2nd January 2019
LOOKING AHEAD TO 2019: APRIL-JUNE
Following the culmination of the indoor season and the Cross-Country meets drawing to a close, the attention switches back to the track and field as the competitions and meetings come thick and fast for British athletes between April and June.
1) The action on the roads continues with the Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday 28 April as Sir Mo Farah looks to better his third-place finish on his marathon debut in 2018.
The 35-year-old will pound the streets of the capital, hoping to avenge Eliud Kipchoge (KEN) who secured his third course victory in 2:04:17.
The event will also incorporate the World Para Athletics Marathon Cup, which saw Derek Rae (Ron Morrison; Fife) take T46 victory in 2018, clocking 2:36:13 as he cut the tape first in his classification, as well as David Weir sealing an eighth title, and Rob Smith taking gold in the T51/52 event.
2) The first British track team of the season will be named as the IAAF Relays head to Yokohama, Japan, with the team having taken one silver and three bronzes in previous editions.
Across the weekend of 11-12 April, it will also be a first opportunity for teams around the world to qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games.
3) The European Race Walking Cup takes place in Alytas, Lithuania on 19 May as the British team goes in search of their first medal of the competition, since it was founded in 1975.
4) Loughborough International – on 19 May – will see the first British Junior team of the season named as some of the best Under-20 prospects go head-to-head against the home nations and international athletes.
Last year’s competition saw a host of junior athletes achieve the qualifying standard for the IAAF World Junior Championships in Tampere, Finland, while a trio of competitors hit the European Championship qualifying mark.
5) The British Championships for the road mile and the road 10,000m take place in London with the Vitality Westminster Mile and the Vitality London 10,000 on 26 and 27 May respectively.
Chris O’Hare and Melissa Courtney were victorious in the senior men’s and women’s races last year.
David Weir (Jenny Archer; Weir Archer Academy) took victory in the Vitality London 10,000 wheelchair race while Sir Mo Farah and Steph Twell were senior men’s and women’s champions.
6) The best British throwers will be selected to travel to the prestigious Halle Throws International in Germany on June 1-2. The meet gives senior, under-23 and junior athletes the chance to test themselves against the best in the world and provide a solid foundation ahead of the major championships that will follow later in the year.
7) The same weekend as Halle, the trial event for the European Mountain Running Championships (uphill) in Switzerland takes place in the Lake District.
Last year, every member of the British team came away from the Championships in Skopje, Macedonia, with a medal and they will hope to replicate that success once again, with more individual medals to boot.
8) One of the highlights of the ultra-running calendar will be the 2019 World Championships, which will take place in Portugal on June 9.
Tom Evans was the only Brit to take a medal at last year’s championships in Spain and will hope that he can improve on his bronze medal at this year’s event in Portugal.
10) June 22-23 will play host to the England Athletics Under-20 and Under-23 trials, with athletes fighting it out to be named on the British teams for the European Under-20 and Under-23 teams that will travel to Swedish Borås and Gävle respectively.
2018’s trials saw Jake Norris (Paul Dickenson; WSEH) break his own British hammer record by throwing 80.45m to guarantee himself a spot on the British team that headed to the World Junior championships where he won gold with another British record.
11) The Mannheim Gala – taking place on 29-30 June – will provide the opportunity for a selection of junior athletes to either hit the qualifying standard ahead of the European Under-20 Championships, or to fine-tune their preparations ahead of the competition.
The meeting is the scene of Molly Caudery’s (Stuart Caudery; Cornwall AC) British Junior record in the pole vault of 4.53m and where Jake Norris followed up his 80.45 age-group British hammer record with an 80.26m effort.
12) The World Para Athletics Grand Prix heads to Nottwil in May, at a meeting fast becoming one of the most-renowned on the circuit. The fast track and highly competitive fields creates the perfect storm for superb athletics.
At last year’s event, Richard Chiassaro blasted to the T54 800m world record at the time, posting a time of 1:30.35 which has since been lowered.
The event takes place between 24-26 May.