23rd June 2019


European youth champion Max Burgin (coach: Brian Burgin; club: Halifax) broke the British Under-20 800m record and age-17 800m record as he led the automatic selections for the European Under-20 and European Under-23 Championships on day two of the trials in Bedford.

The 17-year-old ran a huge personal best of 1:45.36 to cut the tape in first place and secure automatic selection for the European Under-20 Championships in Borås, Sweden, also heading top of the British senior rankings and achieving the IAAF World Championships qualifying standard in the process.

Burgin thought he had more in him last week when he broke the British under-18 800m record in Loughborough and felt he showed what he was capable of with his performance.

He said: “It couldn’t have gone better. It’s an amazing personal best and completely unexpected. I knew I would hopefully run fast but not that fast. It is just a brilliant day. I wanted to run the first 400 in 52 seconds and I just kept thinking, keep pushing and go faster and faster.

“Last week when I ran 1:46.80, I thought I had more in me down the home straight. This week I gave it everything down that home straight and it paid off. Up until I had a bit of an injury European Under-20s was my aim and now I am back on track very much so. It means a lot [to gain auto selection]. It is brilliant to have my family watching and share the experience with them, I hope I do make them proud.”

European indoor finalist and double world junior bronze medallist Kristal Awuah (Matthew Thomas; Herne Hill) shone once again at an age-group event as she completed a fine sprint double.

Awuah added the women’s 200m under-23 title to the 100m crown she picked up on Saturday, clocking 23.26 to confirm a second spot at the Europeans should she choose to take it.

She said: “It is absolutely amazing to have done the double. I have never done it before. It is really, really nice to get the 200m and get through the rounds. I am really, really happy with it. I think the 200m in my opinion is my strongest event. I haven’t done a lot of it but I think moving forward I will be, so it is good to see what I can do with it.”

Divine Oladipo (John Hillier; Blackheath & Bromley) was also at the double as she claimed the under-23 shot put title on day two to add to the discus gold picked up on Saturday. Importantly for Oladipo, her victory in the shot in 15.92m confirmed her automatic spot for Europeans.

She said: “I am very happy. After winning the discus yesterday, I wanted to win the shot and to have two gold medals is great and to qualify for the European Under-23s is amazing. The main aim was to win both. I have won the discus before and I have won the shot before, so I knew I could win both.”

British record junior 400m hurdles record holder Alastair Chalmers (James Hillier; Guernsey) clocked 50.58 as he defended his under-20 title in the event. British indoor champion and brother Cameron (Hillier; Guernsey) completed a fine family day as he claimed the under-23 400m title in a competitive race in 46.34, also booking his spot at the Europeans next month.

Cameron said: “It was always going to be a really good race, with a lot of guys running well. I knew I had to run my best. It felt really good to 200-300m, I felt good and in control but at 350m I started to tighten up a bit and I had to hold onto my form and hope that no one got me. It’ll be a very tired household. Both of us will go into a block of training ahead of the Europeans. He is running really well, training really well.”

Immediately following Burgin’s success, Isabelle Boffey (Luke Gunn; Enfield & Haringey) clocked 2:04.73 to book her place on the auto-qualifiers list in the women’s 800m for Boras.

Marcey Winter (Neil Dodson; Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow) followed suit in the women’s 400m hurdles, storming clear to clock 58.36s and duck under the European Under-20 qualifying time in the process.

Shemar Boldizsar (Vincent Lawrence; Harlow) produced the best performance of his career to earn European selection, winning the men’s under-23 200m in a personal best 20.65. Jacob Fincham-Dukes (Zivile Pukstiene; Leeds City) followed suit by taking the under-23 long jump in style with an equal Championship best 7.75m. Also, in Championship best form was Adam Hague (Sheffield & Dearne; Trevor Fox) in the under-23 pole vault, clearing 5.55m to win a jump off and book his place in Sweden.

European junior champion in the 1500m from 2017 Jemma Reekie (Andy Young; Kilbarchan) is coming into form nicely as she took out the women’s under-23 800m and won ahead of Ellie Baker (Jon Bigg; Shaftesbury Barnet) in 2:06.41, booking her place in Sweden in the process.

Naomi Ogbeta (Tom Cullen; Trafford), a European finalist from Berlin last year, had the perfect start in the women’s under-23 triple jump as she landed a 13.67m with victory confirming her own trip to the continental showdown.

Ogbeta said: “I just wanted to get the standard in my first jump and that is what I did. I jumped 13.67m and got the gold. I think it is my sixth age-group title, so I am really happy that I managed to get the win again. I have finished university now, so I can focus more on athletics, which is really good. I am starting to do no jumps more which may sound like a bad thing to some people, but it is good because normally I am about 30cm behind the board, so if I can get consistent on the board, which I have been, I think the distances are going to be better than last year.”

Also securing victory and a place at the European Under-23 Championships were Piers Copeland (Bob Smith; Wimborne) in the 1500m after a strong final, Harry Hughes (Mark Roberson; Newham & Essex Beagles) in the javelin after throwing a best of 74.57m, he’s cleared 80m this season, Lily Beckford (Linford Christie; Shaftesbury Barnet) in the 400m after a win in 53.00 and Cameron Fillery (Michael Baker; Woodford Green Essex Ladies) in the 110m hurdles following his title in 13.97.

Amber Anning (Lloyd Cowan; Brighton & Hove) and Ethan Brown (Cowan; Blackheath & Bromley) both confirmed their places for the 400m in Borås, winning in 52.55s and 46.46s respectively, with Georgina Adam (Jonas Dodoo; Loughborough Students) following suit in the 200m in 23.63s.

Anning’s time was a personal best by 0.09 and she said: “I am so happy. I wanted to come out here, get the win and get the automatic qualification. I have been working so, so hard, building on my indoor season and am I so, so happy. I get very nervous and my head was a bit all over the place at the start line. I couldn’t tell you how I ran that race, it wasn’t the best way to run and I didn’t think I would run what I run, I was surprised to run it, lots to work on for Europeans but I am excited.”

Sprint hurdler Lucy-Jane Matthews (Andrew Fisher; Southampton) also secured her auto-qualifying spot as she pipped Holly Mills (Laura Turner-Alleyne; Andover) to the women’s under-20 100m hurdles crown in 13.77, with Josh Zeller (Ken Spencer; Bracknell) doing likewise in the men’s 110m hurdles after a solid display.

1500m specialists Joshua Lay (Anthony Love; Rugby & Northampton) and Erin Wallace (Young; Giffnock North) both booked auto-selection places as they won their respective under-20 finals. Both qualified comfortably as winners from yesterday’s heats and Lay kicked on the final lap to open up a big lead to cut the tape in 3:53.86.

Wallace followed suit in the women’s race with an astute performance that saw her home in 4:27.01, earning her a second international British vest having made the world junior finals last year in Tampere, Finland.

Holly Page (Jason Marchant; Dartford) will once again toe the line in a British vest internationally as she notched a win in the women’s under-20 3000m steeplechase, with James Tomlinson (Paul Jensen; Pembrokeshire) defending his under-20 discus title while Mills set a 6.40m personal best in the long jump to achieve another auto-qualifying mark having already made the grade for the heptathlon.

Callum Wilkinson (Andi Drake; Enfield & Haringey) kicked off the action on the track by clocking a 40:29.26 Under-23 British record. Wilkinson’s time also earned him a Championship record and he feels like he will be in good form to be able to challenge the top spots for a place on the podium in Gävle.

He said: “I’ve had a tough few years in Bedford and I’ve not won an age-group title since 2015 which has been a bit of a long time coming but to get the job done and feel in top shape is great. To get a Championship record and an Under-23 record as well is always nice and I’m really happy. I know that I’m ranked second and it’ll be a tough ask but I won’t go in fearing anybody. I’ve been training really well but we’ve built towards the championships and it’s nice to go into the European Under-23 Championships in good shape.”