4th August 2018


Ahead of the start of the European Championships in Berlin, ten British under-20 athletes will take part in a match competition against France and Germany at the Olympic Stadium.

The British team will be headed by Thomas Keen (coach: Mark Vile; club: Cambridge & Coleridge), who claimed European under-18 3000m gold in a continental age group leading time of 8:14.41 in Gyor, Hungary last month.

Keen will arrive in Berlin for the men’s 1500m this time as the fourth fastest under-18 in Europe but will need to produce a strong performance as he bids to edge out France’s Quentin Malriq and Germany’s Maximilian Sluka, both of whom have personal bests some three seconds quicker than.

Joining him in track action will be Jason Nicholson (Janice Kaufman; Gateshead Harriers), the second fastest European in the 110m hurdles this season with a time of 13.32 set at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Tampere.

The female equivalent, the women’s 100m hurdles, pits British under-20 leader Isabella Hilditch (John Blackie; Blackheath & Bromley) against France’s Sacha Alessandrini, who finished fourth at the world juniors in 13.34 and is the third fastest woman in Europe this season.

Sprinter Chad Miller (Ryan Freckleton; Hercules Wimbledon), who missed out on a spot in the 100m final of the World Junior Championships by 0.02s, will take on Yacouba Pfälzner, the new German under-20 100m and 200m champion following his display in Rostock, and Dylan Vermont, the quickest Frenchman in the age group this year in 10.55.

Bronze medallist from the Müller British Athletics Championships, Bethan Rees (Mark Pinner, Cannock & Stafford) will compete in a strong javelin field, with France’s Jona Aigouy heading the field this season with a best of 51.70m, ahead of her 51.12m personal best set in Loughborough this year.

Calum Henderson (John Scott; Edinburgh), who earns his first British vest, will see his main competition in the long jump come from Germany’s Luke Herden, who sits ninth in the European standings this season with a best of 7.61m.

Lavinja Jürgens, Emily Race (Peter Anthony Fendley; Worksop) and Juliette Perez are separated by just four centimetres in the women’s high jump this season, with bests of 1.84m, 1.81m and 1.80m respectively.

Lauren Williams (Wynford Leyshon; Swansea) earns another British vest in the women’s 400m hurdles and will hope to take more time off her 59.21 personal best. She’ll face Frenchwoman Shana Grebo, who is ranked in Europe’s top ten this season in 58.55, and Sylvia Schultz of Germany, just behind in 58.74.

Jade Spencer-Smith (Ellie Spain, Harrow), at just 16, finished fifth in the pole vault at the European Youth Championships in Gyor with an equal personal of 3.90m, while French counterpart Alice Moindrot, ranked fifth in the world this year, won bronze at the world juniors. Zoe Jakob is Germany’s best hope, clearing 4.10m this season.

Home hope Valentin Moll, who is ranked sixth in the world at under-20 level this year in the men’s shot with 20.74m, will provide stiff competition for British leader Daniel James Thomas (17.85m) and France’s Alexy Lepeuple (16.21m).