UK Athletics have announced a 67-strong side to contest the oncoming World Championships in Daegu at the end of the month a little earlier on which hardly contain any surprise, save Michael Bingham‘s missing in the men’s long relay, but do feature some very notable absences and gaps. Defending global champions Phillips Idowu and Jessica Ennis will lead the British charge for medals in Korea along with a rampant Mo Farah, doubling up in the men’s distances, Dai Greene, Lisa Dobriskey and Jenny Meadows.

Phillips Idowu will spearhead the British challenge in Daegu

Besides them, a flowing Perri Shakes-Drayton, rocketing high Holly Bleasdale, the male long jump duo of Chris Tomlinson and Greg Rutherford, a surging Hannah England, Goldie Sayers and Tiffany Offili-Porter will be eyeing to blaze their way into the medals on a very promising run-up to the championships, while Olympic 400m Christine Ohuruogu, Nicola Sanders, Martin Rooney and Martyn Bernard will be dark horses heading towards the Far East. Look also for some revelations to emerge in the likes of James Shane, Jack Green, Emma Jackson, Nathan Woodward and Andie Osagie among others. Christian Malcolm, a dark horse himself in the 200m, will duly skipper the side on their venture to add to a very successful medal tally and overall presence in Berlin two years ago.

Nevertheless, there have been some notable late casualties like European 10000m silver medalist Chris Thompson, who has apparently opted out since short on fitness and missing the 5000m standard, Jemma Simpson, Lawrence Okoye, Charlene Thomas, Bingham, Hattie Dean, Andy Baddeley, Leon Baptiste, Rhys Williams and Kelly Sotherton which added to earlier withdrawals of the like of Paula Radcliffe, Nathan Douglas, James Dasaolu, Jodie Williams and Tasha Danvers take a considerable dent into the team’s potential.

Yamile Aldama has finally made the cut even in the 11th hour in the women’s triple jump, a nice surprise to see there, while Marlon Devonish deservedly got the nod over Mark Lewis-Francis over the remaining third slot in th men’s 100m, the European silver medalist making only the relay outfit. I think that there was enough convincing evidence towards that decision.

The third 200m spot is left vacant but I speculate that Charles van Commennee may leave it late to name either Danny Talbot or Devonish depending on form, as there could be a similar case in the men’s 400m alongside sole naming Martyn Rooney. James Shane has rightfully gained a discretionary selection over a lately wobblying Baddeley to be the sole representative in what used to be Britain’s flagship event in the 80s, the 1500m, but I reckon Muchtar Mohammed (800m) and Gunny Luke (3000mSC) should have been given a chance likewise.

Further, what with the late absences of the likes of Thompson and Baddeley and with earlier withdrawals or injuries, the cause of British distances has hardly been helped with the wide visible gaps in the distances from 5000m upwards that shape a picture that doesn’t render the actual landscape of these quarters.

On the other hand, the women field events strike far more favourably than any recent major championships with four jumpers and two throwers, which might as well have been three.

I’m a little baffled why Eden Francis hasn’t earned a place as a holder of two B standards in the discus while Conrad Williams could prove a costly omission following a solid late outing last Saturday. Last, despite the outcome of the last couple of counters between the two, I would still gamble on picking Lawrence Okoye in the discus. No offence to Brett Morse, who’s a talented thrower, but right now the former is the only one who could spring a medal in the event, erratic or not.

On the other hand, I reckon that Martyn Bernard’s pick was a smart and sensible move, you know that he relishes to rise to the occasion and most of the times you can get something really good out of him!

To be honest, I think that the season planning at this crucial late stage may have cost Britain a few athletes that could do well in Korea. For many athletes, a week may have been too short a time to pick themselves up from the UK Trials and perform again while several individuals had to seek competitions abroad since organisers at Crystal Palace didn’t provide for them. A two week span in between could have been more effective and efficient.

Overall, the team looks strong across the board and well capable of picking up even three to four golds and a total of eight to ten medals, where a strong start to the championships will be essential with the likes of Ennis and Idowu engaging their frays within the first few days.

MEN
100m
Harry Aikines Aryeetey, Dwain Chambers, Marlon Devonish

200m James Ellington, Christian Malcolm

400m Martyn Rooney

800m Andrew Osagie, Michael Rimmer

1500m James Shane

5000m Mo Farah

10000m Mo Farah

110mh Lawrence Clarke, William Sharman, Andy Turner

400mh Jack Green, Dai Greene, Nathan Woodward

HJ Martyn Bernard, Tom Parsons

PV Steve Lewis

LJ Greg Rutherford, Chris Tomlinson

TJ Phillips Idowu

DT Abdul Buhari, Brett Morse, Carl Myerscough

4x100m Harry Aikines Aryeetey, Marlon Devonish, James Ellington, Mark Lewis-Francis, Christian Malcolm, Craig Pickering, Danny Talbot

4x400m Richard Buck, Chris Clarke, Jack Green, Dai Greene, Luke Lennon-Ford, Nigel Levine, Martyn Rooney, Richard Strachan

Marathon (team) Andrew Lemoncello, Lee Merrien, Dave Webb
WOMEN

100m Jeanette Kwakye, Anyika Onuora, Laura Turner

200m Anyika Onuora

400m Lee McConnell, Christine Ohuruogu, Nicola Sanders

800m Emma Jackson, Jenny Meadows, Marilyn Okoro

1500m Lisa Dobriskey, Hannah England

5000m Helen Clitheroe

3000mSC Barbara Parker

100mh Tiffany Offili-Porter

400mh Eilidh Child, Perri Shakes-Drayton

PV Holly Bleasdale, Kate Dennison

LJ Shara Proctor

TJ Yamile Aldama

JT Goldie Sayers

HT Sophie Hitchon

Heptathlon Jessica Ennis, Louise Hazel

20kmRW Jo Jackson

4x100m Montell Douglas, Jeanette Kwakye, Anyika Onuora, Abi Oyepitan, Asha Philip, Tiffany Offili-Porter, Laura Turner

4x400m Eilidh Child, Lee McConnell, Jenny Meadows, Christine Ohuruogu, Marilyn Okoro, Nadine Okyere, Nicola Sanders, Perri Shakes-Drayton

Marathon (team) Alyson Dixon, Susan Partridge

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