24th May 2022
Sprint stars ready to put on a show in Manchester next month
ONE MONTH TO GO
With just a month to go until the Müller UK Athletics Championships Manchester, we turn our focus to the sprints action which will be lighting up the Manchester Regional Arena track.
With tickets selling fast for the June 24-26 event, the north-west city will welcome the country’s top sprinters to battle for national titles and prestigious berths on the British squad for July’s World Athletics Championships in Oregon.
In a busy summer, qualification standards for the European Championships in Munich and the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham will also be a target for those competing in a championship which will this year hold more importance than ever.
In the women’s 100m, world silver medallist Dina Asher-Smith (John Blackie, Blackheath and Bromley AC) will be gunning for her sixth British title over the distance, and the 26-year-old starts as hot favourite to take the spoils.
The British record holder with 10.83, Asher-Smith registered a swift 10.87 last summer and the 2018 European champion is likely to be pushed by Olympic eighth place finisher, Daryll Neita (Marco Airale, Cambridge Harriers).
With three silver and two bronze medals on her British 100m championship resume, Neita will be eager to finally capture the gold – and following her 10.93 lifetime best last summer together with a 7.11 indoor 60m personal best this winter, she stands a solid chance of challenging her British relay team-mate all the way to the finish line.
2020 British champion Imani-Lara Lansiquot (Steve Fudge, Sutton and District AC) recorded 11.15 last season, whilst four-time champion and six-time British indoor 60m champion, Asha Philip (Newham and Essex Beagles) will also be in the medal mix.
In the men’s race, 2015 champion Zharnel Hughes (Glen Mills, Shaftesbury Barnet,) will be aiming for gold off the back of his silver and bronze medals in this championship and should he replicate his 2021 9.98 form, then he will be the one to beat.
His main rivals will likely be two-time champion, Reece Prescod (Enfield and Haringey) – who clocked 10.12 last summer – and 2019 silver medallist, Adam Gemili (Blackheath and Bromley AC).
World 200m champion, Asher-Smith is also expected to compete in the 200m and the British record holder (with 21.88) will be the favourite, following her fine 22.04 form last season.
The 2018 European champion and 2016 Olympic fifth place finisher took the British victory back in 2016 and now she will again line up against Neita, who registered a 22.81 personal best last summer.
The 2021 200m and 400m champion, Jodie Williams (Ryan Freckleton, Herts Phoenix,) ran 22.60 last year and although her main focus is now on the 400m event, she is a two-time British 200m champion and an Olympic and world 200m semi-finalist, so her half-lap pedigree should not be discounted.
2018 champion, Beth Dobbin (Leon Baptiste, Edinburgh AC) – the Olympic and world semi-finalist – is another set to challenge for a medal.
In the men’s event, Hughes and Prescod will once more be the ones to watch, having been timed at 19.93 and 20.31, respectively last season but three-time champion, Gemili also has the potential to cause an upset.
But Charlie Dobson (Benke Blomkvist, Colchester) will be one-man to watch after he ran a stunning 20.19 (and a wind-assisted 19.99) in Florida earlier in 2022. The 2018 World U20 medallist has impressed over a range of distances in the last year, from 60m to 400m.
Meanwhile, Jodie Williams will start as the overwhelming favourite to capture the women’s 400m crown, with the Olympic sixth place finisher having sped to a fine 49.97 lifetime best last summer.
Her rivals include Nicole Yeargin (Quincy Watts, Pitreave AC) and Ama Pipi (Marco Airale, Enfield and Haringey) – who each clocked personal bests in the 2021 season with 50.96 and 51.96, respectively.
Elsewhere, with a 44.61 clocking in April, Matthew Hudson-Smith (Lance Braunman, Birchfield Harriers) is back to running his fastest times in six years and the 2018 European champion should be a sure bet to take his fifth 400m title.
His challengers will likely include Alex Haydock-Wilson (Benke Blomkvist, Windsor, Slough, Eton and Hounslow) – following a 45.57 personal best last year – and European junior champion, Edward Faulds (James Wright, Rugby and Northampton).
The 19-year-old Faulds flew to a 46.16 European under-20 indoor record in Birmingham back in February and looks set to improve on his 45.72 outdoor lifetime best recorded last summer.
Get your friends and family together and snap up tickets for a guaranteed great day out. Tickets start from £10 for adults and £5 for kids, with family tickets also available from just £26 (two adults and two kids).
It’s an event not to be missed, book your tickets today!