24th February 2022
UK ATHLETICS INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS - SPRINTS AND HURDLES PREVIEW
The men’s 60m is often the highlight of the championships and several athletes already have the standard while a few others are within 0.05 of the time.
Defending champion Andy Robertson (Sale Harriers Manchester), who also won in 2017 and has been runner-up three times, chases his sixth medal in the event. Charlie Dobson (Benke Blomkvist, Colchester H) edged Robertson in the Müller Indoor Grand Prix Birmingham last weekend with both clocking 6.59.
Jeremiah Azu (Helen Patricia James, Cardiff) and Adam Thomas (Bracknell) are in PB form and having run respective times of 6.60 and 6.61 this winter, will also be aiming for selection for the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade on March 18-20.
World under-20 200m champion Jona Efoloko (Clarence Callender, Sale Harriers Manchester) has run 6.65 this winter, whereas one interesting entry is former world 100m finalist Reece Prescod (Enfield & Haringey) who has a 6.53 PB but has yet to race in 2022.
British women’s 60m record-holder and the 2017 European Indoor champion Asha Philip (coach: Steve Fudge, club: Newham & Essex Beagles) and UK leader and Olympic relay medallist Daryll Neita (Cambridge H) head the entry lists. Former BUCS winner Cheyanne Evans-Gray (Nat Senior, Croydon) could challenge for a medal based on her recent 7.22 PB.
The 400m races are potentially among the most exciting events of the entire weekend. In the women’s event the defending champion Jessie Knight (Marina Armstrong, Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow) will be hard to beat but she faces Keely Hodgkinson (Trevor Painter, Leigh), who is fresh from her British indoor 800m record of 1:57.20 last Saturday.
Also entered are reigning 200m champion and 400m Olympian Ami Pipi (Linford Christie, Enfield & Haringey) who won her heat at the World Indoor Tour meeting in Toruń this week in an UK lead in 52.02 and European Athletics Team Championships 400m hurdles winner Lina Nielsen (Shaftesbury Barnet) .
In the men’s 400m the European under-20 champion Edward Faulds (James Wright, Rugby & Northampton) broke the European indoor under-20 record at the Müller Indoor Grand Prix Birmingham and his 46.16 was also a world qualifier and gives him a full second advantage on fellow Brits on 2021 times.
Reigning world 60m hurdles champion Andrew Pozzi (Stratford-upon-Avon) is the UK lead in this event as he goes for his sixth title but fellow Olympian David King (Tim O’Neil, City of Plymouth), who is going for his third successive title, was only 0.04 back in Birmingham last Saturday with his own 7.63 PB and this weekend he is going for his sixth overall medal.
The UK 60m hurdles leader in 2022, Cindy Sember (Woodford Green with Essex Ladies), is absent but there is just 0.06 of a second between Holly Mills (Laura Turner-Alleyne, Andover), Megan Marrs (Alex Nwenwu, Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow), Jenna Blundell (Benke Blomkvist, Bristol & West) and Alicia Barratt (Benke Blomkvist, Trafford) on their 2022 times.
In the para sprint races Zac Shaw (Leon Baptiste, Cleethorpes) and Thomas Young (Joseph McDonnell, Loughborough Students) will battle it out once again in the men’s para 60 metres as both clocked PBs of 7.01 and 7.03 at last weekend’s Müller Indoor Grand Prix Birmingham.
In the women’s para 60m the Paralympic champion Sophie Hahn (Leon Baptiste, Charnwood) is favourite and she will hope to get under eight seconds which she last achieved in 2018.
With the women’s 200m not contested at the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade, the entry is low. The 2020 runner-up Jazmine Moss (Bruce Horsburgh, Gateshead) is the fastest entry on 2022 times with a 23.94 this winter though Hannah Brier (Matt Elias, Swansea) does have a 23.49 PB although she has not beaten 24 seconds this winter.
In the men’s 200m the defending champion Andrew Morgan Harrison (Alex O’Gorman, Kingston Upon Hull) is not entered but the other medallists from 2020 – Nicholas Pryce (Joe Caines, Royal Sutton Coldfield) and Ben Snaith (Clarence Callender, Newham & Essex Beagles) – return though North of England champion Joe Ferguson (Lewis Samuel, Leeds City) may start as marginal favourite.