The country’s best athletes will descend on Birmingham this weekend (3-5 July) for the Sainsbury’s British Championships, which get underway with the Club:Connect relays and 200m and 400m heats this evening.
As well as battling to become British champion, athletes will also be competing for places on the GB & NI team for the IAAF World Championships, which take place in Beijing in August.
Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis-Hill (coach: Toni Minichiello, club: City of Sheffield) will be one of the star attractions as she contests the 100m hurdles on Saturday and the javelin as part of ‘Super Sunday’, when 22 British champions will be crowned in an action packed afternoon of finals.
In the hurdles, Ennis-Hill will face fellow heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson (Mike Holmes, Liverpool Harriers) for the first time this season and will also be up against European champion Tiffany Porter (Rana Reider, Woodford Green with Essex Ladies), her sister Cindy Ofili (James Henry, Woodford Green) and European Indoor silver medallist Lucy Hatton (Corby, Jerzy Maciukiewicz).
Another Olympic champion, Greg Rutherford (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo, Marshall Milton Keynes), will line up in the long jump on Sunday with his sternest test likely to come from breakthrough act Dan Bramble (Frank Attoh, Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers), who has jumped a personal best of 8.21m this season.
The men’s 400m is set to be one of the events of the weekend with a whole host of athletes capable of finishing in the medal positions. Jarryd Dunn (Keith Holt, Birchfield Harriers) thrust himself into the limelight with victory in a personal best of 45.09 at the European Team Championships two weeks ago, whilst the top two from last year’s European Championships, Martyn Rooney (Reider, Croydon Harriers) and Matthew Hudson-Smith (Tony Hadley, Birchfield), will look to find similar form in Birmingham. However, it is Conrad Williams (Linford Christie, Kent AC) who currently tops the British rankings with a time of 45.06.
The sprint events will also be hotly contested; new British record holder Dina Asher-Smith (John Blackie, Blackheath & Bromley) will headline the women’s 100m as she faces Asha Philip (Steve Fudge, Newham & Essex Beagles), who has also broken her personal best this year with a time of 11.10.
In the men’s 100m, European 100m champion James Dasaolu (Fudge, Croydon) and fellow sub-10 man Chijindu Ujah (Tawiah-Dodoo, Enfield & Haringey) will be the names to look out for. Meanwhile in the 200m, Zharnel Hughes (Glen Mills, Shaftesbury Barnet) will be the fastest man on paper but will be challenged by the likes of Danny Talbot (Dan Cossins, Birchfield) and James Ellington (Christie, Newham & Essex Beagles).
The middle distance events will be similarly competitive, particularly the women’s 1500m where European bronze medallist Laura Weightman (Steve Cram, Morpeth) faces Laura Muir (Andy Young, Dundee Hawkhill), fresh from a victory at the Oslo Diamond League in a time of 4:00.39, and former world silver medallist Hannah England (Bud Baldaro, Oxford City).
In the field, the women’s long jump could see the first 7m jump by a British woman with Johnson-Thompson, Shara Proctor (Reider, Birchfield) and Lorraine Ugen (Attoh, Blackheath & Bromley) all competing. Another British record could be in the sight of Nick Miller (John Baumann, Border) in the hammer and Holly Bradshaw (Scott Simpson, Blackburn) will return to top level action in the pole vault.
To buy tickets to the Sainsbury’s British Championships visit britishathletics.org.uk. Sainsbury’s is proud to be a long-term supporter of British Athletics and a champion of inclusive sport for all, from grassroots to elite level.