21st August 2020

COMPETITION RAMPS UP AS ENTRIES FOR MANCHESTER SET TO CLOSE

World 1500m finalist Neil Gourley (coach: Mark Rowland; club: Giffnock North) and in-form duo Melissa Courtney-Bryant (Rob Denmark; Poole) and Lizzie Bird (Pat McCurry; Shaftesbury Barnet) have become the latest leading names to confirm their participation for the Müller British Athletics Championships in Manchester on September 4 and 5 as entries get set to close on Sunday.

Gourley stormed to his maiden British outdoor title in a thrilling 1500m final last year, having claimed the indoor crown for the first time earlier that season, before going on to make history as a trio of Scottish athletes reached the World Championship final in Doha. After opening his season this month, he has confirmed the pursuit of a defence at the Manchester Regional Arena.

Further boosting the calibre of talent on show in the endurance events next month is Courtney-Bryant, who ran within 0.25s of her personal best in comfortably winning the 1500m at the Paavo Nurmi Games in Finland ten days ago – and she’ll have fond memories of domestic competition having claimed her first ever British title indoors back in February.

Like Courtney-Bryant, another in-form endurance athlete is set to grace the track in Manchester with Bird accepting her entry and having just set a new British record over the 2000m steeplechase in France less than a week ago. Bird lowered her personal best in the 3000m steeplechase by more than 23 seconds in total in 2019 culminating in a British debut at the World Championships in Doha.

In a show of strength, Rosie Clarke (Denmark; Epsom & Ewell) – the reigning British champion in the 3000m steeplechase and unbeaten at the event on her last three appearances – is also confirmed to compete, as is Aimee Pratt (Vicente Modahl; Sale Harriers Manchester), who went inside the old British 2000m steeplechase record herself in the same race as Bird in France.

Bird, Clarke and Pratt all competed in the 3000m steeplechase at last year’s World Championships while expect to see Alexandra Bell (Andrew Henderson; Pudsey & Bramley), who reached the 800m semi-finals on her global debut in Doha in 2019, in action in Manchester, along with Daniel Rowden (Matt Yates; Woodford Green Essex Ladies), who continues his return following a first run in over two years, 11 days ago in Sweden following an unfortunate time with injury.

The Müller British Athletics Championships will be broadcast live on Friday night on BBC2, 1800-2100 and Saturday afternoon on BBC1, 1315-1630. For events outside BBC airtime, clips and full races will be posted across the British Athletics website and social media channels.

Entry lists can be found here.

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