Track and field stars look to write their names in history at the England Athletics Championships

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Alicia Barrett (6) and Megan Marrs (1) do battle in the 100m hurdles at the 2018 British Championships. Photo: MV4R Photography.

The England Athletics Senior Championships are coming to Manchester this weekend and you can watch them live on this page of and on RunnerSpace in North America. Track and field action begins at 10am this Saturday and 10.30am on Sunday from the Sportcity arena.


The event has its roots in the oldest national governing body for athletics in the world. The Amateur Athletic Association of England was founded in 1880 and these championships are a reminder of some of the British greats down the years like Linford Christie, Colin Jackson, John Regis, Kelly Holmes and Sally Gunnell, who won 39 titles between them.


In its current guise, there are English senior titles up for grabs, while athletes entered by their counties battle against one another for Inter-Counties medals.


One theme among the entries is that field eventers are using the occasion as a warm-up for the European Athletics Championships next month. Berlin will mark the sixth time at the competition for triple jumper Nathan Douglas, who won silver in Sweden in 2006. On the women’s side, British number one Naomi Ogbeta (below) returns to our screens having already clinched British Universities’ (BUCS) and England under-23 titles on


Naomi Ogbeta competing at the Athletics World Cup in London. Photo: MV4R Photography.


2014 Commonwealth Games bronze medalist Jade Lally goes in the discus alongside Great Britain team mates Eden Francis and Kirsty Law, while Amelia Strickler and Sophie McKinna go up against each other in the shot put.


Elsewhere, high jumper David Smith is also part of the 102-strong team heading to Germany as announced earlier in the week. On top of this, we expect all three British medalists in the javelin in the shape of Laura Whittingham, Emma Hamplett and Bethan Rees.


Some of the standout names taking to the track include London 2017 semi-finalist Jessica Judd, who has entered the 800m, 1500m and 5000m. She could face the likes of 2011 world silver medalist Hannah England, European under-20 800m champion Khahisa Mhlanga and British Universities’ (BUCS) Champion Mari Smith, who has lowered her personal best to 2:02 this season.


In the women’s sprints, several athletes have put themselves down for both the 100m and 200m, include two of the medal winning quartet from the 4x100m at the 2013 World Championships; Ashleigh Nelson and Hayley Mills.


Kimbely Baptiste pipped Beth Dobbin in the 200m in 2017. Photo: Matthew Quine


Joining them are 2016 world junior finalist Hannah Brier, defending 200m champion Kimbely Baptiste (above) and Charlotte Wingfield, who has now represented Malta at all four major international tournaments.


After two consecutive years of finishing second in the 100m, Andrew Robertson will want to go one better this time around, but that triumph of consistency could be bettered by Hertfordshire’s Italian international Antonio Infantino, who is looking for a fourth successive 200m gold medal.


If that’s not enough, we are set for a thrilling battle over 100m hurdles, with Commonwealth Games finalist and UK junior record holder Alicia Barrett up against British indoor champion Megan Marrs as well as Yasmin Miller, who was fourth at the European under-23 championships last summer.


In the IPC events, five-time Paralympic champion Hannah Cockroft is impressively entered for the 1,2,4 and 800m, with double world champion Olivia Breen, Sophie Kamlish, Maria Lyle and Katrina Hart all in sprinting action.


Erika Kelly wins the England senior title in Bedford last summer. Photo: MV4R Photography


Also part of the long list of finals on the second day is the 400m hurdles featuring Jacob Paul, the men’s mile with Jamie Webb and the 3K Race Walk, where Erika Kelly (above) – who went to the Gold Coast with the Isle of Man in the spring – could defend her gold medal.


Over the single lap, the women’s competition which concludes at Sunday lunchtime on the second day, features European 4x400m champion Seren Bundy-Davies, who was also part of the quartet that won bronze at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing in 2015.


The Welshwoman continues her comeback after a frustrating year that saw her pull out of the Commonwealth Games in April due to injury. Former world youth champion Sabrina Bakare is among the competition, as is Kelsey Stewart who was part of Scotland’s Gold Coast relay squad.


For a full list of entries and the timetable, please see the England Athletics competition site.


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First published on: 27 July, 2018 11:13 am