Report01 Jul 2018

Ugen and Asher-Smith set championship records to win British titles


Lorraine Ugen in the long jump at the British Championships in Birmingham (© Getty Images)

Lorraine Ugen’s world-leading 7.05m leap in the long jump was one of six championship records broken in Birmingham at the British Championships, which concluded on Sunday (1) after two days of competition.

The 2016 world indoor bronze medallist retained her national title in one of Britain’s deepest domestic long jump competitions as five women jumped beyond 6.60m and the three medallists bettered 6.80m.

Shara Proctor, the 2015 world silver medallist, opened the competition with a wind-assisted 6.81m (3.8m/s) while Ugen landed at 6.60m. Ugen then sailed out to 7.05m (1.2m/s) – just two centimetres shy of Proctor’s national record – to go into the lead.

Ugen followed with two fouls before passing her two final attempts. Proctor was unable to improve on her opening effort but produced wind-legal marks of 6.75m and 6.78m. She surrendered her second-place position in the final round, however, as Jazmin Sawyers flew out to a lifetime best of 6.86m.

“It feels good to be British champion, get a championship record and see so many people competing in the long jump,” said Ugen. “I think this is the biggest long jump field I have seen at this event and it was just nice to see everyone jumping well and getting season and personal bests.

“I definitely felt like I was in shape. I have been working on building more speed for the runway and I knew the more speed I can get the better I can jump. When I ran a PB yesterday, I knew it gave me an opportunity to PB in the long jump as well.”

One day prior, Ugen had set a PB of 11.32 to finish fifth in a high-quality 100m final won by Dina Asher-Smith in a championship record of 10.97 (-0.5m/s). It was Asher-Smith’s third sub-11-second clocking of the month, following her 10.92 national record at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Oslo and her 10.93 victory in Stockholm.

The battle behind her for the two remaining podium positions was tight. Daryll Neita claimed runner-up spot in 11.19, just ahead of Bianca Williams (11.20) while Imani Lansiquot placed fourth (11.23).

Lorraine Ugen, Dina Asher-Smith and Daryll Neita in the 100m at the British Championships in Birmingham


“I was looking to come here and run a fast time and I was really happy to have been able to do that,” said Asher-Smith. “The wind was crazy in the heats so I was just hoping it would die down, because I felt like I was in good shape, and thankfully it did.”

The women’s 200m on Sunday was similarly thrilling and saw five women finish within 23 seconds.

Despite a -1.3m/s headwind, Beth Dobbin sped to a 22.59 championship record and Scottish record to take victory just 0.01 ahead of 100m bronze medallist Bianca Williams. 2014 European silver medallist Jodie Williams took third place in 22.78 while Shannon Hylton was given the same time in fourth place to take 0.14 off the PB she set in the heats.

“It’s crazy,” said Dobbin. “I’m just looking at how far I have come. Last year my aim was to make the final and the last few years I have just been happy to make the final. This year I knew if I ran a good race I could come away a British champion. It’s a dream come true.”

Running his fourth race within the space of 30 hours, Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake clocked a season's best of 20.24 to win the men’s 200m. The 24-year-old, who finished fourth in the 200m at last year’s World Championships, crossed the line just 0.02 ahead of 2016 Olympic fourth-place finisher Adam Gemili. Leon Reid was third in 20.31, just 0.04 shy of the PB he set in his heat, while 2012 world U20 champion Delano Williams was fourth in 20.47, his fastest time since 2015.

Twenty-four hours earlier, Mitchell-Blake had finished fourth in the 100m in 10.20. Reece Prescod took the title convincingly in 10.06 ahead of Zharnel Hughes (10.13) and IAAF Diamond League champion Chijindu Ujah (10.18).

Morgan Lake and Sophie Hitchon were the other athletes to break championship records.

Lake won the high jump with a lifetime best of 1.97m, just one centimetre shy of the British record, while Hitchon dominated the hammer and won with 72.02m.

Muir steps down

Double world indoor medallist Laura Muir opted to work on her speed by contesting the 800m and showed impressive finishing speed to claim a 2:01.22 victory following a 1:02.72 opening lap.

World indoor bronze medallist Shelayna Oskan-Clarke was a distant second in 2:01.94 with Adelle Tracey taking third place in 2:02.00.

Olympic finalist Matthew Hudson-Smith claimed his third straight British 400m title with a 44.68 season’s best from Rabah Yousif (45.39).

On a day of warm temperatures and strong swirling winds, world indoor champion Andrew Pozzi battled a -2.5m/s headwind to win the 110m hurdles in 13.61.

Dai Greene made a welcome return to form. The 2011 world 400m hurdles champion clocked 50.06 to win his first national title in five years.

Holly Bradshaw was a clear winner of the pole vault. Her opening clearance of 4.45m effectively won the competition but she went on to sail over 4.60m before three failures at 4.72m.

NCAA decathlon champion Tim Duckworth took a break from combined events to concentrate on the long jump, which he won with 8.00m.

Elsewhere, Chris O’Hare won a close 1500m in 3:46.72 while Elliot Giles won a similarly competitive and tactical 800m in 1:50.28.

Tom Bosworth added a third British 5000m race walk title to his collection, winning in 19:01.20 from world U20 champion Callum Wilkinson (19:17.41), while Meghan Beesley enjoyed an emphatic 400m hurdles win in 55.73.

British Athletics and Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF