4th September 2020

RECORDS TUMBLE ON DAY ONE OF MÜLLER BRITISH CHAMPS IN MANCHESTER

  • Harry Coppell sets British, Championship & stadium Record in pole vault
  • Sophie McKinna follows suit with stadium Record in shot put
  • Hannah Taunton breaks T20 5000m world record
  • Imani Lansiquot and Harry Aikines-Aryeetey secure 100m titles
  • Full results available via https://www.uka.org.uk/results/20200904_Manchester/timetable/index/
  • Free to use images are available here

Harry Coppell (club: Wigan & District; coach: Scott Simpson) rewrote the history books, setting new British, Championship and stadium records as he won gold in the men’s pole vault on a stellar opening day at the 2020 Müller British Athletics Championships in Manchester.

Staged at the Manchester Regional Arena, Coppell was joined in making history by Hannah Taunton (Taunton; Charlotte Fisher) who broke the women’s T20 5000m world record while Sophie McKinna (Great Yarmouth; Mike Winch) set a new stadium record in the women’s shot put.

On a day of many outstanding performances, the Müller ‘Performance of the Day’ was awarded to Coppell who made history in the pole vault, beating the British records set indoors and outdoors by Luke Cutts (5.83i) and Steven Lewis (5.82m) respectively.

With no other athlete in the field going beyond 5.20m, all eyes were on the defending champion when he entered the competition at 5.42m, and, just as he did in Birmingham last year, the Wigan & District athlete rose to the occasion in sensational style.

A first-time clearance of 5.42m ensured the gold medal was once again his, but that was just the start for Coppell with the Championship record he equalled last year and his outdoor lifetime best quickly following with his third-time clearance of 5.72m.

Setting his sights even higher, Coppell went on to break the British record with a stunning final attempt clearance of 5.85m to move to sixth in this year’s world rankings.

“An outdoor PB and a British record with 5.85m feels so very special,” said Coppell, who saw Adam Hague (Sheffield & Dearne; Trevor Fox) take silver with 5.20m and Ethan Walsh (Shaftesbury Barnet; Simpson) bronze with a season’s best 5.05m.

“I don’t think anyone expected it here in Manchester. I warmed up very well and I wanted to save energy, so I was able to skip heights and move on to where I wanted to be.

“I ended up jumping on my own, but it worked out well. The reason for 5.85m (instead of 5.84m) was because there is something significant in the world rankings in 5.85m. It felt like a marker and it has been a while since a British jumper has been [near the top of] the world rankings.”

McKinna set a stadium record in the women’s shot put with her fifth-round throw of 17.88m. Amelia Stricker (Thames Valley; Zane Duquemin) was McKinna’s main challenger with her best of 17.47m. Serena Vincent’s (City of Portsmouth; Bronwin Carter) third round throw of 15.60m saw her claim bronze.

The records didn’t stop there with Taunton breaking the women’s T20 5000m world record as Jess Judd (Blackburn; Mick Judd) claimed her first British title in that last final of the night.

Judd – who has won medals in 800m and 1500m at previous British Championships – had never won a British Championships gold until she stormed to victory in the women’s 5000m final. Judd finished nearly four seconds ahead of Verity Ockenden (Swansea; Tony Houchin) with Amelia Quirk (Bracknell; Mick Woods) setting a personal best of 15:43.35 to finish third.

After crossing the line in 17:17.30 to break the T20 world record, Taunton said: “It was good but very hard running on my own out there.  But I really enjoyed the experience as it was my first one [British Champs]. It is so special to get a T20 world record. When I came into this race, I thought about how a few years ago I just wanted to run on a track 5k and now I am here at the British Championships.”

The floodlights of the Manchester Regional Arena added extra spectacle to the 100m finals and the action on the track didn’t disappoint with Imani-Lara Lansiquot (Sutton & District; Steve Fudge) claiming her first British title in the women’s final. Lansiquot showed strength and sheer determination to come through in the final 20m after fast starts from 60m indoor champion Amy Hunt (Charnwood; Joe McDonnell) and Kristal Awuah (Herne Hill; Matthew Thomas)Lansiquot stopped the clock in 11.26 (1.2 m/s); it was close for second with Awuah getting the better of Hunt on the line.

Shortly after the Lansiquot’s first British title, Harry Aikines-Aryeetey (Sutton & District; Benke Blomkvist) ended his wait for a gold medal at the British Championships with victory in the men’s 100m. He set a season’s best time of 10.35 (1.2) to win gold ahead of Ojie Edoburun (Enfield & Haringey; Fudge) and Tommy Ramdhan (Bexley; Michael Afilaka)

Having won gold at his 12th attempt, Aikines-Aryeetey was delighted post-race: “This means so much. British sprinting is at its peak at the moment. There are many sprinters not here, but we are here and doing them proud as well because they are such great guys.

“I have come here again for my second competition of the year. Sometimes we don’t celebrate success enough and 2020 is an example of this and today I have come, and I have won and I am British champion, for the first time after all these years.”

In the women’s 100m hurdles, Cindy Ofili (Woodford Green Essex Ladies; Jeff Porter) retained her British title in what proved to be one of the closest finishes of the opening day. 17-year-old Lucy-Jane Matthews (Birchfield Harriers; Alan Richardson) pushed Ofili all the way to the line, but Ofili (13.16, 1.5m/s) had the edge to finish four hundredths ahead of Matthews, who set a PB and a British age 17 best of 13.20. Third went to Heather Paton (Birchfield Harriers; Blomkvist)

There was another British title for David King (Plymouth; Tim O’Neil) in the men’s 110m hurdles. Arriving in Manchester as the reigning outdoor and 60m hurdles champion, King retained his title in 13.58 (0.3), getting the better of Cameron Fillery (Woodford Green Essex Ladies; Michael Baker) in a repeat of last year’s top-two. Miguel Perera (Harrow; Laura Turner-Alleyne) crossed the line in third.

King said: “I am really happy with that and a very fast time for a cold evening in Manchester. That really sets you up for the big ones. I am running well and have improved technically so I am very happy. I am so pleased this was able to go ahead – it has been even different with no hurdle practice in the warm-up but that’s why the first run was so important to actually be able to hurdle. It has been a great event so far.”

In the field, Kirsty Law (Sale Harriers; Duquemin) won back-to-back British titles with a superb final round personal best of 57.95m in the women’s discus. Jade Lally (Shaftesbury Barnet; Duquemin) was leading as she headed into the final round with 55.17m before Law improved her PB. Lally posted her best throw of the Championships in the final round but it was 75cm behind Law. Shadine Duquemin (Shaftesbury Barnet; Duquemin) finished third with a throw of 52.52m.

Jazmin Sawyers (City of Stoke; Lance Brauman) claimed her first British title since 2016 with a 6.69m season’s best in the women’s long jump. Leading from round one, Sawyers kept on getting better and better until her best in round five.

Defending champion Abigail Irozuru (Sale Harriers; self) was second with a best jump of 6.53m, while Rebecca Chapman (Cardiff) claimed bronze with 6.14m.

The men’s event was won by Reynold Banigo (Sale Harriers; Lukasz Zawila) as he claimed his first British title with a best of 7.81m. It was a close battle for the medals behind; Jack Roach’s (Newham & Essex Beagles; Zawila) final round jump of 7.60m secured silver, with Shandell Taylor (Havering; Trevor Wells) taking bronze.

In the women’s hammer, Jessica Mayho (Birchfield Harriers) retained her British title with a season’s best of 65.47m. Charlotte Payne (Reading; Paul Dickenson) claimed silver with a personal best of 63.92m to move to second on the British all-time U20 rankings behind Olympic medallist, Sophie Hitchon. Meanwhile, Alice Barnsdale (Kingston-upon-Hull; Dave Smith) was third with a season’s best 62.05m.

2018 champion James Whiteaker (Blackheath & Bromley; Nigel Whiteaker) retained the men’s javelin title in the first final of the Championships. Whiteaker’s fifth-round throw of 75.99m was five metres further than the best of Daniel Bainbridge (Shaftesbury Barnet; Michael McNeill), who threw 70.50m, with Tom Hewson (Andover; Mark Bradford) finishing third with a season’s best of 68.49m.

Joel Clarke-Khan (Worcester; Deirdre Elmhurst) equalled his outdoor personal best to win gold in the men’s high jump; his 2.18m mark was three centimetres higher than the clearances of William Grimsey (Woodford Green Essex Ladies; Fuzz Caan) and Sam Brereton (Birchfield Harriers; Caan) who finished, second and third respectively.

The Championships featured para-only events for the first time, and they provided plenty of thrilling action on Friday evening.

Five-time Paralympic champion Hannah Cockroft (Leeds; Jenni Banks (T34)) claimed victory in the women’s 400m wheelchair race. Featuring athletes, it provided a unique opportunity to see Cockroft and T53 world champion Sammi Kinghorn (Red Star (T54)) go head-to-head.

There was not much separating the pair heading onto the final bend, but Cockroft carried her momentum into the home straight, finishing strongly in a time of 1:00.18. Kinghorn crossed the line in 1:02.20 ahead of Melanie Woods (Red Star (T54)) in third who posted another personal best (1:02.90).

Cockroft said: “I wasn’t expecting to win that – Sammi is usually a fair way ahead of me over 400m. It shows lockdown training has gone well – even if it is the most creative I have ever done. I just needed this time to realise what we were missing – every year you come out and push yourself but when it was taken away I had time to stop and realise I do the most amazing thing in the world.”

World champion Sophie Hahn (Charnwood; Leon Baptiste (T38)) was the clear winner in the women’s 100m ambulant race, stopping the clock in 12.80 (0.5). Simran Kaur (Bristol & West; Nick Harris T46)) finished second with Ali Smith (Guildford & Godalming; Chris Zah (T38)) third.

In the heats ahead of Saturday’s finals, defending 400m champions Lee Thompson (Sheffield & Dearne; John Henson) and Laviai Nielsen (Enfield & Haringey; Christine Bowmaker) both began their title defences with wins in the heats.

Nielsen qualified fastest for the women’s 400m final after winning Heat 1 in 52.77, with Yasmin Liverpool (Coventry; Stewart Marshall) securing the victory in Heat 2 in 53.67.

Thompson also won his heat with a time of 46.51; the other two heats were won by Alex Haydock-Wilson (WSEH; Baker) and Efe Okoro (Birchfield Harriers; Tony Hadley) in 46.81 and 47.13, respectively.

Okoro also advanced through to the final of the men’s 400m hurdles, finishing second behind Chris McAlister (Thames Valley; Marina Armstrong) in Heat 2. Alastair Chalmers (Guernsey; Matt Elias) took the victory in Heat 1.

British 400m indoor champion Jessie Knight (WSEH; Armstrong) has qualified fastest for the women’s 400m Hurdles final with Lina Nielsen (Shaftesbury Barnet; Ryan Freckleton) winning Heat 1.

If today’s heats are anything to go by the finals of the men’s and women’s 800m look set to be entertaining.

There was not much to separate the top-three of Ellie Baker (Shaftesbury Barnet; Jon Bigg), Isabelle Boffey (Enfield & Haringey; Luke Gunn) and Aimee Pratt (Sale Harriers; Vicente Modahl) in Heat 1, while Khahisa Mhlanga (Herts Phoenix; Judd) and Keely Hodgkinson (Leigh; Trevor Painter) qualified from heat 2.

The men’s equivalent looks set to be as intriguing, particularly the battle between the in-form Jake Wightman (Edinburgh; Geoff Wightman) and Dan Rowden (Woodford Green Essex Ladies; Matt Yates) who won their heats along with Yusuf Bizimana (Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets; Yates).

Just 30 minutes after winning gold in the 5000m, Judd was back in action, winning Heat 2 of the women’s 1500m with Laura Weightman (Morpeth; Steve Cram) victorious in Heat 1. The wins in the men’s 1500m heats went to Neil Gourley (Giffnock North; Ben Thomas) and James West (Tonbridge; Thomas).

After day one, Shaftesbury Barnet and Sale Harrier Manchester lead the men’s and women’s British Athletics Club:Connect standings, respectively.

The 2020 Müller British Athletics Championships in Manchester continues on Saturday, 5 September. The action begins at 10:35am with live coverage on the BBC Red Button from 12noon and BBC One from 13:15.

Follow the link for results from day one: https://www.uka.org.uk/results/20200904_Manchester/timetable/index/

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