21st June 2019
EUROPEAN CALL BECKONS FOR AGE-GROUP ATHLETES IN BEDFORD THIS WEEKEND
The best British Under-20 and Under-23 athletes will flock to Bedford this weekend (22-23 June), hoping to secure automatic selection for the European Under-20 Championships and European Under-23 Championships in Borås and Gävle respectively.
British Under-20 record holder in the 400m hurdles and World Under-20 Championships 4x400m bronze medallist, Alastair Chalmers (coach: James Hillier; club: Guernsey) will look to stake his claim for another national title in Bedford
The star attractions of the Under-20 competitions will be headlined by the men’s and women’s 100m, where European leaders Jeremiah Azu (Helen James; Cardiff) and Amy Hunt (Joe McDonnell; Charnwood) will look to secure automatic selection in either the 100m or the 200m.
Hunt is the fastest junior in Europe across both distances, having lowered her personal bests in both events at the Loughborough International, where Azu also clocked his European leading mark over 100m.
Middle distances event will see stacked fields take to the track, with two more European leaders, Isabelle Boffey (Luke Gunn; Enfield & Haringey) and Max Burgin (Brian Burgin; Halifax) looking to make the grade.
Boffey’s personal best of 2:03.68 is nearly half a second quicker than her nearest rival on the continent and puts her seventh in the world for the under-20 age group, while Burgin opened up his outdoor season last weekend by setting the British Under-18 and British age-17 record over 800m, clocking 1:46.80 in Loughborough.
Others to keep an eye on include European Indoor Championships 4x400m silver medallist Amber Anning (Lloyd Cowan; Brighton & Hove) in the 400m, European U18 high jump gold medallist Dominic Ogbechie (Marius Guei; Highgate) and Ben West (Kyle Bennett; MK Distance Project) in a competitive men’s 3000m field.
For the Under-23s, Harry Hughes (Mark Roberson; Suffolk) will look to back up the best throw by a British athletes for nine years when he throws in the men’s javelin final on Sunday, looking to earn a return to a British team after missing all of the 2018 season.
Morgan Lake (Fuzz Caan; Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow) will hope to defend her title in the women’s high jump and book automatic selection for the championships, whilst Jake Heyward (James Thie; Cardiff) hopes to add the under-23 title to his under-20 title he won in Bedford last year.
Naomi Ogbeta (Tom Cullen; Trafford) set the national Under-23 triple jump record when she qualified for the final of the European Championships in Berlin last year and has her sights set on world championship mark of 14.20m.
Other notable names include European 4x400m silver medallist from Berlin Cameron Chalmers (James Hillier; Guernsey), who faces off in a strong men’s 400m against World U20 4x400m relay bronze medallist Alex Haydock-Wilson (Michael Baker; WSEH), while George Armstrong (Zane Duquemin; Shaftesbury Barnet) and George Evans (Colin McCulloch; Shaftesbury Barnet) will both vie to come out on top in the men’s discus.
World Junior champion and British junior record holder Jake Norris (Paul Dickenson; WSEH) goes in search of the under-23 qualifying standard, whilst fellow world junior finalist and British 60m champion Dom Ashwell (Marvin Rowe; Shaftesbury Barnet) pits himself against Ollie Bromby (Southampton AC), both are split by 0.02s on paper with respective 10.20s & 10.22s PB’s.
The programme gets underway on Saturday at 10am with the U20 women’s hammer, the last event will be the Under-23 men’s 400m at 18:15. Sunday’s competition commences at 9:30am with the U23 women’s hammer and closes with the U20 men’s 110m hurdles final at 17:05.