Berlin stars set for homecoming alongside world junior talent at Manchester International

| |

European under-18 champion Max Burgin returns to Manchester where he set a world age best in May. Photo: Dave Hewitson/Sportsforallpics.

The Manchester International promises to be an exciting event featuring many who have competed at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and European Championships along with major junior competitions this year.

You can watch the action live on this page of, with track and field coverage available on RunnerSpace in North America. Young Athletes kick off the afternoon at 2pm, with the main event running from 4pm to 9pm BST. The timetable is available here.

This International involves a match-up between a team of Great Britain juniors, England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Iceland, the British Athletics League, and other guests.

Among the big names expected are European Championship athletes Jade Lally and Kirsty Law (discus), Sophie McKinna and Amelia Strickler (shot put), Kirsten McAslan (400m hurdles, down for 400m here), Chris Bennett (hammer), Allan Smith and David Smith (high jump) along with IAAF World under-20 champion Jake Norris (hammer) and European under-18 champions Max Burgin and Dominic Ogbechie (below).

Norris is the British junior record holder with a throw of 80.65m, while both Burgin and Ogbechie have set age 15 world bests in the last six months. The former ran 1:47.50 at the same Sportcity stadium in Manchester in May, before improving his personal best as a 16-year-old to 1:47.36 on his way to gold in Hungary.

Ogbechie’s 2.22m stunned the crowd at the England under-20 Indoor Championships (above), where he also won the long jump. If that’s not enough, he recently beat everyone in the 200m at the English Schools Championships.

Talking of sprints, in the women’s 100m, there should be a fascinating battle with the England senior champion Kimbely Baptiste, IAAF World Under-20 bronze medalist Kristal Awuah, 2016 world junior finalist Hannah Brier, Scottish champion Katy Wyper and Northern Ireland champion Lauren Roy all lining up.

Moving up to 400m and we hope to see Sadam Koumi, who has recently come first at both the English and Scottish Senior Championships. Alongside will be Grant Plenderleith, who he beat in the latter event in wet conditions over the weekend (below). Joining that duo are a pair who won world under-20 relay bronze in Finland last month. Joe Brier and Alex Haydock-Wilson are up against one another this time.

Kirsten McAslan is expected to race over the flat, rather than the 400m hurdles which she switched to as her primary discipline in 2017, having won the Scottish title on her return from competing in Berlin on Sunday. Joining Kirsten is the English champion and 4x400m European indoor silver medalist Philippa Lowe and some great junior runners. English Schools champion Natasha Harrison was a European under-18 finalist last month and is joined by Welsh title winner Lauren Williams.

She also looks to have been chosen by the British junior team for the 400m hurdles. Incredibly, Lauren is now running six and a half seconds faster than her 64.55 hurdles PB in 2016, having clocked 58.09 at the Berlin Under-20 Match.

London 2017 world semi-finalist Jess Judd looks to be the favourite for the 1500m, where she’ll battle Commonwealth Youth Games winner Erin Wallace. Wallace’s fellow Scot, Mhairi Hendry, represented Great Britain at the world indoors in March after smashing her best with a 2:01.30 clocking.

The national champion from Grangemouth a couple of days ago could face a good fight with 2016 European Youth Champion Isabelle Boffey. Boffey had a disappointing world under-20 competition, but has continued to improve in 2018, winning her fourth consecutive national indoor title at age group level.

Elsewhere, the 100m hurdles looks like one to watch with England under-23 and senior champion Jessica Hunter (above), along with 2017 British indoor champion Mollie Courtney and Scottish champion Heather Paton, while it’ll be good to see Andrew Robertson and Edmond Amaning again after impressing in their respective 100m and 200m triumphs at the national championships in Manchester a couple of weeks ago.

A group of Icelandic athletes are taking part this year, who could be a somewhat unknown quantity for their UK rivals. Included is discus thrower Gudni Valur Gudnason, who has represented Iceland at the Olympics and European championships and has twice won the Games of the Small States of Europe.

His compatriot Hilmar Orn Jonsson has a 72.38 hammer PB and threw for Iceland at the IAAF World Championships in London last year. The University of Virginia man set that PR in Eugene last year.

The event also includes the England Athletics 10,000m Championships, which has 15 entrants. Please see the England Athletics website for all the team lists in full, while a timetable can be found here.


Written by

First published on: 14 August, 2018 3:14 pm