The women’s 1500m always promised to be one of the most dramatic of the weekend, with the UK’s top-3 all lining up with the ‘A’ standard in the bag and going for the victory that would guarantee their ticket to Moscow.
The race delivered but for all the wrong reasons as first Lisa Dobriskey, and then Laura Weightman went crashing out of the race and failed to finish.
Emma Jackson led the field through the opening laps as she stepped up to the longer mid-distance event before Dobriskey stepped off the track with 600m gone, seemingly to injury.
Exactly one lap later, as the field got in position for the bell, Laura Weightman and Charlene Thomas were involved in a collision that saw Weightman get spiked, turn her ankle on the bend and leave the track in tears.
The last surviving ‘A’ standard holder, Hannah England, managed to go through unscathed and, after sitting on the shoulder of the leader, kicked away on the final bend to take victory and guarantee selection in 4:10.99. Whilst pleased to win, the 2011 World Champs silver medallist was disappointed with the way the race panned out.
“I’m pleased to have won, I am delighted to have booked myself on the plane to Moscow, but I am disappointed to have won in that way. I wanted to beat the others fair and square so I am disappointed I didn’t get to do that. I wanted to execute my tactics today but with the falls that didn’t really happen.
Falls are a part of the 1,500m, but it’s rare to see that in a British only race, but I think that’s just a mark of the quality of the field we have.”
Michael Rimmer put recent injury concerns to one side to guarantee himself selection for Moscow.
Rimmer hit the front with 250m to run and despite tying up badly towards the line, the only British ‘A’ standard-holder held on to take the title in 1:47.79 ahead of Mukhtar Mohammed (1:47.86).
“My preparation hasn’t been the best with getting injured. It was the worst possible race, you know, scrappy, pushing, dodging and weaving. It was a tough last 50m, I was so scared. I could tell from the crowds that there was someone coming, but luckily I sneaked in on the line” Rimmer admitted.
With no other runners achieving the 1:46.20 ‘B’ standard, the absent Andrew Osagie would be very unlucky not to gain selection despite UKA’s policy of not taking an athlete on a ‘B’ standard who has competed at the World Championships or Olympics before.
Ditto Steph Twell, who said she was “super happy” to win the senior trials for the first time in the 5000m. The Aldershot, Farnham and District athlete was a whisker away from the ‘A’ standard eight days ago in Paris, clocking 15:18.60, and enjoyed the challenge of championship running on Sunday. She will, however, also be hoping the selectors’ discretion sees her picked for Moscow after taking victory in 15:55.01.
“Most of my races this season have pretty much been time trials and me racing against myself, so it’s fantastic to have a championship race and when the girls were running with me I just wanted to see how hard they would go, and I was able to respond.”
Nigel Levine clocked the fastest time from a Brit this year in winning the 400m title. The Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow athlete guaranteed himself selection for the World Champs, dipping inside the ‘A’ standard by five hundredths in 45.23. Shara Proctor successfully defended her UK long jump title with her one and only jump of 6.84m in the second round.
Robbie Grabarz was already guaranteed selection for the World Champs by virtue of his Diamond League-winning performance last year. The UK number one successfully defended his UK title, jumping 2.28m to take victory by three centimetres ahead of Tom Parsons and was happy enough with the height.
“I think the height was acceptable – probably the lowest I’d go home with and not cry myself to sleep. Today was good fun, defended my title and everything’s looking good and my body’s feeling fine so I’m happy.”
The men’s triple jump final saw the top-two separated by just five centimetres as Julian Reid jumped a season’s best of 16.79m for victory. Eilish McColgan booked her ticket to Moscow by successfully defending her 3000m steeplechase title in 9:56.02 while Brett Morse guaranteed qualification in the discus. The UK number one and ‘A’ standard holder threw 62.05m to win by almost eight metres.
Belgrave’s Will Sharman equalled his season’s best of 13.44 in victory in the 110m hurdles but finished four hundredths shy of the World Champs ‘A’ mark and will be another relying on selectors’ discretion for Moscow selection. UK number two Sally Peake comfortably took the UK pole vault title with a jump of 4.23m.
The men’s 5000m saw Andy Vernon and Nick McCormick lead the field out in pursuit of the 13:20.00 ‘B’ mark. The duo shared the pace before the Aldershot, Farnham and District man forged on at halfway, building up a 60m gap through 4k in 11:00.33.
London Olympian McCormick faded in the heat and was caught by Jonny Mellor with two laps to run as the long-time leader continued to look strong and powerful. Vernon crossed the line just outside his season’s best in 13:43.17 but rued early season injury that has put paid to his World Champs hopes.
“I’m still getting fitter and fitter, put me in a good race at the moment and in some good conditions and I will run close to my PB. I’ve got a race on the 3 September and that’s the one I am going to be targeting for a PB.”
McCormick (13:59.52) used his 1500m pace to kick home for second as Mellor (14:00.76) smashed his season’s best for third.
James Ellington successfully defended his 200m title to guarantee selection for the World Champs. Ellington clocked 20.45 (+3.4m/s) to hold off the challenge of fellow ‘A’ standard holder Richard Kilty (20.50). Anyika Onoura was in sparkling form in the women’s event, streaking clear of a field that contained recently-crowned UK 100m champion Asha Philip in 22.71 (+2.5m/s).
Perri Shakes-Drayton secured her fifth UK title in the 400m hurdles, going out hard and hanging on for victory in 54.36 ahead of Eilidh Child (54.90) and Meghan Beesley (55.39), who once again dipped inside the World Championships ‘A’ standard.
The women’s hammer saw Shaunagh Brown enjoy a close victory over Trafford’s Carys Parry (62.33m) with a throw of 62.71m whilst Sale’s Rosie Semenytsh went from seventh last year to first this with a throw of 49.76m.
Full results from the whole weekend HERE