn’t plain sailing to that point, however, with silver medallist Kenneth Ikeji (Paul Head, Basildon) pushing Norris by himself troubling the 75m in round four with 74.80m, a mark that would ultimately earn him the second step of the podium

Behind the pair, bronze went to Craig Murch (Matt Spicer, Birchfield) with an effort of 70.61m.

Norris said: “Of course the weather wasn’t great so I feel I could have done a bit better. But it has been tough as I have been to a lot more meets where the throwing circles give positive performances to try and get the B standard. But it hasn’t always gone to plan, although I have been throwing well, so I am hoping I am in with a chance of selection but I will have to wait and see of course.”

Choosing to run under protest after an initial false start, the men’s 400m hurdles was won by UK leader and event favourite Alastair Chalmers (Matt Elias, Guernsey) in a championship record time of 48.54 as he now targets Paris.

Aggressive from the off, Chalmers absolutely stormed through the field, chopping over hurdles to come into the home straight running his own race. Taking the final hurdle successfully, Chalmers almost found himself jumping for the line, with a fall at the finish seeing the clock stop in a time well under the Olympic qualifying mark.

Behind him, and having fired off the final hurdle brilliantly, Alex Knibbs (Stewart Marshall, Amber Valley & Erewash) moved through those inside of him to take close to four tenths off his previous quickest time for British silver. Having been up with Chalmers and Knibbs, Efekemo Okoro (Tony Hadley, Birchfield Harriers) was made to settle for bronze, his time 49.44.

Reflecting on a chaotic and stressful afternoon, Chalmers said: This is the best day of my life, but  it’s been the most stressful couple of hours of my life as well. To run 48.5 in the rain in Manchester is unbelievable and legendary. I am just so proud of myself and absolutely ecstatic. Besides the Olympics and Europeans this is the peak right here, I knew I would have to come and run my best time. I have won this five times in a row so I know what to expect and what needs to be done of me. The field was phenomenal, four guys running 49.2 I had to bring my A game and they dragged me along.

“Today has been very emotional but I can’t wait to see what happens next.”

With little to call from the opening proceedings in the men’s 5000m final, Max Heyden (Belgrave) set out on a gutsy charge with some seven laps to go, opening up a gap of 35-40m on the rest of the field, as the pack behind him trudged on two by two.

Heyden was reeled in, led by Patrick Dever (Andy Bibby, Preston) and Jack Rowe (Tim Eglen, Aldershot, Farnham & District), with 800m to run, as the pace picked up a little and jostling began.

Appearing to come down to a final 800m burn-up, Dever glanced backwards before trying to lift the pace and cracking some of those chasing him down. While Dever appeared to have shaken off the persistent Jack Rowe, James West had other ideas, as he upped the ante with 250m to go and scorch past both Rowe and Dever to take the tape in 13:43.62.

Coming in for second and therefore securing his spot for Paris on account of holding the qualifying time, Dever ran 13:44.58 for silver, with Rowe, an athlete also holding the qualifying mark but now waiting on a selection outcome, third in 13:46.60.

West said: “I am feeling good about the title, but of course disappointed not to make Paris. I am close in the rankings so the improvement this season is good, and to take the win is great going forward to next year because if I can get the time next year I know I can get the position at the champs.”

There was something of an upset in the final of the men’s 110m hurdles, as 19-year-old Danile Goriola (Tony Jarrett, Blackheath & Bromley) took a number of scalps to win the British title on the line from Sam Bennett (Steven Surety, Basildon) in a photo-finish.

Sandwiched between Bennett and David King (Tim O’Neil, City of Plymouth), Gariola ignored the chaos and clatters of hurdles around him to keep upright and focused, coming off the final hurdle and timing his lean for the line perfectly to edge out Bennett in a personal best of 13.55, to Bennett’s 13.56.

In the fight for bronze, King won his battle with the 2023 champion Tade Ojora (Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow) by an equally narrow margin, his time of 13.65 seeing him make yet another British podium ahead of Ojora’s 13.67.

Goriola said: “I am so excited, and so happy. I came here never thinking about medals, I came here just to run my race as I am still an under-20 and have nothing to lose.”

Winning what was a maiden British title, Divine Oladipo (Blackheath & Bromley) was a cut above her competitors as she won by the women’s discus title by a clear metre-and-a-half with 54.78m.

Taking the lead in round three with a throw of 54.51, Oladipo then added a further 25cm with her final effort as icing on the cake. Fellow clubmate to Oladipo, Zara Obamakinwa (Mark Chapman, Blackheath & Bromley) scooped silver courtesy of her 53.23m in round two, while no stranger to a national championship having won her first title back in 2010, Jade Lally (Zane Duqemin, Thames Valley) hauled herself into bronze with a fourth-round best of 52.75m.

It was another British title for Harry Coppell (Scott Simpson, Wigan & District) in the men’s pole vault, victory coming after he was the only athlete to go clear at 5.40m. The mark was a season’s best for Coppell as he continues his return from a period of inactivity.

UK leader Owen Heard (Kate Rooney, Harrow) was second on the day, his best of 5.25m, cleared at the first time of asking before three failures at 5.40m, seeing him take silver, while Lazarus Benjamin’s (Sale Harriers) season’s best mark of 5.10m won bronze.

“It’s not been great prep this season so today was just about getting the title – if conditions had been better, I might have gone for a height,” said Coppell.

“I moved to a new set-up in the Netherlands in November, but it was probably a bit late in the season for that, and then I picked up a few injuries and missed the indoors. It has been a bit of a rough ride, but it’s nice to take another medal here.”

Joe Dunderdale (Sheffield & Dearne) delivered when it mattered most as his fifth-round throw of 75.06m, a season’s best, secured his first British title since 2017 against a backdrop of drizzly conditions in the men’s javelin.

Needing to chase down gold behind eventual silver and bronze medallists, Benjamin East (Luke Angell, Team Kennet) and Daniel Bainbridge (Tom Dobbing, Shaftesbury Barnet), Dunderdale increasingly found more distance through the rounds, before unleashing what was the only throw in excess of 75m to secure gold.

East’s best on the day was 74.15m, thrown in round four before he was overhauled by Dunderdale, while Bainbridge’s 70.57m was good for bronze.

Dunderdale reflected: “It is seven years since I last won this title, so I’m very pleased to be able to still get this distance at the age I am. My plan coming in was to focus on the technical things that I have been working on – it took me a couple of throws to get in going well but by my fifth throw it all came together.

“Gold is always my aim regarding of where I am in the rankings because I feel I can get it and I have had too many silvers!”

In a race comprised of three athletes walking 5000m, and another three going over 10,000m, the men’s race walks kicked off the second day of action in Manchester.

Callum Wilkinson (Rob Heffernan, Enfield & Haringey) stole the show over the longer distance, scorching to a time of 38:43.91 over 10,000m, taking a huge 22 seconds off his own British record to set a huge new personal best.

Behind Wilkinson, Cameron Corbishley (Andi Drake, Medway & Maidstone) also set a hugely notable personal best as he took silver in 40:15.50, taking close to eighty seconds off his previous quickest over the distance, while Edson George Wilkinson (Enfield & Haringey), brother of Callum, was third in 50:33.63.

Speaking afterwards, Wilkinson said: “It was a big pressure weekend for me; it is the first time I have had this opportunity on home soil, usually it is abroad somewhere on the international circuit. But here with the home support, what a way to do it. I think it is enough [for Paris] and probably went even better than I was aiming for so long as no-one has done anything crazy fast across the world this weekend.”

In the shorter race of the men’s walks action, Chris Snook (Andi Drake, Aldershot, Farnham & District) retained the title he won last year in a commanding personal best of 20:31.57, the margin of victory a clear two minutes, and some.

Coming in for silver was Luc Legon, his season’s best of 22:53.92 seeing him clinch the second step of the podium, while Matthew Crane (Noel Carmody, Bexley) walked 24:24.29 for bronze.

For Snook, the victory was validation for a late decision to enter the championships, as he said: “Honestly, I was umming-and-ahhing whether I was going to do this or not as I have just come off an injury, so to do this time was pretty impressive. Technically it is a PB, but I should be walking quicker, the 5k champs should be won in a quicker time than that but luckily the other boys are doing the 10k so gave me an easier run – I won’t be ashamed to admit that. But it was nice to do that time coming off an injury.

The women’s 5000m race walk saw 17-year-old Gracie Griffiths (Peter Freeman, Pembrokeshire) break through to win her first ever British title, 23:53.93, the time enough to bring up gold and an elated look as she crossed the line to take the win.

Bronze-medallist last year, Abigail Jennings (Verity Snook, Aldershot Farnham & District) upgraded to silver for 2024 as she walked to a season’s best of 24:18.02 to add to her ever-growing collection of domestic silverware. Having pushed the pace early doors to keep the race honest, Hannah Hopper (Noel Carmody, Cambridge Harriers) was rewarded with British bronze and a season’s best of 24:52.19 to complete the podium make-up.

Griffiths said: “I think my time wasn’t the best, but I have come away as British Champion. I am over the moon and I don’t think I could have given any more today, so I am happy with  that. I was feeling a lot stronger as the race went on. I am happy about that because I have struggled in the past so finishing strong is a real positive for me. Since the end of last season, I wanted to come here and win the gold medal and challenge myself.”

As part of continued integration of para-athletics into the UK Championships programme, six lined up in the men’s ambulant 1500m final.

As long-distance specialist James McKibbin (Mark Brace, North Devon) flew off at the gun, going through 400m in just over 45 seconds to leave the field chasing his tail. He was soon reeled in at 600m, with GB international Steven Bryce (Steven Doig, Fife) taking control to hit the front with two laps to go, Brandon Ballard (Denise Korkmaz, Huntingdonshire) on his shoulder.

Bryce endeavoured to kick at the bell, but Ballard wasn’t for dropping as he stuck tight on the outside as it became a straight shootout for gold. Bruce against tried to lift his legs down the home straight, pumping his arms to move clear by a matter of metres to take gold in a season’s best of 4:03.31.

Clearly spent after crossing over, Ballard took silver in 4:03.58, with Kieran O’Hara (Patrick Gahagan, Havering) getting up for bronze in 4:04.02, the time a season’s best.

Further down the field, Daniel Wolff (Dave Mitchell, Epsom & Ewell) was fourth in a season’s best of 4:05.08, Arthur Milles (Trevor Cummings, St Mary’s Richmond) set a personal best of 4:07.94 for fifth, and McKibbin ran 4:23.79 for sixth.

Shortly after, multi-Paralympic and world medallist Sammi Kinghorn (Rodger Harkins, Red Star) showed all of her class as she breezed away for a commanding win in the women’s 400m wheelchair final in 54.55.

Utterly dominant from the gun, Kinghorn flew past many of her competitors over the first 100m, reeling in Mel Woods (Rodger Harkins, Red Star) down the back straight before stretching away down the home straight to stop the clock with a sub-55 performance.

Woods motored down the straight to post 56.98 for silver, with the battle for bronze seeing Ellis Kottas (Weir Archer Academy) push to a season’s best of 1:12.33 to secure domestic hardware.

Nathalie Garner (Jenny Archer, Weir Archer Academy) joined Kottas in posting a season’s best, as she clocked 1:14.44 for fifth, with Anya Waugh (Kirkby AC) half a second back in 1:14.94 for sixth.

Kinghorn said: “It was a really good race. Sometimes I feel like this is a slow track because it is soft, but my time was good and it’s the fastest time I have on this track, and that is really exciting.”

Results from the UK Athletics Championships can be found HERE.