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The crowds poured in by the thousands round the Quayside to attend the sign-off episode of a sensational summer and relish a last encore of some of their Olympic heroes at the Great City Games in Newcastle, serving as the fall equinox of home athletics as the outdoor track season takes to the streets thereon to hand over the baton to the road in the shape of the Great North Run the following day.

A street version of the once traditional GBR vs USA matches, the Americans may have settled the affair as early as midway through to finally prevail 6-3 in wins between them but the British fans were delighted to witness some surprisingly strong late performances from athletes such as Chris Tomlinson and Dwain Chambers that lend even more promise to the following season.

Dan Pfaff-bound Holly Bleasdale suffered a low flight of just 4.10m, admittedly having not done any training since London, as she slipped to a surprise defeat by Mary Saxy (4.25) in a short-run opening women’s pole vault, U20 hot prospect Katie Byres rounding out the field at 3.80, while Hannah England looked to have measured her efforts superbly only to be denied by a marauding late charge from burgeoning half-miler Brenda Martinez at the death in the mile to turn the tide decisively in favour of the US team from the early days.

World champion Jenny Simpson opted to embark on an unfamiliar hard run straight to the front to open up a healthy gap on the field that she held well into the second half of the race until an audacious move by Julia Bleasdale, always relishing to test her limits, saw her haul in the American off the Swing Bridge where England worked her way back on terms more steadily soon.

As the finish line loomed ahead turning into the home stretch, England was well poised to strike out past a tiring Simpson for home, maybe a click too early, and looked like having done enough to clinch top honours for Britain, Bleasdale falling behind and Anna Pierce with Shannon Rowbury out of contention; yet, out of nowhere screamed past lightning Martinez like a train down the way, in a late established trademark fashion, to steal a victory against the odds over the last 40m in 4:34.99 to 4:35.56.

The 25-year-old half-miler was the least fancied among the American quartet to figure at the top, venturing on the upper end of her range, but she is already a useful miler (4:06.96 PB over 1500m) and offered a full measure of her fiercesome kick to suggest a major new force in the making over both distances in view of next season.

Nonetheless, there were many positives for the Brit to draw out of the tussle before swinging out to the terminal stop of a season that never came her way, her luck not lasting even as far as the finish line of an early Pyrrhic victory in Hengelo, lining up at the renowned 5th Avenue Mile in New York.

Behind the two, Pierce battled into the top three in 4:36.44 ahead of Simpson, who had to eventually do with fourth in 4:37.17 for all her pains, whereas Bleasdale faded back into fifth in 4:38.89. U20 sensation Jessica Judd gained further valuable excerience in a fastest ever mile on any surface in 4:42.30 followed by Eilish McColgan in 4:42.84 in the rear two places.

Following next, the men’s equivalent was nothing short of a nailbiting thriller either as a rejuvenated James Brewer turned back the pages of his form book to reignite his U23 promise and give great Bernard Lagat, the red-hot favourite, a real scare and a race for his money.

The legendary former double world champion attempted to lay down his law from the outset by means of a brisk pace at the helm but, much to a growing astonishment around, could not shake off the stout challenge of the Brit who moved alongside into the final quarter of the race, growing in confidence with every stride.

So much so that Brewer appeared to turn the screw and Lagat digging deep to hang on into the final burn-up but the American made his expertise count as he ground out a vital metre entering the home track straight and used his body expertly to shut the ways past as his young rival rallied to threaten again late for a narrow victory in 4:01.62 against 4:01.81, a road best for the latter.

Mark Rowland-coached Jordan McNamara was a clear third some way behind in 4:02.86 and U23 Jonny Hay worked his way through in the late stages for fourth in 4:05.03 ahead of 800m man Mukhtar Mohammed.

The spectacle of Brewer back in full flow was a delight to watch and will afford a further boost alongside Ross Murray’s summer revelation to the British mile scene in quest of a return into the thick of affairs at global level as Andy Baddeley could be pondering a move up in distance, with the likes of James Shane hopefully returning fully fit next season.

By stark contrast, Olympic short relay champion Jeneba Tarmoh bossed the women’s 100m from her first step out of the blocks minutes earlier and never allowed a slightest shade of doubt cast on the outcome as she made a slick transition into a firm lead and drove powerfully down the track to win comfortably in a fast late-season 11.17 secs (0.6m/sec), placing a thorough gap on compatriot Miki Barber and Anyika Onuora who battled it out for the runner-up spot behind in 11.37 and 11.42 secs.

Chris Tomlinson lands at a superb third-round 8.18m to nail a top-notch long jump on the Quayside

Mo Farah comfortably dominates the men’s 2 miles

Full Results

http://www.greatcitygames.org/Results/2012_gncg.aspx

Lawrence Okoye and Shara Proctor staged spirited late comebacks to come away impressive winners in the discus and the long jump respectively at the Hanzekovic Memorial in Zagreb, applying a gloss finish to the close of their summer campaigns.

Both athletes seem to be treading on parallel trails in recent weeks as they made their respective finals in style but could not quite follow through to slip outside the top eight places in London so maybe it shouldn’t come as casual they earned their spurs on an identical pattern.

Okoye was enjoying a solid outing lying in third place on a second-round 64.51m, Dutchman Erik Cadee narrowly leading from Piotr Malachowski (POL) through a 65.67m in his fifth, but hardly anything in the build-up had suggested what was about to come as the giant 20-year-old Brit stepped into the ring for a final time.

This time round his throwing came all together to let fly the implement way beyond to a powerful 67.25m, his third farthest mark ever, and stun his rivals at the death as they were barely left with any chance or time to respond in a manner reminiscent of Manchester United’s renowned late winners.

A ‘continent’ best and meeting record on his part, the Croydon thrower marked a return to winning ways for the first time since July and he will be brimming with confidence heading to his last major fixture in Brussels, the formal curtain drawer of the Diamond League series and the Olympic season.

Cadee, closing out the competition with only 63.43m, had to do with second in the end and Malachowski remained third on a fourth-attempt 65.64m while Indian Vikas Gowda came fourth at 64.06 further behind.

Likewise, UK record holder Proctor was stranded down in the 6.50m region and fourth place up to her fifth attempt, a best of 6.58 (-0.2) in round four, as the main action was played out between Natassia Mironchik-Ivanova and season find Chelsea Hayes (USA) at 6.68 (-0.3) and 6.64 (0.0) up front in the long jump pit.

Yet, the Briton somehow drew inspiration to grind out a last-ditch 6.79 (0.3), a meeting record at that, and steal an unlikely victory out of the hands of a shell-shocked Belarusian, who could reach no further than 6.49 in her last effort, to bow out of the term on a winning note and smile – as ever, nothing is over until is over!

Funmi Jimoh was fourth at 6.59 and a very quiet Darya Klishina, a major absentee from London, faltered well below in sixth at just 6.39m.

Martyn Rooney had added a third British win in between in the men’s 400m as he controlled the race through in lane five and never left the final outcome in doubt. Building up nicely round the top bend, he carved out plenty of distance on the field to ease down the home straight to 45.78 secs on top with 1:42 800m man Duane Solomon back in third in a decent 46.39 secs.

Jeneba Tarmoh, a member of the world record-breaking US sprint relay in the Olympics, put up some decent fight over the first 60m or thereabouts but world champion Carmelita Jeter had too much in the final third of the women’s 100m to draw away to a clear victory in 11.06 to 11.30 secs into a slight headwind (-0.6).

Anyika Onuora just managed to dodge last spot by a hundredth of a second from Hayes, before taking up her long jump duties, in 11.59 but fared much better over the 200m to take fourth in 23.17 as sprint superstar Allyson Felix dominated with ease in a professional 22.35 (-0.2), another meeting landmark in the process.

Aileen Bailey and Charonda Williams battled stride for stride down the home straight and it was the Jamaican to sneak the runner-up spot in 22.95 to 22.96 on the line.

In the men’s dash, Ryan Bailey returned to winning ways as he weathered evergreen Kim Collins’s trademark blast as far as around 70m fabulously to power through to a convincing victory in 10.02 secs against the former world champion’s 10.14 at the end, while Mario Forsythe got third in 10.25 ahead of Darvis Patton and Michael Frater who were tied in 10.31.

Nickel Ashmeade, sadly, pulled up around 60m into the race apparently due to a hamstring injury and that could signify a slightly early end to a sound season of his.

Jason Richardson didn’t get off to the best of starts but his neat hurdling saw him swiftly restore order to storm through to a commanding 13.08 secs (-0.4) and well ahead of US record holder David Oliver in the 110m hurdles, the latter leaving a trail of disaster in his wake as he clattered no less than six hurdles with his trail leg on the way – and still managed a very respectable 13.22 secs!

The Olympic silver medallist, as well as the reigning world champion, has been enjoying a fabulous season, having posted 12.98 secs three times, save that he cannot find a way past an imperious Aries Merritt who looks invincible these days.

South African Lehann Fourie was third marginally off his PB in 13.28 followed by Ryan Wilson in fourth in 13.43, Jeff Porter and Beijing silver medallist David Payne tied in 13.55 secs.

Kellie Wells was first out of the blocks but slipped over hurdle two never to recover thereon, Kristi Castlin enduring a nightmare of a race in the adjacent right lane, which opened the way to the in-late-form duo of Ginnie Crawford and Queen Harrison to notch up the top two slots in 12.68 and 12.74 respectively in the women’s equivalent of the 100m hurdles, with Canadian Priscilla Lopez-Schliep third in 12.86 secs.

Reese Hoffa has taken the bit between his teeth since his defeat in London to dominate over double Olympic champion Thomasz Majewski (POL) nonchalantly once more as he pounded the 21m region of the sector relentlessly through the six rounds of the shot put; 21.34. 21.76, 21.56, 21.80, x and 21.70m to tell the tale as any of his valid five efforts would have claimed the spoils comfortably.

“What if” must be turning through the American’s mind, unbeaten since the Olympics, as the Pole could not mount any sort of response at any point to come a distant second over a metre down at 20.70 with world indoor champion Ryan Whiting in third at 20.52m.

Local heroine Sandra Perkovic had no trouble whatsoever to boss the women’s discus on a second-attempt 65.79m, plus two more throws in that province, while in-late-peak Jamaican Rosemarie Whyte was a runaway winner over the women’s quarter-mile in a meeting record and SB of 50.08 secs.

Denisa Rosolova was second in 52.07 and Marilyn Okoro came through strongly in the late stages to grab third in 52.67 secs in another solid performance.

Elsewhere, Olympic champion Taoufik Makhloufi comfortably put away a quality men’s 1500m in 3:32.58 with a familiar surge over the last 300m, Jairus Birech saw off Abel Mutai in 8:11.80 (MR) to 8:12.47 over the men’s ‘chase and Maggie Vessey shadowed the women’s 800m in 1:59.61 although her let-up at the end almost cost her the win to fast-finishing compatriot Brenda Martinez, who shattered her PB into 1:59.63.

Full Results

http://www.zagreb-meeting.com/en/results/

Costas Goulas

As the curtains have come down on the most spectacular showpiece of sport on earth and the dust is yet to settle in the arena, just as the cheering of the crowds still resounds around the stands, at the Olympic stadium at Stratford in the wake of nine days of pulsating end-to-end action, the time has come to take a thorough look into the performance of the British team, both on an individual and a collective footing, and assess the gains and losses effected across the board.

Britain claimed four gold medals courtesy of Mo Farah, who accomplished a monumental double over 5000 and 10000m, Jessica Ennis in a UK record in the heptathlon and Greg Rutherford in the long jump to equal their best ever figure post WWII, established initially in Tokyo (1964) and emulated in Moscow (1980), as well as a silver by Christine Ohuruogu over 400m and a bronze from Robbie Grabarz in the high jump for a haul of six medals overall, highest since Sydney in 2000.

Mo Farah storms to a sensational Olympic title ahead of Dejen Gebremeskel (ETH) over 5000m to wrap up a sublime long distance double along with his 10000m gold a week earlier.

All the same, amidst the buzz and excitement of the heroics of Team GB towards an astounding third place in the Olympic medal table the effect of a relative shortfall in minor silverware or top eight places was somewhat tempered, yet there should not escape the fact that there were either alarming or mystifying gaps in the presence of the team that demand addressing.

The Britons registered a sole male finalist, Andie Osagie, in the distances from 100 through to 1500m just as the women came up with a single representative in Ohuruogu at the sharp end of the sprint and hurdle events; puzzling late formation decisions saw both long relays crash out of the top three places where the lack of medals in the women’s jumps felt slightly as an anticlimax seen against the Turkish delight of three gongs earned in Istanbul a few months earlier.

Nevertheless, hope and promise remain robust for the future as burgeoning prospects such as Lawrence Clarke, Laura Weightman, Katarina Johnson-Thompson, Adam Gemili and Sophie Hitchon picked up high marks in their first exams on the grand stage while a sound core to the team lies already in place for an even more successful new Olympic cycle leading up to Rio.

So let’s get started with a detailed picture of the statistics of the team’s showing before we move on to an athlete-by-athlete analysis.

MEDALS (6)

Gold Medals (4): Mo Farah (5000 & 10000m), Jessica Ennis (Heptathlon), Greg Rutherford (LJ)

Silver Medals (1): Christine Ohuruogu (400m)

Bronze Medals (1): Robbie Grabarz (HJ)

TOP 8 PLACES (13)

4th places (3): Lawrence Clarke (110mh), Dai Greene (400mh), Men’s 4x400m (Conrad Williams, Jack Green, Dai Greene, Martyn Rooney)

5th places (3): Steve Lewis (PV), Yamile Aldama (TJ), Women’s 4x400m (Shana Cox, Lee McConnell, Christine Ohuruogu, Perri Shakes-Drayton)

6th places (2): Holly Bleasdale (PV), Chris Tomlinson (LJ)

7th places (2): Jo Pavey (5000 & 10000m)

8th places (3): Julia Bleasdale (5000 & 10000m), Andie Osagie (800m)

OTHER FINALISTS (6)

9th places (1): Shara Proctor (LJ)

10th places (1): Lisa Dobriskey (1500m)

11th places (1): Laura Weightman (1500m)

12th places (3): Lawrence Okoye (DT), Sophie Hitchon (HT), Alex Smith (HT)

___________________________________________________________________________

UK RECORDS (3)

Women

Heptathlon: Jessica Ennis 6955

100mh: Jessica Ennis 12.54

HT: Sophie Hitchon  71.98

UK U23 RECORDS (1)

Women

HT: Sophie Hitchon 71.98

UK U20 RECORDS (1)

Women

Heptathlon: Katarina Johnson-Thompson 6267

___________________________________________________________________________

World leading marks (1)

Women

Heptathlon: Jessica Ennis 6955

European leading marks (5 plus a WL)

Men

10000m: Mo Farah 27:30.42

4×400: Conrad Williams, Jack Green, Dai Greene, Martyn Rooney 2:59.53

Women

5000m: Julia Bleasdale 15:02.00

10000m: Jo Pavey 30:53.20

100mh: Jessica Ennis 12.54

UK leading marks (4 plus a WL and 5 ELs)

Men

100m: Dwain Chambers 10.02

800m: Andie Osagie 1:43.77

110mh: Lawrence Clarke 13.31

Women

400m: Christine Ohuruogu 49.70

___________________________________________________________________________

PERSONAL BESTS (11)

Men

800m Andie Osagie 1:43.77

110mh Lawrence Clarke 13.31

Women

200m Margaret Adeoye 22.94

1500m Laura Weightman 4:02.99

5000m Julia Bleasdale 15:02.00, Barbara Parker 15:12.81

10000m Jo Pavey 30:53.20, Julia Bleasdale 30:55.63

Heptathlon Jessica Ennis 6955, Katarina Johnson-Thompson 6267

HT Sophie Hitchon 71.98

Multi-events Individual Personal Bests (9)

Men

100m Daniel Awde 10.71

Women

200m Jessica Ennis 22.83, Katarina Johnson-Thompson 23.73

800m Katarina Johnson-Thompson 2:10.76

100mh Jessica Ennis 12.54, Katarina Johnson-Thompson 13.48 (equal)

HJ Katarina Johnson-Thompson 1.89

JT Jessica Ennis 47.49, Louise Hazell 47.38

OVERALL PERSONAL BESTS: 20

___________________________________________________________________________

SEASON BESTS (10)

Men

100m Dwain Chambers 10.02, James Dasaolu 10.13

10000m Mo Farah 27:30.42, Chris Thompson 29:06.14

Marathon Scott Overall 2h22:37

4x400m Conrad Williams, Jack Green, Dai Greene, Martyn Rooney 2:59.53

Women

400m Christine Ohuruogu 49.70

5000m Jo Pavey 15:02.84

Heptathlon Louise Hazell 5856

4x400m Shana Cox, Lee McConnell, Christine Ohuruogu, Perri Shakes-Drayton 3:24.76

Lawrence Clarke was a revelation of the British team as he snatched a highly unexpected fourth in the 110m hurdles having set a PB of 13.31 secs in the semis

Further statistics:

* Jessica Ennis became the third female multi-eventer from the British shores, after Mary Peters and Denise Lewis, to clinch the Olympic title and raise the heptathlon, incorporating its former version of the pentathlon, as the most successful event for the women’s team in the history of the Olympics. Her score of 6955pts was her second UK record, in the same season at that, to see her move 5th in the all-time rankings in the world.

Come to that, Ennis became the first Briton to lay down two individual UK records in an Olympic Games since Linford Christie in 1988 in Seoul, revising markers in the 100 and 200m.

* Mo Farah emerged as the first Brit to ever claim the Olympic summit in both the 5000 and the 10000m as well as fulfilling that particular distinguished distance double in history, the first European since great Finn Lasse Viren (1976) and sixth in history overall. Ian Stewart (bronze, 1972) and Mike McLeod (silver, 1984) were the last Brits to mount the podium over those distances until London.

* No British relay team have turned in a medal at a global outdoor championships since Berlin 2009.

* Andie Osagie set a PB of 1:43.77 in the men’s 800m final that shapes the fastest time by a Brit over the distance since Peter Elliott winning in 1:42.97 in Seville in distant 1990, slotting into fourth in the UK all-time lists. Furthermore, he came the first Olympic finalist from Britain in the event since Curtis Robb, who occupied sixth back in Barcelona 1992.

* Greg Rutherford ended a long wait of 48 years as he turned the first Brit to clinch the ultimate crown, or even a medal, in the long jump since Lynn ‘the leap’ Davies in Tokyo in 1964.

* Britain failed to put up a single male finalist in the 1500m for the first time since 1992.

* Katarina Johnson-Thompson put together her third UK U20 record this season but remained seventh all-time in the global U20 rankings while her PB of 1.89m in the high jump was the highest by a British U20 girl since Susan Moncrieff‘s equal UK U20 record of 1.91m in 1997.

* Sophie Hitchon initiated Britain’s account in Olympic finals in the women’s hammer, reaching her fourth UK record this season and sixth overall in the progress, while Alex Smith brought an end to a 28-year drought without a Briton in the men’s equivalent. The last to do so were Robert Weir, Martin Girvan and Matt Mileham in Los Angeles in 1984.

* No British sprinter has made the 100m final since Sydney 2000 where Dwain Chambers and Darren Campbell placed fourth and sixth respectively. For that matter, Campbell is the last Brit to have won an individual sprint medal as he went on to grab silver over 200m in the very same Olympics.

* Christine Ohuruogu made the first British girl ever to lay her hands on a second individual Olympic medal, in back-to-back Olympics at that, as well as the only one that has dipped inside 50 secs three times over 400m.

* Dai Greene is the first Briton to make the Olympic 400m hurdles final since Kriss Akabussi‘s bronze medal flight in Barcelona 1992 while Lawrence Clarke brought an end to a barren spell since Colin Jackson‘s fifth in Sydney 2000.

* Holly Bleasdale is the first ever female vaulter from the UK to have made the top eight or even make a final, placing sixth, while Steve Lewis attained the highest ever slot in the men’s equivalent with a fine fifth in London.

* Jo Pavey and Julia Bleasdale moved second and third in the 10000m in the British all-time charts through their PBs of 30:53.20 and 30:55.63 respectively, placing seventh and eighth, to double the number of Brits under 31 minutes as they joined legends Paula Radcliffe and Liz McColgan in that territory.

Come to that, they occupied the very same places in the 5000m later into the championships, a quite unusual occurence, where Bleasdale had also improved her PB into 15:02.00 to go eighth in the respective all-time lists.

The long, gruelling and ruthless race for qualifying standards and places for Team GB in the Olympics is over as British athletes have come past the finish line of July 1 so now it is time for selectors to take stock of what has unfolded and study meticulously form books and performance sheets so that they can draw up the strongest possible side to line up in London.

So far, six athletes have been already selected to represent the country’s colours in the men and women’s marathon, ensuring of a full quota on show apiece, and a further 34 sealed their berths by means of automatic qualification (a top two spot plus at least a ‘current’ A standard) at the recent UK Trials, making a total of 40.

Nevertheless, this crucial session of the selectors panel will not so much be for those sure to figure at the Olympic Stadium in August as for the athletes who have yet to be confirmed on the team, many of whom will have to face long anxious hours to learn of their fate – dreams will be fulfilled but also others will dash to the ground.

But even in the darkest hour, hope may be not all lost still. Any athletes engaged in events that remain with vacancies could still hope to overturn their verdict on appeal as long as they meet the qualifying grounds of IAAF, or even obtain the necessary credentials beyond the UK Athletics but within the former body’s deadline lying on July 8.

Lee Merrien set an example and a precedent as he won his place in the men’s marathon’s team through this route when he finished outside the British A standard of 2h12:00 in the London marathon back in April, on the end of the event’s qualifying period. Yet, his time of 2h13:41 (PB) was lying well within the IAAF benchmark of 2h15:00 so decided to file an appeal that was to be met with success, although initially seeming against the odds.

Therefore, let’s take a look at how the picture of the final British team to compete in London may look like when it comes out tomorrow based on current facts and particulars.

MEN

100m

The men’s dash looked bound for a tense last week with plenty of drama after the UK Trials but the scriptwritters, namely Charles van Commennee and his panel, opted for a bold stroke of indicating early the identity of the two sprinters to join forces with U20 sprint sensation Adam Gemili in the 100m in London; Dwain Chambers and James Dasaolu, the winner and third-placed at the UK Trials, as both were withdrawn from a virtual run-off between main contenders in the backdrop of the Europeans in Helsinki.

Both sprinters hold at least two A standards while Chambers has got also a top eight place in Berlin 2009 added to his credentials so turned perfectly eligible for selection.

 200m

‘e-Bay man’ James Ellington and Deagu captain Christian Malcolm clinched their places as top two finishers in Birmingham, holding a ‘current A’ into the bargain, but it remains doubtful whether a third individual will be entered in the event.

Richard Kilty is the only one among the rest to carry two A qualifiers but is short of fitness coming back from a hamstring injury in a 100m in Arizona last April and seems to have admitted defeat in his cause for good measure.

Therefore, the only alternative could be a discretional call-up to U23 Danny Talbot who may have got only a single A from last summer but mounted the podium at the European Championships in Helsinki and could be considered an investment for the future.

400m

Likewise, Martyn Rooney and Conrad Williams have booked their berths on the team and selectors will most likely feel inclined to go for Nigel Levine, a narrow third in Birmingham, who has displayed smooth flowing form this summer to make up for his lone A qualifier.

800m

World Indoor bronze medallist Andie Osagie qualifies by right after a second UK title on the trot whilst European silver medallist Mike Rimmer seems to have done enough for the selectors, third at the UK Trials, since he was also scratched from the Europeans.

The one that will be sweating until the British team is announced in the media is Welshman Gareth Warburton as he endured a one-off let-down where it mattered most fading off to fourth at the Trials. Otherwise, he has performed consistently well peaking up in a massive PB of 1:44.98 in winning in Oslo but that forms the only A qualifying time in his hands and consequently his fate lies with the selectors. A solo 1:45.81 on a wet track in the heats in Helsinki could count in his favour.

Mukhtar Mohammed, runner-up at the Trials, could have clinched his place if he weren’t short of the A qualifying standard – could he be allowed time to prove his quality until the IAAF cut-off of July 8?

1500m

Andy Baddeley and season revelation Ross Murray are waiting to board the team bus to London but no third runner look likely to follow them. David Bishop, Chris O’Hare and Tom Lancashire have ventured once each in the B qualifying territory but that cannot be enough and James Brewer hasn’t showed sufficient form along the way.

5000m

Nick McCormick came a jubilant runner-up behind winner Ross Millington to turn his current Olympic A of 13:18.81 in Huelva to full advantage and a spot on the British squad while naming world champion Mo Farah is just a matter of formality.

Chris Thompson should get the third place subject to fitness alone as he is recovering from a back injury since Tom Farrell was knocked off contention with a foot stress fracture.

10000m

Mo Farah and Chris Thompson hold the A standard from last year and are certainties to be picked, the latter provided he can be fully fit in time.

Marathon

Scott Overall, Dave Webb and Lee Merrien have been already selected to represent Britain over the ultimate distance in the streets of London.

3000m Steeplechase

Seasoned campaigner Stuart Stokes is the only one to meet qualification criteria with a brace of Bs but is rumoured to be currently injured. If poised to recover timely, he ought to get the nod to compete the Olympics, maybe a debt due after what happened leading up to the previous Games in Beijing.

UK champion Luke Gunn and Rob Mullett have set a B qualifier each so are hanging entirely on the discretion of the selectors to get a potential call instead.

400m hurdles

Rhys Williams‘s victory to complete a full set of medals at the Europeans has eventually earned him the third spot ahead of Nathan Woodward and he will be joining world champion Dai Greene and European U23 champion Jack Green, automatic qualifiers as top two markers in Birmingham.

Long Jump

World joint-leader Greg Rutherford has secured his own place on Team GB and fellow British co-record holder Chris Tomlinson ought to get the nod and the confidence of the selectors although he has been shaky so far, having been striving to make up lost ground. But he has got multiple As from last summer and a proven pedigree on the big stage which should be enough.

JJ Jegede hasn’t achieved either the A or the B standard and his own hopes hang entirely up on a new lease of life in the form of an A qualifier until the IAAF deadline of July 8. On the other hand, last year’s UK champion Julian Reid has been on a poor run of form this season.

Triple Jump

European champion Phillips Idowu missed the Olympic Trials through a slight foot injury but he is certain to be named on the team, the sole representative in Olympics since neither Nathan Douglas nor Larry Achike could make it coming back from serious injuries.

Pole Vault

Twice world finalist Steve Lewis has sewn up his berth for London winning in Birmingham.

High Jump

New European champion Robbie Grabarz has already had his name stamped on the British team sheet and he will be waiting to find out whether he is going to be followed by a home entourage or go it alone in the Arena of the Olympic stadium at Stratford.

Samson Oni has got an A qualifier of 2.31 from the indoor season to rely on for a discretionary call-up though a better display in the final of the European Championships, where he no-heighted, would have probably bolstered up his position.

Martyn Bernard, holding a B at 2.28, and Tom Parsons had close attempts at this very height last weekend to show solid form and hopefully can make a late impact to sneak a place in ‘stoppage time’.

Shot Put

Carl Myerscough‘s second Olympic B and SB of 20.13 in Estonia in the dying stages of qualification period has virtually gained him a place in the sun.

Discus

Lawrence Okoye has added his name to the side’s roll courtesy of his top place at the UK Trials and last year’s British champion Abdul Buhari may have notched his with that crucial late A qualifying distance of 65.24 at the weekend.

Daegu finalist Brett Morse has somewhat found the going tough this season but his runner-up spot in Birmingham combined with his SB of 64.35 in Hendon might pip Myerscough out of the remaining third berth, who somewhat looks to have acknowledged defeat in spite of sitting equal second in the British charts.

Hammer

Mark Dryhas convincingly led most of the way this season, pulling together no less than four Olympic Bs, but a late charge by Alex Smith might turn the tide in his favour at the death, winning the British title and netting two B distances in quick succession. This is going to be so tight…

Javelin

Merwyn Luckwell has been sidelined with a knee complaint recently but his A standard of 82.15m should see him through. In any case, Lee Doran will be waiting in the wings entertaing some slight hopes of an 11ht hour call.

Decathlon

A big PB of 8102pts, highest by a Briton since 2006, totalled in Arona (Spain) in May looks certain to hand Daniel Awde a second Olympic showing on the trot, having competed in Beijing, but with improved prospects this time round.

20km Race Walking

Tom Bosworth came agonizingly close but eventually couldn’t find a way past the B qualifying standard of 1h24:30, therefore the event looks bound to be probably the only male event not to be represented in London.

50km Race Walking

Even though not even a family best, Dominic King shows poised to become the first British race walker to race over the distance since Sydney 2000 on his Olympic B mark of 4h06:34.

4x100m

Once named in the individual 100m, the projected named trio of Chambers, Gemili and Dasaolu will be also automatically inserted into the short relay squad as the UK Athletics policy commands. Simeon Williamson showed that he is hauling back his best form fast with a solid fourth in Birmingham so should be considered a certainty, as should fifth-placed Malcolm who is reckoned an established member of the outfit.

A torn hamstring will probably cost Harry Aikines-Ayreety the final sixth place, a cruel blow after a solid fourth at the Europeans, in which case things may direct attention towards Mark Lewis-Francis.

4x400m

As with the short relay, the trio of Rooney, Williams and Levine is set to be involved with baton-carrying duties. Rob Tobin looks very close to earn a spot while the remaining two should go between Michael Bingham, Richard Buck, Luke Lennon-Ford and maybe former regular lead-off man Andrew Steele.

WOMEN

100m

With Jeanette Kwakye effectively ruled out through injury, Abi Oyepitan and Anyika Onuora will be likely the two Britons to turn up over the women’s dash in London even though they’ve got hold of a sole A qualifier each. Both look set to be named over 200m, the latter having secured an automatic slot, so they should be normally entered in the shorter sprint since already members of the team.

Ashleigh Nelson has shown the potential to edge inside the necessary standard of 11.29 and if she can bring it off until July 8 she could give herself a chance for the third spot.

200m

Margaret Adeoye and Anyika Onuora have booked their berths by right in the event while Abi Oyepitan has virtually ensured her own as well following her second A qualifier in the heats of the Europeans in Helsinki, leading the British lists with 22.71 secs.

400m

Along the same lines, Olympic champion Christine Ohuruogu and UK Trials second marker Shana Cox have secured two places outright as top two with a ‘current’ A in Birmingham and Scot Lee McConnell could hope to get the go ahead despite a sole A at the back of her final display in Helsinki.

800m

One thing is for sure, it can’t get any more complicated than that and hardly anyone can grasp how did it all come to such a frightful tangle. Lynsey Sharp has caused a sensation storming through from well behind to snatch a surprise British title and a fine European silver on the bounce, yet is shy of an A qualifier that would have gained her automatic passage; Marilyn Okoro and Emma Jackson sank well behind on some crazy tactics in cold conditions and an untimely fractured rib respectively at the UK Trials; Jenny Meadows is struggling for fitness with an achilles injury for months but still calls for a vote of confidence from the selectors; and Jemma Simpson hung on to a potentially crucial runner-up spot by the skin of her teeth, following up with a final place in Helsinki, but hasn’t really sparkled yet.

Therefore, it is very much a shot in the dark to tell what the final verdict will be. But if a fair play is to be served, there should be two main paths to follow: either pick three athletes outright with the names of Okoro, Jackson and Simpson coming forth on the season’s merits (given that Sharp doesn’t own an A), or go for an initial two selections and name a provisional two or three athletes to draw a third choice on after the IAAF deadline of July 8… A third, more radical, option suggested in some quarters would be to solely name the women in form, namely Sharp, which would have everyone else involved watch the action from the stands in August…

1500m

Steve Cram’s Laura Weightman has tucked away her place following an emphatic victory at the UK Trials and she is certain to be accompanied by world silver medallist Hannah England and Lisa Dobriskey over the ‘metric mile’.

5000m

Julia Bleasdale‘s fabulous runner-up display in a big PB of 15:12.77, an Olympic A, may have earned her a second place on the British outfit alongside Jo Pavey and Barbara Parker, the top duo in Birmingham. By stark contrast, Daegu finalist Helen Clitheroe is struggling for form coming back from injury and looks set to miss out, as does Steph Twell who has been on the sidelines over the last few weeks.

10000m

Bleasdale and Pavey are expected to double up over the longer distance as the only two to fulfil the top drawer qualifying standards.

Marathon

World record holder Paula Radcliffe, Mara Yamauchi and new find Claire Hallissey have been selected carry the British colours in this event.

3000m steeplechase

Eilish McColgan has earned her spurs as winner of the UK Trials, holding a ‘current’ A, and is expected to be joined by new British record holder Barbara Parker, who will be doubling up over the 5K as well. The question is whether Hattie Archer (nee Dean), fourth at the Europeans in Barcelona, can be given a vote of confidence as she is racing herself back to full fitness.

100mh

World indoor silver medallist Tiffany Porter will be the only British in action over the sticks in London as Jessica Ennis, gaining an automatic spot herself in Birmingham, will be focussing her efforts in the heptathlon. Beijing finalist Sarah Claxton has skimmed outside the B standard but that wouldn’t have been sufficient to earn her a ticket anyway.

400mh

Perri Shakes-Drayton and Eilidh Child have wrapped up their places in style and will be heading to the Olympics but Meghan Beesley came up short in an all-or-nothing last crack at the Europeans in Helsinki.

High Jump

No female British high jumper have reached even the B qualifying region (1.92m) and consequently the event won’t have any British presence in the Olympics.

Pole Vault

World indoor bronze medallist Holly Bleasdale and Kate Dennison have secured automatic spots where it is unknown whether U20 Katie Byres, posting an A qualifier on the boards, might be afforded a chance to draw priceless experience in the hustle and bustle of the Olympic environment.

Long Jump

New British record holder Shara Proctor has got her place in the bag and is focussing entirely on her build-up to London but U23 revelation Abigail Irozuru will be sweating until she learns her fate as she hasn’t managed to back up her huge PB and A qualifier of 6.80m in Sofia, relying heavily on the selectors discretion.

Also U23 Lorraine Ugen came short by the narrowest of margins (6.74m) at the UK Trials but hasn’t competed since so that she could gain a footing in the top tier of qualifying territory.

Triple Jump

World indoor champion Yamile Aldama is expected to be named in the British squad and lay a claim on that elusive Olympic medal.

Shot Put

Eden Francis suffered heartbreak as she came close to a second B qualifier with a last-ditch 17.10m at the weekend and will be laying her hopes with the selection panel to grant her an opening.

Discus

Jade Nicholls took the burden of qualification off her shoulders with a brace of Bs on the double early in the season but she has been going backwards rather than forwards since so she will be feeling far from safe until Olympic selections come out.

Hammer

As soon as she landed the implement out at 71.61m in San Diego, Sophie Hitchon had ensured of a place and went on to cap it with a comfortable win at the UK Trials on a fabulous run of form. Despite enjoying solid seasons, neither Sarah Holt or Zoe Derham managed to make the grade.

Javelin

Goldie Sayers has long been a certainty for selection and stamped her berth in winning the British title by a huge margin.

Heptathlon

Jessica Ennis and U20 sensation Katarina Johnson-Thompson have ensured of their places with impressive displays on the circuit and Commonwealth champion Louise Hazell looks to have got the nod as well following her withdrawal from the Europeans in Helsinki, making for a full complement for Britain in the event.

20km Race Walking

Commonwealth champion Jo Jackson has long laid the foundations for her selection to the team having comfortably bagged an A qualifying time from last year.

4x100m

Following the disaster of disqualification in the heats of the Europeans in Helsinki, there will be no British team to contest the event which is a sad prospect and a blow for the women’s sprints.

4x400m

Like with the men, Christine Ohuruogu and Shana Cox, the two outright individual qualifiers from the UK Trials, are automatically entered and from there on the hurdles duo of Perri Shakes-Drayton and Eilidh Child along with Lee McConnell and Nicola Sanders look poised to fall in the make-up of the six-strong long relay team.

Greg Rutherford has been long touted to take British long jumping to new realms but a little touch of the art of great Carl Lewis, the undisputed master of the game, seems to launch him towards the heights of his potential.

A tweak on his take-off phase out of the book of the American four-time Olympic champion, overseen by coach Dan Pfaff,  is paying already handsome dividents as he reached a new PB of 8.35m as early as his third showing this season, equalling Chris Tomlinson‘s British record in the process.

After all, Rutherford is a useful sprinter himself, holding a PB of 10.26 secs over 100m, so such a tune-up was always bound to fall in nicely with his gear.

Chula Vista, near San Diego in California, may be widely regarded as a heaven for discus throwers but looks also to turn a happy ground in the case of the 25-year-old Briton who had matched the Olympic A standard of 8.20 (1.2m/sec) on his previous call at the venue a week earlier.

All the same, Rutherford had trouble adapting his run-up on the runway in the early to middle stages as he twice came shy of the board to record 7.89m (2.1m/sec) and 8.02m (1.9m/sec) where he simply ran through when he readjusted on the third effort.

But it all eventually came together in the very next attempt as he rode on a perfect tailwind of 2.0m/sec to land that big new lifetime best and sweep to the summit of the global rankings, erasing a previous marker of 8.30m that stood since the qualifying round in Berlin in 2009.

Suffice it to say that such a distance raises him as a genuine medal contender in London and he apparently felt content with his day work to pass on his last couple of attempts and save for more demanding occasions later into the season.

Surveying the scene from a largely new perspective, the co-British record holder is turning now his sights firmly on his first serious mission of the season at the opening leg of the new Diamond League in Doha, Qatar, where he will be aiming to establish himself in the driving seat of the event early on the way to the Olympics.

Also lining up will be Tomlinson himself to set up a first head-to-head at the forefront of the British scene although it might be a journey into the unknown to an extent for the latter on his first outing since the final in Daegu early last September.

An operation and a consequent delayed build-up due to a lengthy rehabilitation stretching into the winter spelt a later opener to the season and the European bronze medallist could just be looking to get a feel of his current shape and regain his footing on the international stage before he engages higher gears.

“Track stomp”, featuring ‘Barbie Jingles’ (Montell Douglas) and ‘The Danvers’ (Tasha Danvers), is already trending beyond the British shores and this is the so-called ‘Dancehall Edition’. Do have a look at it!

Jade Nicholls made a substantial step closer to earning Olympic selection as she nailed a B qualifier of 60.51m at a warm up throws meet at La Jolla, part of the OTC Pre Olympic series, which proved the foot of her own trail to her London dream.

Under the selection policy, a couple of current B standards are required to qualify in Trial events, provided there is no A holder therein, and getting the first out of the way so early into the season is a considerable burden off her shoulders and as significant a boost.

The 25-year-old got out to a slow start, however, and had to wait until the third round to find her rhythm by way of an outdoor SB of 58.92m, just 5cm shy of a potential indoor world best of 58.97m at Vaxjo (SWE), before she moved up a further chunk into qualifying territory and a useful international win at her fourth attempt.

A 58.21m fifth round served to bolster up her series as she got the better of American record holder and three-time Olympian Suzie Powell, second at a fourth-effort 59.85 on the day, into the bargain.

The event was held on the eve of the discus competition at the MtSAC Relays in Walnut, and the Brit throwers on the UKA camp in California showed up in full to go through their paces before the main assignment of the week.

In the men’s version, European U23 champion Lawrence Okoye and Daegu finalist Brett Morse placed sixth and seventh at 62.27 and 61.06m respectively for further early solid displays in a quality competition that saw three men over 66m.

Okoye recorded two more throws over the 60m line with a follow-up of 61.77m in the fifth round and an opening 60.23m while Morse started off out to 60.39m. Interestingly, that result saw the former going already 2-0 up in between them contests in the incorporated match of the battle for the British summit.

Croatian Martin Maric opened up with a world-leading 66.53m and held on to earn his spurs under the attack of Rutger Smith, who reached a second-farthest-in-the-globe 66.33 (SB) a round later, with fellow Dutchman Erik Cadee closing out the top three at a SB of 66.10m.

In the development edition, U23 Zane Duquemin continued his promising early form to mark a second-farthest ever 59.71m for fifth but Chris Scott struggled with a finger problem to end up last at 56.30m, Brasilian Ronald Juliao prevailing with a SB of 62.97m.

Away from the discus throwing sector, a revamped Brad Walker scaled an opener of 5.72m in the pole vault to bounce vigorously onto the outdoor stage following his silver medal at the World Indoors in Istanbul last month.

Initiating a new regular series drifting way down Memory Lane, let’s recall great Scot Alan Wells outleaning Cuban Silvio Leonard, one of a less than a handful sprinters to have dipped under 10 secs at the time, on the line to snatch the first British gold over 100m in the Olympics since legendary Harold Abrahams in Paris 1924, laying the ghost of 56 years without a title to rest.

The winning time did not strike so spectacular, 10.24 secs on a tailwind of 1.6m/sec, but Wells said afterwards that despite the wind reading on the gauge he felt like running into a headwind from lane eight, a notion that could be backed up by the fact that he had run an easy-looking UK record of 10.11 secs in the semifinals earlier on.

There have been mixed feelings on the road for the British girls as Gemma Steel and Charlotte Purdue battled it out for the top honours in the streets of Dublin to underline their promise whereas Paula Radcliffe suffered a serious blow to her hopes of eventually claiming that elusive Olympic medal in London as she faltered well off her target in Vienna.

On the track, Martyn Rooney opened his account to winning ways in style in Los Angeles and Abi Oyepitan evoked robust glimpses of the form that paved the way to the 200m final in Athens, with young Sophie Papps illustrating a glittering future in the women’s sprints at the Lee Valley.

OMV Half Marathon, Vienna

The much hyped “Emperor vs the Queen” virtual handicap race against great Haile Gebrselassie never really waltzed round the streets of the city of Johan Strauss as Radcliffe faded away over the back end of the half marathon course despite an encouraging start.

On a specially arranged format, the Briton was afforded a headstart of 7:52 on the differential between the lifetime bests of the two legends of distance running and showed purpose in the early stages to move past the opening 5k on schedule in 16:13.

But it turned all uphill from there on as the effects of a recent bout of bronchitis and pleurisy caught up with her and her strength started to waver in a test of mentality rather than an intended gauge of form and sharpener that reared up.

In due consideration, that was a race the world marathon record holder should have never run but she may have fallen for that false feeling of full recovery so many times when strength hasn’t actually settled back in yet, meddled with the anxiety of slipping behind her Olympic agenda.

By stark contrast, the ’emperor’ showed rejuvenated again, as if holding a charm of making, so much so that he soon released his rabbits of their duties to follow his own preferred tempo and breezed past Radcliffe slightly after the 15km mark, extending a shout of encouragement to his credit, on the way to wrapping up both contests in a time of 60.52.

Topping the women in a final time of 72:03, the slowest she has ever returned over the distance, will hardly offer any consolation for the Brit who, as Steve Cram wisely points out, will have to pick her way and races up to London very carefully henceforth, without any margin for mistakes.

SPAR Great Ireland Run, Dublin

The spell of the Olympics in London looks to work wonders on almost every department of home athletics and the spectacle of season revelation Gemma Steel and returning-to-action Charlotte Purdue pulling away from the field into a commanding British one-two in the women’s 10km race stirred life into hope of a revival over a distance that has been deep in the shades in recent years on the track.

Steel worked up a decisive four second gap on her domestic rival over the final kilometre of the course to collect the spoils in a huge best of  32:06, moving ninth in the UK all-time lists, and built on a sound run on all surfaces since autumn but Purdue won’t feel hard done by either with runner-up in a big new lifetime mark of 32:10 to slot into eleventh fastest ever herself.

Even more so when the young AFD runner came into the race still feeling a swift 15:29 long leg at the National Women’s 6-stager at Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham, the previous day in her legs to show that form is falling in nicely down the way. Both times, without a doubt, indicate that the two Brits could pull the A standard of 31:45.00 on the track in the following several weeks and a place on the British team to London, an exciting prospect.

On the other hand, Helen Clitheroe endured a bad day at the office on her comeback from a training spell in Portugal as she looked rather uncomfortable midway through and trailed a long way behind the main action in fourth in 33:02 (SB), with Frenchwoman Christelle Daunay splitting the Brits in third in 32:27.

The men’s race could not bear the term contest by any means as great Kenenisa Bekele stormed to the front with the gun to force a searing pace, confident and flowing round the route, that saw him walk away with victory in a swift 27:49, a huge course record, as none survived on his tail even by the halfway mark.

A gap of almost a minute up on his nearest rival, as well as a few fleeting smiles looking round on the way, told the tale of a man back in serious business and feeling pleased with his form and fitness even though there was hardly a field to really test him over the distance. But time and races will tell whether he is back to his best once he swings onto the track next month with his showdown against Mo Farah over 5000m in Eugene looming large on the horizon.

Spaniard Ayam Lamdassam hung on to runner-up in 28:48 a mere second ahead of Italian Daniele Meucci, fourth and third behind Farah over 10000m in Barcelona, as they trailed a long way behind while Nick McCormick enjoyed another encouraging run to end up fifth in 29:04 and will take plenty of heart from a scalp like former European 5000m champion Jesus Espana.

On the occasion of the countdown into the final hundred days to London Olympics, Team GB go out into the streets of the British capital to get the sense of views and feelings on the ground in anticipation of the greatest showpiece on earth.