31st December 2019
LOOKING AHEAD TO 2020: APRIL - JUNE
After the Cross Country season ends and the indoor season also closes its doors, the first major track action of the summer months arrives and will set up what will be an extremely competitive few months for all British athletes.
1) Internationally, the opening Diamond League meet of the circuit arrives on April 17 in Doha. Last year’s event saw Dina Asher-Smith set a world leading mark of 22.26s in the women’s 200m, an event that will feature once again but as a non-Diamond League event.
There were season’s bests on the track for Lynsey Sharp, Meghan Beasley and Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake in the 800m, 400m hurdles and the 200m respectively, while in the field, Lorraine Ugen and Charlie Myers were both in good shape, with season’s bests in the long jump and pole vault respectively.
2) The London Marathon will act as the official trial for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games marathon for those looking to earn their spot on the team that travels to Sapporo in July.
Callum Hawkins has already earned his spot following a gutsy run in Doha at the IAAF World Championships. The top two finishers at the trial, provided they have the qualifying times of 2:11:30 for men and 2:29:30 for women, will be selected for the team.
3) Following their European team silver medal in 2019, there will be a British contingent heading to Minsk, Belarus for the World Athletics Race Walking Team Championships.
The British team have won four team medals in the old Lugano Trophy between 1961 – 1967, but have not won a team medal under the event’s new name.
4) Some of the best throwers the country has to offer will head to the Halle Throws International in Germany on May 16-17. The meet has often proved to be a key stepping stone for a number of athletes heading toward major European and World Championships, along with the Olympic Games. There will also be the chance for junior and Under-23 athletes to test their metal on the international stage.
5) Loughborough International will once again see the first British action for a junior team on the track as an Under-20 squad will begin their preparations towards the World Athletics Under-20 Championships.
Home nations athletes and internationals alike will battle it out to be the best, with many of the junior athletes gunning to achieve the qualifying standard for the U20 World Championships, with European Championship and Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games qualifying standards a real possibility.
6) On the Bank Holiday weekend, the Westminster Mile and Vitality 10000 will see British champions crowned on the streets of London. In the elite wheelchair fields, Danny Sidbury and Shelly Woods did the double in claiming both titles in 2019 within 24 hours.
Chris O’Hare and Melissa Courtney successfully defended their mile titles, with Sir Mo Farah taking a sixth Vitality 10000 as Steph Twell claimed her maiden title in the event.
7) The first major Para Athletics action of the summer comes in June as the World Para Athletics European Championships head to Bydgoszcz, Poland from June 3-7. Last year, the British team finished second on the medal table with 50 medals, including 20 golds.
Sophie Hahn starred with three golds in the T38 100m, 200m and 4x100m Universal Relay, Hollie Arnold completed the F46 javelin Grand Slam with European gold and Aled Davies won the triple-double of F63 shot and F63 discus gold on the European stage.
8) The European 10,000m Cup once again will take place in the capital with Highgate the venue for the third consecutive year. Steph Twell and Eilish McColgan claimed gold and bronze respectively in the women’s senior race with Ben Connor winning senior men’s bronze. Both teams took home a team medal from the championships and will look for more of the same in the 10,000m trial for Tokyo.
9) The age group trials for the World Athletics Under-20 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya will take place in Bedford on June 6-7. Last year’s championships saw Max Burgin break the World age-17, British Under-18 and British Under-20 800m record in a staggering 1:45.36.
10) Perhaps one of the jewels in the crown of the summer’s action is the Müller British Athletics Championships, taking place in Manchester on June 20-21. The championships will serve as the official trials for the British team that will travel out to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Last year, the performances were led by Callum Wilkinson’s British 5000m race walk record, with championship records heading the way of Harry Coppell and Holly Bradshaw in the pole vault, Adam Gemili in the 200m and Dina Asher-Smith in the 100m.
It’s the last chance to see all British athletes on home soil before they head to the other side of the world to battle it out for Olympic medals.