26th June 2018

Eyes on the Prize - Müller British Athletics Championships


Athletes to battle it out for European and World Cup places, as well as national titles

The 2018 British Championships hold arguably more importance than ever before, with places for not only the European Championships up for grabs but the Athletics World Cup, too.

The equation for athletes wishing to compete at the World Cup is simple – win your event at the Championships. The format only allows for one athlete from the eight nations involved per event and there are no qualification standards to be met.

Just three of the 18 events scheduled at the British Championships have no World Cup implications – the 5000m, 3000m steeplechase and 5km race walk. The 5000m and 3000m steeplechase will carry European importance, though.

The British Championships continue the start of a new procedure introduced at the start of 2018 for athletes wishing to compete at the showpiece events of the year.
Those aiming to be put forward for selection for this summer’s European Championships in Berlin are required to attend the British Championships and compete in the event in which they wish to be considered.

There are exceptions for the marathon, 10,000m and 20km race walk events, which have their own separate trials as part of the London Marathon, Night of 10,000m PBs and British Grand Prix of Race Walking respectively.

Combined event athletes targeting the European Championships are required to compete in at least one event at the British Championships.

Athletes wishing to double up in Berlin are not required to enter their second event but should inform the selection panel of this desire.

Should an athlete not be able to compete at the British Championships because of injury or illness but still wish to be considered for selection for the European Championships, they must have either been reviewed in person by the British Athletics medical team in the week prior to the event or attend the Championships to be examined by the chief medical officer.

Central to selection is achieving a valid British Athletics qualification standard. These standards are set out in the table on the right with the qualification period for the 10,000m, 20km race walk and combined events having begun on May 1, 2017 and set to end at midnight (BST) on July 22, 2018.

The marathon selection opportunity has already passed, with six women selected to compete at the European Championships – Lily Partridge, Tracy Barlow, Sonia Samuels, Alyson Dixon, Charlotte Purdue and Caryl Jones. For all other events, the qualification window opened on October 1, 2017 and will close at midnight (BST) on July 22, 2018.

Whereas up to six athletes can be selected for the marathon, for all other individual events a maximum of three can be chosen. The selection policy has been created in line with British Athletics’ strategic 2017-2021 Tokyo cycle competition philosophy, which seeks to maximise medal success at the Olympic/Paralympic Games and World Championships. The top two in each individual event at the British Championships will be automatically selected for the same event, provided the relevant British Athletics qualification standard has been achieved during the qualification period, or if they are the reigning European champion, which would apply to three British athletes.

All remaining eligible athletes, including those wishing to double up, will be selected provided they have achieved the relevant qualification standard and satisfied the selection panel that they possess current form and fitness to perform at their best in Berlin.

If more athletes are eligible for selection than there are places available, athletes will be selected based on the overriding competition philosophy for the Tokyo cycle and on the panel’s consideration of a combination of the following factors (and anything else deemed relevant by the panel): achievement of qualification standards, European ranking, results at the British Championships, current form, future medal potential, head-to-heads, previous major competition history, injury status and impact on medal winning potential in relay teams.

A relay team will be entered for each relay event – the number of athletes selected for each team will be at the discretion of the panel. Relay selections will be based on all of the above except that athletes selected only for the relay do need to have achieved an individual British Athletics qualification standard.

The selection panel will also take into consideration engagement with the British Athletics relay programme in 2017 and 2018, technical relay skills and the potential to become a key relay runner at future major global championships.

Written by Athletics Weekly

See full Müller British Athletics Championships Guide here