23rd December 2022
REVIEW OF THE YEAR - JANUARY TO MARCH 2022
As we look back on a thrilling 2022 season, we wind back the clock and revisit some of the highlights of the year for the British athletes. First up, we look back at January to March 2022 with the indoor and cross country season in full swing.
Müller Indoor Grand Prix, Birmingham
Seeing off a top-class field, Keely Hodgkinson (coach: Trevor Painter, club: Leigh Harriers) stormed to a time 1:57.20 – not only a British indoor record but also the fastest indoor 800m performance by a woman in 20 years.
At the time she said, “I wrote down the aims for this year and one of them was a British indoor record,’ grinned Hodgkinson. “I was 100 per cent in shape for this record and I just wanted to go for it and there were some good girls in that race.
“I’ve never run in front of a British crowd this big and it was such a comfortable environment.”
Another British performance to really grab the attention was the European U20 indoor record-breaking 400m produced by Ed Faulds (James Wright, Rugby & Northampton). The European U20 champion’s strong finish saw him surge through to clock 46.16 as he came home in third behind Kahmari Montgomery’s 45.72 and Liemarvin Bonevacia’s 46.08.
UK Athletics Indoor Championships, Birmingham
The competitors really rose to the occasion, and nowhere was that more evident than on the sprint straight, with the men’s 60m proving to be a top-class affair.
The semi-final stage provided some real fireworks, with European U23 champion Jeremiah Azu (coach: Helen Patricia James, club: Cardiff) clocking a UK lead and PB of 6.56 and defending champion Andrew Robertson (Sale Harriers Manchester) also running inside the Belgrade qualifying standard of 6.60 again with a season’s best of 6.59.
Adam Thomas (Bracknell) looked in fine form, too, as he equalled his PB of 6.61 to progress, and it was the 2019 silver medallist who prevailed in the final.
Raising his game further, Thomas clocked 6.56 to not only hold off Robertson’s season’s best of 6.58 but also break the Scottish 60m record. Azu had to settle for bronze in 6.61 on what was still a breakthrough day for the 20-year-old.
British Athletics Cross Challenge Final, Loughborough
Mhairi MacLennan (Ross Cairns, Scotland North) and Callum Johnson (John Stephenson, North East) triumphed in the senior races at the British Athletics Inter Counties Cross Country Championships incorporating the Cross Challenge Final at Prestwold Hall near Loughborough.
World Athletics Indoor Championships, Belgrade, Serbia
Scott achieved a breakthrough on the world stage as he captured his first senior global medal following a fine display of running. The European indoor record holder over the 5000m distance stayed with the moves made by the other main protagonists such as eventual gold and silver medallists, Selemon Barega (ETH) and Lamecha Girma (ETH).
As the laps counted down a group of six including the two Ethiopians, two Kenyan athletes (Ebenyo and Krop), Mechaal from Spain, and Scott, broke away from the rest of the field. The Briton checked every move and at the bell, he moved up onto the shoulder of the leading pair and started his decisive move. It paid off as he held on for a first world indoor bronze medal in a time of 7:42.02.
Returning to the city where she won European Indoor silver in 2017, Ugen put two earlier fouls behind her to produce a season’s best effort of 6.82m in the third round to move into bronze medal position with three more jumps remaining.
Ugen backed her best effort up with a solid 6.78m in round five in her only other legal jump of her series, but the third-round effort proved too much for her rivals as she hung on for a second British medal of the day and Ugen’s second world indoor long jump medal following her 2016 silver in Portland.