30th June 2017
Britain's Best Athletes Set For World Championships Trials
The best athletes from across the country are set to battle for British titles and places on the British Athletics team for this summer’s IAAF World Championships in London when they compete at the British Athletics Team Trials held in Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium this weekend (1-2 July).
Speaking ahead of Sunday’s hotly anticipated men’s 200m, Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake (coach: Dennis Shaver), who currently tops the British rankings, is expecting one of the most competitive trial races in recent years.
He said: “It’s one of the most competitive Trials in a while. It’s good for the nation, the sport and all the fans. There are some great talents in Great Britain right now, some great guys coming through. The men’s 200m event is dubbed to be the blue ribbon event, hence it being last (in the schedule). It’s a great spectacle for the fans. I know all the athletes are going to bring their A-Game and I am ready to compete.”
Zharnel Hughes (Patrick Dawson) is another of the six male athletes who have achieved the World Championships 200m qualifying time, and is looking forward to competing in front of an enthusiastic British crowd on Sunday.
Hughes said: “For me it’s a confidence boost for athletes to perform in front of a home crowd and then to move on to World Championships knowing the crowd is fully behind you. I can’t wait to go out there on Sunday and hear the crowd is behind me and the rest of the athletes.”
The women’s sprints will be another highlight of the weekend’s competition, Desiree Henry (Rana Reider) is one of the leading names in both the 100m and 200m and is hoping to confirm her place on the British team for the IAAF World Championships, which take place in London on 4-13 August.
Henry said: “I’m in pretty good shape so looking forward to this weekend. The qualifying times are out of the way so I am happy with myself there so now it’s just about getting the opportunity to race against the best in Britain. This is a special competition for all of us. This is our time to shine and it’s going to mean a lot to all of us this weekend.”
Dan Greaves (John Godina) is one of six para athletes competing at the British Athletics Team Trials, as they look to fine tune their preparations ahead of the World Para Athletics Championships, which also take place in London on 14-23 July.
Greaves, who will compete in the discus on Saturday, said: “To compete at the Team Trials is a great opportunity, I did as an able-bodied athlete for many years. Two weeks out to the day from the World Para Athletics Championships it’s a great indicator and a great competition to do to judge where we’re at and make any alterations if we need to. It’s great to see the guys vying for places in the World Championships as well and to be competitive in terms of distance is great.”
Councillor Ian Ward, Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council, who support the event, said: “We are delighted to welcome back the Team Trials to Birmingham, as this is an event which we look forward to hosting every year. Birmingham is the home of athletics in Britain and the Alexander Stadium has a long distinguished history of successfully hosting major athletics events such as this. The Team Trials is always a great event but with the added incentive of a home world championships, I’m sure it will be even more exciting, so I’d urge local people to come down and cheer on Britain’s best athletes as they compete for places in the British Athletics team.
“I’m sure we’ll give the athletes a great send off, ahead of the IAAF World Championships in London. And after a busy summer of superb athletics, Birmingham will be back in the spotlight when it hosts its own world championships, when we welcome back the IAAF World Indoor Championships to Arena Birmingham next March – the biggest indoor sports event to be staged in Birmingham for 15 years.”
You can purchase tickets for the British Athletics Team Trials this weekend from the Alexander Stadium on the day of the event.