Category: UK Trials


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in the 100m in London; Dwain Chambers and James Dasaolu, the winner and third-placed at the UK Trials, as both were withdrawn from a virtual run-off between main contenders in the backdrop of the Europeans in Helsinki.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.

Jamie Baulch wins the world indoor title in the 400m in 45.73 secs in the 1997 edition of the championships

A new feature on here is a breakdown of the UK Athletics selection policy and a thorough list of British qualifiers, updated as results come in as with London, for the oncoming World Indoor Championships in March. Please, check it out for yourselves! (See section at the top of the page)

Also, take a look at the latest British news.

UK Trials highlights

Men’s 800m

1.Andy Osagie 1:46.84, 2.Mike Rimmer 1:47.64, 3.Gareth Warburton 1:48.13

Men’s High Jump

1.Tom Parsons 2.28, 2.Martyn Bernard 2.28 (SB), 3.Rob Grabarz 2.28 (SB)

Women’s 100m (0.8m/sec)

1.Jeanette Kwakye 11.23, 2.Anyikah Onuora 11.36, 3.Laura Turner 11.39

Men’s 100m (1.2m/sec)

1.Dwain Chambers 10.09, 2.Harry Aikines-Ayreety 10.14, 3.Marlon Devonish 10.14 (SB)

Picking up where I left off yesterday, I’m moving into the women’s events where the picture looks far clearer and the landscape on this side of the team has shaped up to a large extent save the distances from 400m through to the 1500m, where there is still much at stake and some knife-edge run-offs to decide places.

100m A resurgent Jeanette Kwakye and season’s revelation Anyika Onuora have bagged the two automatic places in the women’s dash while Laura Turner has effectively secured hers in a totally convincing third – unless Montell Douglas, who looks to have done enough to take her place in the short relay, has got different ideas and can spring some major upset at the very end.

Jeanette Kwakye post-race interview

Veteran Joice Maduaka and Asha Philip finished tied slightly behind, the former getting fifth on a photo-finish verdict, and at least one of them should fill one more slot in the relay team. Ashleigh Nelson didn’t look fit and I don’t know what her chances could be in that respect.

200m The only holder of an A standard, U20 sensation Jodie Williams, has long ruled herself out of the reckoning so it comes between those holding B standards to earn what looks like a sole place up for grabs. Out of whom, however, Jessica Ennis will be running the distance only at the end of the first day of the heptathlon in Daegu and World Youth champion Desiree Henry is ineligible due to the very young of her age.

Onuora was a thorough winner at the Trials on Sunday and has gained a tight grip on a place, having set a sound four B standards in the process. By contrast, former Olympic finalist Abi Oyepitan may now need to run inside the A benchmark (23.00) to rule her own fate and doesn’t look near that form at all despite her early season promise. Unless Onuora does it herself and grants her a favour.

Maduaka and season surprise Margaret Adeoye hold a B each but they don’t look like they could turn the tables.


400m
Funnily enough, none of the top two in Birmingham will represent Britain in the event in Daegu on different grounds; Perri Shakes-Drayton will be running over the hurdles and Shana Cox is not eligible before November. However, Olympic champion Christine Ohuruogu has virtually clinched her place as she came a clear third and has sneaked under the A standard, setting 51.49 secs in Barcelona the previous week.

Perri Shakes-Drayton in her post-race interview

Scot Lee McConnell has gathered together as many as six B standards, more than any other male or female athlete across events, but would like to finish the business off and will have that chance at Crystal Palace.

Nicola Sanders, on the other hand, still needs an additional B standard and even in that case her fate won’t be entirely in her hands and will most likely hang on McConnell to dip inside the A, a rather awkward situation. Further, she hasn’t got a lane in the women’s 400m at the London GP so she may need to seek a race elsewhere save there is a late B all-British heat lined up.

Kelly Sotherton should be named in the long relay as she came sixth and has got a SB of 52.51 secs as a banker.

800m Jenny Meadows confirmed her undisputed No1 status in the country with a convincing win to register her name in the books of the British team but beyond her a fierce battle royal is building up that involves four runners over potentially two places on offer, provided at least one of them dips under the A standard.

I’m going to give a slender edge to Emma Jackson who has impressed me this season and possesses a fiercesome kick down the home straight, which would stand her in good stead. She writes “sub 2” all over her and it’s been a matter of getting into the right race to commit it on the track and I think the race at Crystal Palace has got all the required ingredients.

Marilyn ‘Maz’ Okoro has shown signs of a return to good form and she will have to strike a good balance between her speed and her tactics as well as shunning any restless urge to pour forward early, while Jemma Simpson will be somewhat of an unknown quantity as she hasn’t raced since the Diamond League meeting in Eugene and has got to do it all in one race. But if she is fully fit then she should edge into a qualifying place.

European U23 bronze medalist Lyndsay Sharp will be the dark horse but her turn of pace over the last hundred can be a headache for everyone.

1500m Hannah England and Lisa Dobriskey were a class apart, as expected, to comfortably claim two automatic spots on the team but Stacey Smith‘s audacious tactics didn’t pay off and she has got to fight it out with returning Charlene Thomas in a tussle with no tomorrow at the Palace.

Charlene’s fitness, however, will be a big question mark as she has been dogged by injury ever since her European Team Champs triumph in Stockholm and has missed plenty of training, therefore Stacey should start as favourite. But if it comes to a more tactical affair with a late burn-up Charlene’s chances should definitely increase as the latter has shown in trouble in such races.

Between the two, it’s Charlene that could do real damage if she arrived fully fit in Daegu but it is fair that she who finishes on top to take the third spot.

5000m Helen Clitheroe has been unlucky with weather conditions in her previous races but she should get a break this once. She has got to definitely grab at least the B standard, lying just four seconds away, and I reckon she’s got a good chance of getting even the A. Therefore, she should make Britain’s sole representative in the event given that Charlotte Purdue has been in effect out of the running.

10000m Britain will not be represented over this distance.

Marathon All three individual athletes named after the London Marathon in April have sadly withdrawn on grounds of injury or lack of fitness, namely Mara Yamauchi, Jo Pavey and Louise Damen. That leaves the British team with Eliz McColgan-coached Alyson Dixon and Susan Partridge who are down only for the team event.

Tiffany Porter post-race interview

100mh Tiffany Offili-Porter formally stamped her passport in style as her place was never in doubt whereas Jessica Ennis, the other A standard holder, will be hurdling only within her heptathlon duties in Daegu.

Gemma Bennett has got a B of 13.08 secs, which would have been double but for a 2.1m/sec tailwind in Crete, and ran 13.19 for third at the Trials on Sunday so she can hold solid hopes that she can make the squad too.

On the other hand, Angie Broadbelt-Blake sees her chances slipping away following a disappointing outing in Birmingham, with a PB of 13.18 secs this season and a marginally windy (2.1m/sec) 13.12 secs in Bedford. But she’s racing at Crystal Palace and could still hope she could turn things round at the end.

Sarah Claxton hasn’t shown anywhere over the last four weeks so her bid looks as good as over.

400mh Perri Shakes-Drayton sealed her place in spectacular manner as she accomplished a superb flat/hurdles 400m double over the weekend and Eilidh Child virtually booked hers as runner-up holding as many as four B standards.

Nonetheless, if the Scot tears round the track inside the A standard at the Palace, which she has shown very capable of, she will also open the door to European U23 bronze medalist Meghan Beesley who fulfils the criteria with two Bs.

Olympic bronze medalist Tasha Danvers has had to skip the current season due to injury concerns.

3000mSC Barbara Parker and Hattie Dean, if she has fully regained her fitness, are certain to be named on the team on their A standards while U23 Eilish McColgan looks very likely to pick up a second B standard at Crystal Palace and make it a full quota of athletes in the event for Britain.

Heptathlon Defending World champion Jessica Ennis goes by right of her title and Commonwealth champion Louise Hazell is certain to be named following her recent PB of 6166pts. I don’t know whether U20 Katarina Johnson-Thompson might plan a late bid as she has got certainly the potential to top 6000pts.

20km RaceWalking Commonwealth champion Jo Jackson has earned her place ever since her 1h31:50 in the streets of London in late May.

HJ Steph Pywell returned with an encouraging 1.88 clearance early last month but hasn’t shown around since, hence the event looks bound to remain out in the wilderness.

PV Rocketing-high new UK record-holder Holly Bleasdale and Kate Dennison have long earned their berths on the team but none else looks anywhere near of filling the remaining vacant spot.

LJ Shara Proctor holds the A standard with a PB of 6.81m and is bound to be named where it may be a tall task for 19-year-old Lorraine Ugen to make 11cm on the B standard, twice at that, following her PB of 6.54m at the weekend. Two-time Olympic top-eight finalist Jade Johnson hasn’t shown at all.

TJ Laura Samuel, the World U20 silver medalist, looks to rediscover her form and fighting insticts and has snatched a late chance to keep whatever hopes alive of pulling a stunner out of her hat in time. Can she do it?

SP The event will stay anonymous as usual in recent times.

DT Jade Nicholls and Eden Francis are going both for broke as they desperately need a second B both to make the trip although the former will have the edge in case both make it – she has got a considerably better SB and PB of 60.76 and has beaten her domestic rival every time out this season.

HT Sophie Hitchon has virtually booked her place having thrown two Bs, doubling as UK records both times, and won bronze at the European U23 Championships.

JT Goldie Sayers has been always a certainty now that she is injury-free again whereas Laura Whittingham needs to grind out a last-gasp B standard to join her on the plane to Korea.

As the curtain has gone down and the dust is still settling in the arena of the Alexander stadium following the UK Trials in Birmingham it is time to make to have a close look at and assess how the potential British team to contest the World Championships in Daegu is shaping up, with a week to spare on the qualification deadline.

MEN

100m Dwain Chambers and Harry Aikines-Ayreety have sealed their places on the squad as they occupied the first two places at the Trials while Marlon Devonish has made a strong case to get the nod over the remaining third spot, missing out on an automatic place by a fraction and performing well when it mattered. Further, he looks as though he could go faster still.

Mark Lewis-Francis, disqualified in Saturday’s final, finds himself once again with his back to the wall, a situation he seems to love, and although he has worked miraculous escapes over the last year he will need something really special to pull it off again. He will definitely need to better Devonish in a likely run-off at Crystal Palace and that will probably require to run his fastest since 2002 (10.04 secs) to this effect.

Marlon Devonish may have done enough to claim the third spot in the 100m

Craig Pickering didn’t contest the final, I hope there is nothing wrong with him, but I think he’s done enough to get selected for the short relay – I don’t think he can get into the fray for that third spot though. On the other hand, James Dasaolu is done for the season with injury and Simeon Williamson is a long way from full fitness yet.

200m Christian Malcolm and James Ellington have likewise secured their own places as top two but third place is anyone’s guess following the results of the final at the Brum yesterday, where surprise third-place Luke Fagan hasn’t got a single B standard yet.

There are six more Brits holding A standards this season to pick from though Aikines-Ayreety may withdraw his interest after an injury in the heats and European U23 silver medalist James Alaka didn’t run over the weekend, a rather unexpected turn given his run of 20.60 secs into a -1.4m/sec in that final in Ostrava would recommend him as a strong contender.

Therefore, that probably leaves Leon Baptiste, Devonish, Danny Talbot and Richard Kilty in the frame still. I might go for Devonish again, who’s recently set 20.60 into a -0.9m/sec wind, in case he would like to bid to double up unless Talbot rediscovers that cutting edge he showed early season.

Last, I would keep an eye on a lively again Ricky Fifton, who might stage a dramatic late rally and surprise people.

400m There is still a blurry situation hanging over the event but there have also been encouraging performances over the last couple of days that offer hope that things could work out nicely in the end. Martyn Rooney has gained an effective grip on the qualification battle as he won the Trials in a big SB of 45.45 secs, a third B, in windy conditions so I’m feeling confident he is going to land the A standard at Crystal Palace to wrap his place up on the strength of that display.

Chris Clarke staged an astonishing return to form to get second in 45.61 secs carving out two Bs out of as many races, setting also a 45.65 secs in the heats, on only a month’s training and should come in line for a place if Rooney gets the A, although he might be coming in with a shout for that benchmark himself and take his fate in his own hands at this rate. What a talent!

Things may look bleak for Michael Bingham but he can take heart from his rally to win the B final in a well-improved 45.91 secs and hold still some hopes that he could bring off a dramatic turnround of the situation – a week is enough for much to happen and I wouldn’t write him off! An alternative, he has definitely got to be named in the relay and be named into the individual later if he runs inside 45.25 secs past the deadline.

I regard Richard Strachan has shown enough to be selected in the relay, where Dai Greene could figure as well, and from there on the remaining one or two places will be up for grabs between Nigel Levine, Richard Buck, Luke Lennon-Ford, Andrew Steele and Rob Tobin – he pulled up in the final, though, and seems to have withdrawn from the all-British B race at Crystal Palace.

800m Mike Rimmer needed a solid display to show he is firmly on his way back to form and got that, so I think he has ensured of his place holding an A of 1:45.12, while Andie Osagie ought to get at least that second B to book his place and to me he looks capable of a lot more than thattherefore I should expect both to be on the plane to Korea.

For the rest there is going to be a mountain to climb as none has got a single B yet though that fall in the heats could turn a blessing in disguise for Muchtar Mohammed, who is fresh and will be racing in Sweden tomorrow against a field that could draw him inside the targeted 1:46.30. Whereas the others will need until around Thursday to recover from three races back-to-back, with Joe Thomas and Gareth Warburton the other ones that look within calling distance of such a time on current form.

1500m James Shane, who totally destroyed the field in the final yesterday, needs one more B to qualify but has got to run the A standard on this sort of awesome form and seal his place in my view, even if it comes in a (Emsley Car) mile. Andy Baddeley is the only one that fulfils any criteria at the moment holding a B and being a top eight finalist in Beijing so should scrape in one way or another, where Nick McCormick has got an awful lot to do in the following days to stand a fair chance.

James Brewer has got plenty of ground to make in such a short space, Niall Brooks is still looking for some decent form and Colin McCourt looks totally off colour.

5000m Mo Farah has come out earlier today to clarify that he will be running both long distances in Daegu, contrary to the original misinterpreting report on BBC, as he only meant that he needs to take one event at a time. In particular, seeing off Bernard Lagat in a sprint finish equated to passing his ultimate test, with flying colours at that, and must have made up his mind on the double-up.

Chris Thompson has missed plenty of racing over the last couple of month and has got to go out and grab the A qualifier straight away although at the moment he is entered in the 3000m race at Crystal Palace. But it seems that there is a late 5000m lined up on the schedule so he could eventually switch there.

U23 Tom Farrell has got a B qualifier of 13:26.59 but hasn’t raced since the NCAA Champs and surprisingly requested not to be considered for the European U23 Champs where he would be favourite for gold, so a serious doubt, and Andy Vernon is probably the only other who could grind out a time inside 13:27.

10000m World No1 and unbeaten outdoors over any distance Mo Farah will be the only British entry as Chris Thompson wishes to focus on the 5000m instead this season.

Marathon There will be no individual but only team competitors for Britain in this event, namely Lee Merrien, Andrew Lemoncello, Thomas Abyu, Ben Whitby and Dave Webb.

Lawrence Clarke and Gianni Frankis top two finish in the 110m hurdles could blow the qualification battle open to many eventualities

110mh Andy Turner has long ensured of his own place on the team in effect but William Sharman‘s game could be on the line if either Lawrence Clarke or Gianni Frankis gets the A standard within the next few days. They both beat him convincingly as they fought neck and neck to the line in 13.58 and 13.59 secs, gaining a third and second B standard apiece, and that -0.8m/sec wind in the final suggests that they can make the higher grade.

400mh Jack Green found himself in no-man’s-land when forced to withdraw from the Trials through illness on Friday but late the following day was back in the driving seat for the third remaining place as European silver medalist Rhys Williams failed to place among the top two, getting off to a very poor start that let him terribly down.  On top of that, having got a lane for a third Diamond League appearance to cement his place so everything looks well back on track for the new European U23 champion.

A little clumsy at the end maybe bug Nathan Woodward holds on to his first senior UK title and an automatic place for Daegu

Dai Greene was always the owner of a place and Nathan Woodward secured his by winning the UK Trials so save some dramatic late twist owed to Williams, or lively-looking again Richard Davenport or Rick Yates, these three should be representing Britain in Daegu at the turn of the month.

3000mSC Luke Gunn and Rob Mullett line up at Crystal Palace and hopefully one of them could edge under the B standard of 8:32.00, but would that be enough? U23 James Wilkinson and, maybe, Mark Draper could also hold hope of getting there too.

20 & 50km Race Walking Britain will not be represented in both walking events.

Decathlon Daniel Awde needs 111 pts to reach the B standard of 8000pts and Sunday saw him run a huge PB of 46.04 secs over 400m, the fastest ever by a British decathlete, so will be hopefully having a last-ditch crack at it.

Long Jump Chris Tomlinson and Greg Rutherford are certain to be named on the team next week following a superb season so far but new British champion Julian Reid needs desperately two Bs to qualify, lying an agonizing 2cm short (8.08m). He is jumping at Crystal Palace and hopefully can line up another competition to clinch that third place in dramatic fashion – or could JJ Jegede bounce on his PB of 8.04m on Saturday and complete the turn-up?

Triple Jump Phillips Idowu has clinched his place from the moment he took off the board to that winning jump of 17.73m in Berlin two years ago but Nathan Douglas is missing the entire season through injury.

Two-time Olympic finalist Larry Achike landed a mere 2cm short of the B standard at his very first attempt yesterday but pulled up after a foul in the second – hopefully there is nothing serious with him as I’ve picked up that he was stretchered off. Julian Reid isn’t lying far off the B standard either at 16.77m.

High Jump Tom Parsons won on countback to confirm his berth for Daegu while European bronze medalist Martyn Bernard and Rob Grabarz both rose over a B standard of 2.28m. The latter two need both a second B to be considered but if one of them betters the A on top of that all three could line up in Korea.

Pole Vault Steve Lewis hasn’t really got going this season but has done enough to secure his place. Neither Max Eaves nor Luke Cutts look like they could provide an upset as concerns qualification.

Shot Put On the face of it, none looks capable of landing the 20m mark twice, not even Carl Myerscough who has shifted his focus on the discus this season.

Discus Everything very much turned upside down as Abdul Buhari and Myerscough clinched the two automatic places and it is going to come down to an effective throw-off between new European U23 champion Lawrence Okoye and Brett Morse at Crystal Palace for that coveted third spot.

My view? I would have loved to see both there but if I had to pick one that would be rather Lawrence at the moment. He is technically erratic, but mentally very competitive, and while he could plunge below 60m he could also pull out something in the 66-67m anytime and snatch a medal at the same time. He is very unpredictable but that could go both ways and since there is a ‘banker’ like a very consistent Buhari to make a solid bid for the final I would gamble on him.

Brett is a more rounded and complete article but has yet to prove himself when it matters and needs work in that department. But he will come good eventually. I don’t think he could range lower than 61-62m in Daegu but at the same time I don’t think he could go over 64m – but I hope I’m wrong in that.

Hammer Alex Smith drew closer to the B standard courtesy of his new PB of 73.26m but sounded desperately short of competitions to achieve his aim – hopefully, something will come his way.

Javelin James Campbell doesn’t seem like getting back his early season form that saw him hurl a 80.18m and bound to miss out. On the other hand, could Lee Doran provide a last-gasp double strike and save the day for the event? He improved to 78.63m at the Trials to come within calling distance of the B standard and he should hope.

Listen Live from BBC Radio 5 LIVE: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/bbc_radio_five_live

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Live Results:

http://www.uka.org.uk/aviva-series/aviva-uk-trials-uk-championships/discipline-list/

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I wonder whether Mo Farah sweated his vest in that strolling 14:00.72 round the ‘park’ at the Brum, felt more like a Bolt-esque parade on the track but in competitive conditions. The man is really being adored in the wake of his amazing string of wins on the circuit and he deserves it all!

Andy Vernon got second in 14:01.72 but there was another missed chance of chasing a B standard and the ship looks like sailing away… Also, just 12 men started the race… Why such a low number of entries?

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Christian Malcolm conquers yet another British title over 200m edging past in the second half of the race to a 20.86 secs into a -1.6m/sec headwind. Anyway, don’t read anything into that, the man is back to his very best and capable of drawing down to at least the low 20 secs.

Christian Malcolm just misses out on gold in Barcelona, can he improve on that form this season?

James Ellington holds on to a priceless second place in 20.91 secs to also reserve his place on the plane to Daegu while Luke Fagan gets a rather surprising third from the outside in 21 secs dead.

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Jenny Meadows has won her first ever – yes, that’s definitely some news! – UK title by turning on a searing sub 59 secs second lap to draw away from a quality field in an eventual 2:02.48 over 800m at the Brum, with Emma Jackson surging past a scrambling Marilyn Okoro into second in 2:02.48 to 2:03.55 and boost her chances of selection.

Yet, both places behind Meadows are up for grabs and it looks destined to go the very end with Jemma Simpson also coming into the fray at Crystal Palace on Sunday. Should be some tussle!

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Martyn Rooney takes pole position in the battle for qualification as he comes through strong in the second half of the race to convincingly win in a big SB of 45.45 secs ahead of a resurgent Chris Clarke who picks up where he left off in the semis to grab the runner-up spot in a SB of 45.61 secs, also a second B. Given the conditions, I’m confident that both can run inside the required 45.25 secs that shapes the A benchmark for selection.

Martyn Rooney comes through in the late stages to claim the 400m title

Dai Greene surges through for third in a big PB of 45.82 secs to pip Richard Strachan to the line, the latter setting 45.85 secs, as Luke Lennon-Ford came fifth in 46.02 and Richard Buck sixth in 46.10 – Rob Tobin did not finish, hope there’s nothing wrong with him there.

Nice to see Michael Bingham and Nigel Levine picking themselves up after yesterday’s disappointments of missing out on the big final to fight it ought down the home straight and finished tied in 45.91 secs, the European silver medalist getting the photofinish verdict. He’s got still a week on his hands and a lot can happen still.

In third place, decathlete Daniel Awde shattered his PB into 46.04 secs, which must be the fastest ever set by a Brit multi-eventer in history, even better than Dean Macey‘s 46.21 secs in Edmonton in 2001.

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Goldie Sayers wins that javelin final hands down at 60.57m to formally seal her place but Laura Whittingham didn’t eventually show up. Hopefully, she can get that much needed second B standard and join Goldie on the trip there.

There was another knife-edge duel that went all the way to the wire in the men’s 110m hurdles but surprisingly favourite William Sharman wasn’t involved in it and now could face an anxious time until he can finally secure his place on the British team.

Lawrence Clarke equaled his two-hour old PB of 13.58 (-0.8m/sec), a second B for Daegu, to nick victory by a mere hundredth ahead of a very strong Gianni Frankis, who also gets a second B standard in 13.59 secs. The qualification race is well on in this one!

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Anyika Onuora comes closer to add a slot in the 200m to her already earned 100m place as she wins the women’s 200m in 23.26 secs into a -0.8m/sec headwind, with Abi Oyepitan a distant second in 23.57 and Margaret Adeoye in 23.59. Following such a heat, that was a let-down from Oyepitan…

Two time Olympic finalist Larry Achike got off to a promising opener of a SB at 16.83m (0.6m/sec), a mere 2cm shy of the B standard, but after a foul at the second attempt he called it quits – hope he didn’t get any injury or something… New UK long jump champion Justin Reid was second on 16.53m (0.2m/sec).

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Perri Shakes-Drayton reigns supreme at the Brum as she wraps up a historic 400m flat/hurdles double in 55.52 through a strong finish in the late stages, comfortably holding off Eilidh Child who comes runner-up in 56.48 and Meghan Beesley third in 57.52 secs. I feel that Perri has definitely to be named as the performer of these UK Trials!

Holly Bleasdale keeps sweeping all before her as she comfortably won the UK senior title over 4.56m before failing three times at a would-be new UK record of 4.71m. Kate Dennison, as expected, was a firm second at 4.40m.

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James Shane has destroyed the field, involving former Dream Mile Winner Andy Baddeley, in the men’s 1500m to run away with victory in a huge PB of 3:36.22, a B standard for Daegu and close to the A. Hopefully, he can find a fast race abroad as he looks definitely in around 3:33-34 shape and nail his place rather than leave it until the last moment in the Emsley Car Mile at Crystal Palace.

A deflated Baddeley comes a distant second in 3:39.44 and Nick McCormick is third in 3:41.66. James Brewer couldn’t cope with two straight races to come last in 3:50.68 but hopefully he will gain his strength and full form fast down the rest of the season.

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Tom Parsons has won a very competitive and tightest good quality high jump on countdown from European bronze medalist Martyn Bernard and Rob Grabarz at 2.28m, a B standard for all. Parsons has got an A of 2.31m from indoors but the other two need to grab a second one in the remaining week up to the Diamond League meeting at Crystal Palace.

Samson Oni suffered a poor outing as he could not manage higher than 2.16m and there was a first appearance for Olympic silver medalist Germaine Mason, just over 2.12m, who looks to have a long way to go until he recovers his full form – but it’s great to see him back in the arena. Another familiar figure from the long past down there was former European U23 champion Ben Challenger who cleared a SB of 2.12m.

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Zac Seddon, who was fifth over 2000m SC at the World Youth Champs in Lille, has delivered a superb performance in the men’s 3000m final over the barriers as he came sixth in a massive PB of 8:54.96 to underline his great promise for the future. His previous mark stood at ‘just’ 9:23.60 before this race! If I’m not mistaken, that has to be the fastest ever by an U18 in Britain!

Luke Gunn was a convincing winner in a SB and UK-leading 8:40.19, U23 James Wilkinson – the European U20 silver medalist in 2009 – was second in a substantial PB of 8:42.86, Mark Draper returned over the barriers with a PB of 8:42.89, Jon Taylor was  fourth in also a PB of 8:48.57 and Tom Doe fifth in a PB of 8:51.92… Now they’ve got to find themselves some faster races and a brace of B standards within a week, not an easy task at all…

Lennie Waite was the women’s winner earlier on in 10:03.18..

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There are three men over 2.28m in the men’s high jump led by Tom Parsons, with Martyn Bernard (SB) and Rob Grabarz (equal PB) following through, so it is winding up into a thriller!

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Shara Proctor has earned her first UK title with a 6.65m (0.3m/sec) leap in the fifth round as Lorraine Ugen grabbed a PB of 6.54m (0.7m/sec) for second, Jessica Ennis was third with a SB of 6.44m and Amy Harris puts up a decent display at a SB of 6.42m (0.3m/sec) – some glimmers of hope on the horizon for a full revival of the event!

Phillips Idowu said earlier on that he has had a tough week of training so opted to sit out the Trials and get the weekend off.

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Some glimmers of hope for a rise in the standard of the women’s long jump as behind hot favourite Shara Proctor, who’s leading comfortably with 6.65m, 19-year-old Lorraine Ugen has apparently set a new lifetime best of 6.54m that will make up to a degree for a disappointing display at the European U23 Champs.

Jessica Ennis has equalled her PB of 6.44m despite employing a new shorter experimental run-up, so her five-stage weekend simulation of a heptathlon is coming off with flying colours, and Amy Harris is putting up a decent outing at 6.40m at the moment.

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World and European champion Phillips Idowu won’t be competing in the men’s triple jump final later on – don’t think it’s anything worrying, he didn’t need to anyway. I don’t know, though, whether that has got to do with his ongoing rift with Charles van Commennee

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Abi Oyepitan looks to get it together when it matters as she goes through to the women’s 200m final the most impressive in 23.38 secs into a -1.0m/sec headwind from the last heat. Margaret Adeoye and Joice Maduaka qualify from the second heat in 23.77 and 23.88 secs into a -2.6m/sec wind, and Anyika Onuora the first in 23.84 from Hayley Jones in 23.92 secs in the first (-2.3m/sec).

The big shock of the preliminary round of the men’s 200m is the elimination of Marlon Devonish especially after gaining a sound foothold in qualification over 100m coming third in 10.14 secs yesterday. He finishes second to Richard Kilty in 21.12 secs (-1.2m/sec) in the opening heat and can’t make it through as a fastest loser. Hopefully, there’s no case of an injury or something.

Christian Malcolm coasts through in style in 21.01 into a -1.4m/sec in the following heat ahead of Danny Talbot, who still makes it as a fastest loser in 21..08 secs, James Ellington catches the eye in 20.85 secs (0.2m/sec) to win the third from Luke Fagan (20.94), also making a fastest loser, Harry Aikines-Ayreety gets the fourth in 21.27 secs (-0.7m/sec) and Commonwealth champion Leon Baptiste the fifth in 21.01 secs (-0.1m/sec) ahead of Ricky Fifton, last fastest loser in 21.10 secs.

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The upset has been completed in the men’s discus as Abdul Buhari walks out a proud new UK champion with that 63.32m to book his place on the team to Daegu, as does ‘old dog’ Carl Myerscough holds on to the second effective qualifying place with that 61.63m.

That causes serious headache for the selectors who will have to pick between Welsh record holder Brett Morse, who came a narrow third at 61.57m, and new European U23 champion and No4 in the world rankings Lawrence Okoye who couldn’t get higher than fifth with just 58.67m – it seems it could all go to the wire!

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Lawrence Clarke eases through as fastest qualifier into the final in a PB of 13.58 secs (-0.7m/sec) in the third and final heat that also serves as a second B qualifier for Daegu – he’s very close to taking that trip now.

William Sharman gets the second in 13.88 secs into a -0.6m/sec headwind and Gianni Frankis the opening in 13.78 secs into a -1.1m/sec wind, with Julian Adeniran and Andy Pozzi following tied in 13.98 secs – a PB for the youngster who goes through as a fastest loser.

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Brett Morse moves second with 61.57m but Abdul Buhari responds with a big lead of 63.32m and gets a solid foothold at the top of the discus final – could he upset the two big names?

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Carl Myerscough may have gone with the fourth furthest mark of 65.04m into that much anticipated discus final but he is a man who knows well his way round the ropes and carves out an early lead of 61.63m in his first effort. The big boys, Brett Morse and European U23 champion Lawrence Okoye, are quite low at the moment below 60m and Abdul Buhari is up in second with 60.57m.

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Tom Bosworth has got the third and final day of the UK Trials to a rolling start as he sets a new British record of 19:27.87 over 5km of race walking, obliterating his PB of 20:17.6 set earlier this month, at the Brum in Birmingham. It will be interesting to see how he translates that into the 20km where he holds a PB of 1:27:18 set in Dublin last month.

Commonwealth champion Jo Jackson follows on shortly to clinch the women’s title in a SB of 21:42.32 over the same distance.

World and European multi-eventer champion Jessica Ennis enters the scene of the UK Trials as she is embarking on a five-stage simulation of a heptathlon across the weekend as a dress-rehearsal in view of the defence of her title in Daegu.

For that matter, it could work up to six stages if coach Toni Minichiello convinces her of doing an 800m time trial after the Trials, as he tweeted in a banter yesterday, while the only discipline that looks out of the reckoning for the weekend is the 200m.

Women’s Shot

Jessica’s weekend venture gets off to the shot where she will be aiming to go over 14m for the first time outdoors this season and hopefully challenge her 14.61m total PB from the indoor term. A very interesting figure and a look at the future among competitors will be World Youth silver medalist Sophie McKinna, a recent PB of 15.71m, that comes in with a shout at something over 16m.

Discus specialist Eden Francis (16.68 PB), improving Rachael Wallader (16.28 PB) and Rebecca Peake (16.16) ought to decide between them the three medals on offer.

Women’s 400m hurdles

With Beijing bronze medalist Tasha Danvers sitting out the season, qualification will turn a formality with three athletes fulfilling the criteria available for three places on offer if European finalist Eilidh Child (55.67) steers inside the A standard of 55.40 secs, and on her current form and a recent huge PB of 52.28 secs over the flat she promises well more than that and could even surge under 55 secs.

Competitionwise, though, the event has all the ingredients of a highlight as Perri Shakes-Drayton (54.77) has shown in superb form and poised to break through into the 53 secs territory, flowing on the track, so will be the undisputed favourite to clinch the title, quite likely her second in the championships.

Nevertheless, the 400m flat final the previous day may have taken something off her strength and in-form surging Child will be lurking to pounce on a potential opening, so this could turn into a very competitive affair.

Meghan Beesley has enjoyed a great season as yet capped with a European U23 bronze medal in a big PB of 55.69, holds the required two B standards and consequently high hopes of being selected for Daegu.

Men’s Javelin

James Campbell started the season strongly as he reached a B standard of 80.18m, topping the UK lists, early in the season but instead of building on that his formed has faltered badly and he needs to rediscover that edge before it’s too late – and time is ruthlessly running out. At the same time, Lee Doran (77.54 PB) rises as the man in form and a slight favourite to edge the competition.

Third-ranked Matt Hunt is out injured so U23 Dan Pembroke (75.89 PB) along with tentatively returning Merwyn Luckwell (75.35) will be the main contenders for bronze.

Men’s Long Jump

Both Chris Tomlinson and Greg Rutherford will be missing due to minor injuries, though expected to be back in action shortly, so the way is wide open for recently Jamaican-turned-Brit Julian Reid to land his first domestic title. Nevertheless, his mind will be set more on landing on the right side of the B standard (8.10) that he is lying an agonizing 2cm shy of (8.08 PB).

JJ Jegede could offer some decent competition on a SB of 7.82m and U23 Paul Oluyemi is a latest surprise on a recent PB of 7.71m to sneak a medal.

Men’s 400m

It has been a strange season for the event as none of the two European medalists and regular sub 45 men, Michael Bingham (45.42) and Martyn Rooney (45.63), have set the scene alight so far although the latter has shown signs of a swift recovery of form in his last two outings.

Neverthleless, I’ve got a feeling that all that is about to change this weekend at the Brum and I’m looking to both to step up their game and fight it out all the way for the UK title and inside the A qualification territory. Further, European 400m hurdles champion Dai Greene will be out there to test them and it could come down to a matter of flat vs hurdler pride between them to push each other to fast times.

That said, the picture of the event admittedly looks blurry at the moment and could be more likely to clear up next weekend at Crystal Palace. There are many men gathered behind that will be eyeing that third individual place on offer which makes for a wide open contest where many things could happen, but Richard Strachan holds a slight advantage as the only one with two B standards (twice 45.70 PB).

Luke Lennon-Ford, Rob Tobin, Andrew Steele, European U23 champion Nigel Levine, Conrad Williams and Richard Buck all come in with a shout and will be also keen on a relay spot. Hopefully, Chris Clarke could stage a good comeback to form as well.

Women’s 100m hurdles

This is Jessica Ennis’s second stop of the day where she will be taking on burgeoning Tiffany Offili-Porter, who comes to the UK Trials on the back of a huge UK record and fifth fastest in the world 12.60 secs in Monaco.

While this could be dubbed as a cutthroat head-to-head encounter a few months ago, the latter has come a long way and spared plenty of daylight on her domestic rival since and will be looking to seal her place in style. Ennis, all the same, is the ultimate competitor and is going to chase hard and never relinguish her efforts down to the wire, never knowing when she is defeated, so this could turn into a real race should the former American doesn’t perform to form.

Gemma Bennett and Angie Broadbelt-Blake will engage in a separate incorporated race for third, with an eye to dipping inside the B qualifying territory, and Ashley Helshby will be hoping to pick off someone of the above and sneak into the top four.

Beijing finalist Sarah Claxton is missing and Commonwealth heptathlon champion Louise Hazell will be looking for a nice workout.

Women’s Discus

This is very much turns into a duel between Jade Nicholls and Eden Francis with plenty at stake that has all the ingredients of an exciting and gripping affair from beginning to the very end. Both hold a single B standard apiece and need to replicate that to be considered but only one could make her way to Daegu so the win will be vital as well.

Nicholls holds a firm upper hand as she has beaten her rival every time out this season and has got a substantial lead of a PB of 60.76m compared to Francis’s 59.72, also a PB, but a turn of tables could shift the balance the other way round.

Philippa Roles hasn’t displayed form sufficient to pose a real threat and is the best bet for third.

Women’s High Jump

Stop No3 for Ennis here where she will be looking to at least better her SB of 1.91m from Gotzis early in the season and Steph Pywell could provide some good needed opposition to push her higher on her recent SB of 1.88m.

Men’s Pole Vault

Steve ‘Air’ Lewis lies head and shoulders above the rest but has failed to translate his form into heights and he needs to get going at some point as the World Championships are approaching fast. He holds about four B standards topping at 5.62m so can gain selection on this ground but things could get complicated if Max Eaves could pull something out of his hat like he did in Delhi last October and has vaulted over 5.61m indoors at that.

Luke Cutts has got a B under his belt from indoors but hasn’t competed since May and there will be a serious question mark hanging over his fitness here.

Men’s 1500m

Although the event has reaped plenty of success at U23 and U20 level on the international stage, seniors have been struggling for form and James Shane was called upon to pull the chessnuts out of the fire at the European Team Championships in Stockholm where he turned more than equal to a daunting task.

Since then, he has been coming along awesomely to win a superb silver at the recent European U23 Championships in Ostrava and looks as though he could dip under the A standard as well – Frenchman Carvalho, the man who narrowly beat him to gold, ran 3:33.60 a week later if it is anything to go by. Therefore, I’m going to tip him to lift the UK senior title on top of that as he has displayed the required consistency, he is tactically sound and a pretty fast finisher as well.

By stark contrast, Andy Baddeley‘s form has looked as troublesome as his tactics and his last outing in Barcelona where the dragged round the track in last in 3:46.56 has raised serious questions while Tom Lancashire is still sidelined and could hardly make it in time with a little over a week to spare on the deadline.

Nick McCormick has been consistent all season and could figure high, a SB of 3:37.00, and one should keep an eye on swiftly returning and tactically astute James Brewer, where Colin McCourt will be a dark horse.

Women’s Hammer

Sophie Hitchon has all but booked her place on the plane to Daegu by way of two B standards, coupling as UK records as well, and a fabulous bronze at the European U23 Championships and just needs a solid performance to wrap it up.

The only one capable of drawing a lifeline is Sarah Holt, who had a big foul recently, but it will take a hell lot to deny Hitchon that priceless place on the British team.

Christine Ohuruogu and Perri Shakes-Drayton have comfortably qualified through their heats in winning ways in the women’s 400m to set up a mouth-watering clash in the final tomorrow, turning in the two fastest times in the process, but Jack Green was forced to withdraw from the men’s 400m hurdles battle through illness to see his hopes of gaining an individual berth for Daegu all but end.

In fact, Olympic champion Ohuruogu went off to a blinder of a start (reaction 0.121) that even top sprinters would be green with envy of to gain a swift hold of the fourth and final heat before easing to a 52.08 secs win, her second fastest this season, but one should also take note of Lee McConnell‘s close finish in 52.23 secs for a comprehensive second suggesting that she could pose a danger – her sixth B qualifier come to that!

In the previous heat, European 400m hurdles bronze medalist Shakes-Drayton had easily dominated in an even more striking manner in 52.19 secs to spare plenty of daylight on Nicola Sanders, who was content to secure the second automatic spot in 52.81 secs, while Shana Cox notched up the opening run in 52.51 secs ahead of Kelly Sotherton (52.94).

Shakes-Drayton, however, has got to ensure that she saves up well in the heats of her specialist event earlier at noon tomorrow and give herself a fair chance to complete a rare flat/hurdle double in the championships, which she is most capable of. In the A final four hours later, she goes in lane five just outside Ohuruogu and with Cox and Sanders in her sights on the outside.

The highly anticipated men’s 400m hurdles battle royal received a huge blow when new European U23 champion Jack Green announced his withdrawal through illness, tonsilitis, to leave the way totally open to his two major rivals, Nathan Woodward and Rhys Williams, to claim the two much coveted top two places in the final that effectively lead to Daegu.

According to the selection policy, the first two claim automatic qualification provided they hold the A standard, as both Woodward and Williams do, while the third place is certain to go to European champion Dai Greene who is trying his hand over the flat 400m. Therefore, Green’s hopes hang by a thread.

On the track, Woodward was an easy victor of the second heat in 50.56 secs and Williams grabbed the fourth in an identical 50.58 secs to set up a duel between them for the spoils in the final, nevertheless Rick Yates showed quite lively to post the fastest time through in a SB of 50.24 secs from the opening section and could fancy his chances to spoil the party. As a matter of fact, he comes from a PB of 21.6 secs over 200m and it’s going to be intriguing to see how that translates into his times.

All top names were through without any problems in the men’s dash but a slight surprise package was Ricky Fifton to post the second fastest time in a big SB of 10.32 secs (0.9m/sec) as he hadn’t shown much up to now this term. Hot favourite Dwain Chambers was head and shoulders over the second heat in 10.46 secs into a strong headwind (-2.3m/sec) while Mark Lewis-Francis got the fastest time of 10.30 secs (-0.2m/sec) out of the first round to show that he means serious business and Christian Malcolm looked smooth in winning the final heat in 10.38 secs (-0.1m/sec).

Laura Turner was the most impressive out of the preliminary round of the women’s 100 as she clinched the second heat in 11.50 secs (0.5m/sec) and Montell Douglas showed as though she could be a factor in taking the third in 11.55 secs (0.1m/sec). Jeanette Kwakey and Anyika Onuora won, as expected, the remaining two sections in 11.61 (0.1m/sec) and 11.46 (2.0m/sec) respectively.

There were no surprises in the women’s 800m first round where Jenny Meadows must have been pleased to see that none has gained any ground on her on the international stage as Semenya Caster sank deep in eighth and Cuban Yuniesi Santiusti looked like talling off in Stockholm at the same time. Marilyn Okoro, Emma Jackson, Lyndsay Sharp and sensational U17 Jessica Judd all advanced to join her in the semifinals tomorrow.

On the men’s side, however, European U23 bronze medalist Muchtar Mohammed suffered a fall to miss out in a very slow second heat that was won by a lively again Niall Brooks, fourth at the World U20 Championships last summer. Mike Rimmer moved through in the fastest time of 1:50.46 followed closely by a revamped Steve Fennell in 1:50.58 and Andie Osagie eased to a comfortable 1:51.53 top place in the final heat.

Hannah England, Lisa Dobriskey and Stacey Smith cruised through the heats of the women’s 1500m where steeplechaser Barbara Parker showed intent to test the specialists as she set the fastest time in winning the first semifinal in a SB of 4:17.61. The worrying news, however, is that missing Charlene Thomas could be doubtful even for Crystal Palace next weekend and that could give selectors a headache depending mainly on how Smith fares in the final.

The first UK title went over to Alex Smith who unleashed a PB of 73.26m in the hammer, farthest by a Briton in seven years, in the fifth round that takes him closer to the B qualifying standard of 74m – yet, he still needs a brace of them and has got only a week available to find them. Mike Floyd was second at 70.85m and Mark Dry third at 70.33m.

World U20 silver medalist Laura Samuel showed to recapture her form and fighting insticts even late as she found herself with her back to the wall when Yasmine Regis sneaked the lead with a 13.61m (1.2m/sec) in the last round to grind out an immediate response of a SB of 13.67m (0.8m/sec) and snatch gold back at the death. Pre-event slight favourite Nadia Williams never really got into it and had to do with third well behind at 13.37m (-0.3m/sec).

Full Results

http://www.uka.org.uk/aviva-series/aviva-uk-trials-uk-championships/discipline-list/

As the outdoor season gathers pace swinging off the top bend and into the run-in to Daegu, the UK Trials assume the stage to set the scene for the British challenge for silverware and entertain the country’s best athletes who will be vying for those priceless places on the team bound to represent Britain at the World Championships over the next three days. The venue will be a refurbished ‘Brum’ at the heart of the Midlands in Birmingham and the background is set with no less than seven national records headed by a new European mark by Mo Farah in the men’s 10000m, a best ever haul of Diamond/Golden League wins in history and a host of top tier performances across the board.

Therefore, anticipation and tension is building up sharply as the clock is ticking away the hours to the outset of the Trials tomorrow as enthralling and gripping contests are looming on all corners of the arena. This is the moment of truth, this is the crunch and the time to reap the rewards for the endeavours and pains of a whole year leading up to this point. Of course, not all is going to be decided now, with plenty at stake still all along the following week peaking in the Diamond League meeting at Crystal Palace next weekend. But every athlete that finishes in the top two of an event and holds the respective UK Athletics A standard gains an automatic berth on the British team while a top three placing could offer a solid foothold into the reckoning.

Apart from already mentioned above Mo Farah, established top names like Phillips Idowu, Jessica Ennis, Christine Ohuruogu, Dai Greene, Lisa Dobriskey, Jenny Meadows, Dwain Chambers and Andy Turner as well as up-and-coming stars of the likes of Perri Shakes-Drayton, Holly Bleasdale, Hannah England, Lawrence Okoye, Jack Green will parade before the spectators and the viewers making for a pulsating three days of action.

Hopefully, weather will turn an ally and back the efforts of the athletes the whole three days through, with warm gentle temperatures and slight favourable breezes. So let the Trials commence!

MEN

100m

Dwain Chambers is the overwhelming favourite to claim the UK title and hopefully sweep under 10 secs for the first time this season, which would double as the first legal sub 10 clocking by a Briton on home soil in history, following the most impressive run-up of his career that involves five races in the 10.0 secs region topped with a 10.01 secs (2.0m/sec) winning run in Brasil.

Nevertheless, his most eye-catching showing has been arguably his narrow runner-up display by a mere two hundredths to former Olympic champion Justin Gatlin, setting 10.13 to 10.11 secs respectively into a strong headwind (-1.6m/sec), in his last outing in Madrid so he looks as though he is peaking at the right time.

Behind him there appears to be shaping up be a separate tight tussle for that much coveted second spot where Harry Aikines-Ayreety is holding a slender edge on a healthy string of both windy and legal marks between 10.09 and 10.14, SB of 10.13 (1.1m/sec).

Mark Lewis-Francis has been racing against time to turn up fully fit and sharp at the starting-line tomorrow and his slightly windy 10.23 secs at the same venue last Saturday signaled encouraging signs while Craig Pickering shows solid again lying on the verge of the A standard in a recent SB of 10.19 secs (1.9m/sec). Nevertheless, none should overlook good ‘old’ Marlon Devonish who is vastly experienced and knows to raise his game when it matters, tied with Pickering in the UK lists.

James Ellington and new European U23 champion James Alaka will be the dark horses going into the contest which also features European 110m hurdles champion Andy Turner, over to the flat to test his raw speed, and Barcelona 200m silver medalist Christian Malcolm, who will be fancying his chances to upset a few names in the short dash.

The third place is likely to be decided in a run-off and open even wider at Crystal Palace the following weekend, especially if the likes of absent James Dasaolu and Simeon Williamson show up.

Hammer

Commonwealth silver medalist Alex Smith has steadily worked his way back to the top of the domestic front with a recent SB of 72.90m in Holland, just 5cm shy of his PB, but will need to make up a further 1.10m that is left up to a first B standard (74.00) – and he needs two to make the team! Can he make it? It’s been a long while since Britain was last represented at global level in the event and the 23-year-old Sale Harrier rises as the likeliest prospect.

Andy Frost has returned to his very best with a PB of 72.79m and along with Mark Dry and Mike Floyd, who have also both PB’ed with 72.49 and 71.73m respectively this term, harbour their own hopes to turn the tables to their own advantage.

400m hurdles

With European champion Dai Greene turning his hand to the flat 400m over some sound speedwork, the affair turns into a pure relentless two-past-the post trial with no margin for error and no way back for three major contenders. There will be no quarters given nor taken!

The recent 400m hurdles final in Ostrava between Green and Woodward

The championship duels between Jack Green and Nathan Woodward have been nothing less than breathtaking and nailbiting this season, having claimed one apiece at the death, and this one should hardly turn any different as there is not much to pick between them. Oddly enough, both times the defeated stumbled bad over the last hurdle to offer further evidence of how close and tense their battles have been.

New European U23 champion Green (48.98) will be on a high following his triumph in Ostrava, with also two recent excellent Diamond League outings under his belt, and likes to run a conservative first 200m building up into a powerful last hundred into the race and might offer a slender favourite.

By contrast, Woodward (48.71 PB) relishes going out hard over the first 300m and hold his form down the home straight, a wide different approach on top, and has been as impressive of late and looked flowing and strong round the track in Ostrava despite his defeat.

Those said, none should underestimate European silver medalist Rhys Williams (49.59 SB), who has been quiet so far but is a born championship performer and could knock chunks off his SB.

From there on, it is going to be a tall order for anyone else to get between those three but Niall Flannery (49.76 PB), Thomas Phillips (49.78 PB) and a rejuvenated Richard Davenport (49.91 PB) will be seeking to take further inroads inside 50 secs.

800m

I’m going to tip a surging Andie Osagie to clinch his first senior UK title on the strength of his big PB of 1:45.63 PB in his only second race this term at Trafford last weekend, he is on a sharp upturn and his searing finish has got to stand him in good stead. Further, he seemed to have got be plenty left in the tank and I would expect him to ride under 1:45 soon although that may not be necessary to book his place on the team.

European silver medalist Mike Rimmer has been mysteriously struggling for form after a searing start to the season and his last showing in Birmingham rather raised more worries and questions than answered. But he’s got the A standard with an early 1:45.12 and if he turns on a convincing display in the top three that should be enough for selection.

Muchtar Mohammed (1:46.58 PB), bronze medalist at the European U23 Champs, Gareth Warburton (1:46.95), third at the European Team Championships, and UK Indoor champion Joe Thomas (1:46.77) are all capable of dipping inside the B standard but they will have to make up their minds whether to pull their resources together and make a fast race out of it. It’s not going to be easy picking themselves up to chase two B standards within the remaining last week and thing could easily go the wrong way.

Former European bronze medalist Sam Ellis, a revamped Steve Fennell, U20 Guy Learmonth and hopefully Niall Brooks will be the dark horses going into the affair.

10000m

There will be no Mo Farah, Chris Thompson or even Andy Vernon, who has switched late to the lower distance, so this ought to fare in the region of 28 mins and the only one to have an outside shot at the B standard should be Keith Gerrard with a PB of 28:27.03 in spring at Stanford (USA).

WOMEN

100m

World and European U20 champion Jodie Williams will be missing and therefore take some of the gloss off the women’s dash showdown, consistent with her rather erratic approach towards senior competition, but there will be plenty to look forward to with three sprinters comfortably inside the A standard on show.

As things look right now, it’s going to be more a matter of the order in which season revelation Anyika Onuora (11.18 PB), back-to-form Beijing finalist Jeanette Kwakye (11.15) and Laura Turner (11.23) are going to come home in the final as they should normally fill the top three spots.

Beyond them, there will be Ashlee Nelson (11.38), UK record holder Montell Douglas (11.39), veteran Joice Maduaka and, why not, Asha Philip holding remote hopes of staging an upset and picking off one of the top three but ensuring of a place in the short relay may form a more realistic target at this stage.

400m

Perri Shakes-Drayton will be out to attempt a rare 400m flat/hurdles double at these Trials so is expected to be among the busiest athletes over the next three days, with the rounds of the two events overlapping at that. She is faced with a gruelling and demanding four races and she will still have to arrive with enough strength left to fight off the challenge of Eilidh Child in the hurdles on Sunday.

However, as concerns the flat distance I feel that she is going to have too much for everyone else despite the presence in the field of reigning Olympic champion Christine Ohuruogu and former world silver medalist Nicola Sanders, having showed potential to run something in the middle 50 secs on her recent outings. Thus, she’s my favourite to clinch this.

Ohuruogu, for her part, will be buoyant after her win in Barcelona sneaking under the A standard in 51.49 secs and will be seeking to strengthen her position on the international stage with a time in the low 51 secs but should face tough opposition for the runner-up spot by Shana Cox (51.24), not yet eligible for selection but blooded in her first top tier British final.

Lee McConnell (51.56) has been churning out times in the lower end of the B standard territory but has to pull something under 51.50 secs to shrug off any worries of missing out while Sanders must have taken plenty of heart from her big SB of 51.94 secs also in Barcelona last Friday and will be eyeing to knock another chunk off on the way.

A very interesting figure will be heptathlon-turned-400m runner Kelly Sotherton seeking her first cut into the B qualifying territory with a SB of 52.51 secs where Nadine Okyere and Kelly Massey will be hoping to gain a footing in the 4x400m team.

800m

I can’t see how Jenny Meadows (1:59.27) could possibly lose this one as she is fully equipped to deal with anything thrown at and her form has been as reliable and good as ever, a superb tactician and racer in the full sense of the word. Incredibly enough, though, she is yet to win a national title!

Marilyn Okoro (2:00.60) is showing glimpses of her form of old but she has to balance out brain and brawn to pull off an upset, meaning not to get carried away into some frenzied opening lap that will knock her off in the late stages. Besides, Emma Jackson (2:00.24) and European U23 bronze medalist Lyndsay Sharp (2:00.65) are both fierce kickers and are going to be very dangerous at the end so there is no room for crazy acts – though history shows they can work at times either!

Jemma Simpson is forced to miss the Trials as she couldn’t be ready in time to do herself justice so she’s going to go for broke at the Diamond League at Crystal Palace to grab a place in the sun of the Far East in search of an A, or at least B depending on the case, qualifying time on top of that. Finally, a very notable entry is that of sensational U17 Jessica Judd with a superb 2:02.70 to her credit and she might fancy her chances of beating Jo White’s longtime age group UK best.

1500m

Hannah England finds herself in a rather unusual position of turning up as favourite to claim the spoils following her brilliant breakthrough display of 4:01.89 in Spain last Friday but looks to have come of age and she should cope with the pressure, possessing a deadly kick in her armoury.

Along similar lines, world silver medalist Lisa Dobriskey may not be firing on all cylinders yet but she is improving fast and should get that second spot the easy or the hardy way and book her place on the plane to Daegu.

With Charlene Thomas still missing the action, Stacey Smith will be favourite to round off the top three placings at the Trials but it looks as though it’s going to go all the way to the wire over who will be joining England and Dobriskey on the British team.

Barbara Parker is a very interesting entry having switched from the 3000m steeplechase over apparently some speedwork and there are U23s Stevie Stockton and Steve Cram-coached Laura Weightman lining up as well.

Triple Jump

Maybe the time has come to witness the first legal jump over 14m by a British girl since the days of great Ashia Hansen. Nadia Williams and world U20 silver medalist Laura Samuel set slightly windy jumps of 13.94m and 13.77m respectively at the England Championships in Bedford a fortnight ago and could envisage pulling off a breakthrough tomorrow, but who between them can make it? My money might be on young Samuel who has shown that she can improve by large distances when it comes to the crunch.