24th January 2019
FULL BRITISH TEAM SET FOR THIS WEEKEND'S COMBINED EVENTS INTERNATIONAL MATCH IN CARDIFF
World Junior heptathlon gold medallist Niamh Emerson (coach: David Feeney; club: Amber Valley & Erewash) and Commonwealth Games decathlon sixth placer John Lane (Toni Minichiello; Sheffield & Dearne) are among the British contingent competing at the Indoor Combined Events International Match in Cardiff this weekend.
The full 14-strong British squad will face-off against teams from France, Czech Republic, Spain and Poland in the Welsh capital, which hosts the match for the first time since 2012.
Emerson, who also claimed Commonwealth bronze in 2018, kicked off her 2019 season with two personal bests in the 60m hurdles and the shot put, adding over a metre to her previous best in the latter.
She will face another rising star in the sport in the shape of Poland’s Adrianna Sulek who joined Emerson on the podium in Tampere last summer, taking World Junior bronze.
Ellen Barber (David Feeney; Yeovil) recorded personal bests in the shot put and 60m hurdles and equalling her high jump best of 1.71m at the trials earlier this month and joins Alice Hopkins (Marcia Marriott; Oxford City) and Lucy Turner (Gateshead Harriers) in completing the senior women’s squad.
Lane claimed his first national indoor heptathlon title in Sheffield earlier this month with victory in the heptathlon, notching an indoor long jump best of 7.33m as he finished over 200 points clear of silver medallist Andrew Murphy (Colin Sinclair; Kilbarchan) who is also set to represent the country.
Fellow Gold Coast decathlete Ben Gregory (Aston Moore; Birchfield Harriers) earns another British vest after securing his first English championship medal since 2015, with Howard Bell (Iain McEwan; Edinburgh AC) rounding off the senior team.
2016 European Youth & 2017 Commonwealth Youth long jump champion Holly Mills (Laura Turner-Alleyne; Andover) and European U18 decathlon sixth place finisher Jack Turner (Kevin Skinner; Exeter) headline the junior teams.
Mills, who took bronze in last year’s match in Spain, claimed a second straight England Under-20 pentathlon crown earlier this month, improving her shot put best by over half-a-metre and pushed her own Championship best to 4051 points in the process.
Amaya Scott (Matthew Watson; Southampton) was 80 points further back, with three personal bests to add to her overall best score of 3971. Jenna Blundell (Julie Alexander; Team Bath) rounds off the team after a third-place finish.
They will face Spain’s Maria Vicente who won double gold in the heptathlon and triple jump at last year’s European U18 Championships in Gyor, adding to her World U18 title from 2017.
Jack Turner claimed five personal bests and equalled his lifetime bests in the pole vault and high jump on his way to his maiden England indoor title, topping the standings on 5329 points and moving ninth on the all-time Under-20 indoor heptathlon rankings.
British Under-17 record heptathlon record holder Scott Brindley (Mark Stringer; North Ayrshire) earns his maiden British vest, while Joel McFarlane (Central) will hope to improve on his sixth-place finish in Madrid last year.
A full timetable for the event can be found here, on the Welsh Athletics website.
The British Athletics team for the Indoor Combined Events Match on January 26-27:
Howard Bell (Iain McEwan; Edinburgh AC)
Ben Gregory (Aston Moore; Birchfield Harriers)
John Lane (Toni Minichiello; Sheffield & Dearne)
Andrew Murphy (Colin Sinclair; Kilbarchan)
Ellen Barber (David Feeney; Yeovil)
Niamh Emerson (David Feeney; Amber Valley & Erewash)
Alice Hopkins (Marcia Marriott; Oxford City)
Lucy Turner (Gateshead Harriers)
Scott Brindley (Mark Stringer; North Ayrshire)
Joel McFarlane (Central)
Jack Turner (Kevin Skinner; Exeter)
Jenna Blundell (Julie Alexander; Team Bath)
Holly Mills (Laura Turner-Alleyne; Andover)
Amaya Scott (Matthew Watson; Southampton)