Dina Asher-Smith wins the British 100m title in Birmingham (© Getty Images)
Dina Asher-Smith was one of a handful of top performers at the three-day British Championships, which concluded on Sunday (5) in Birmingham, as athletes looked to book their spot on the team for the IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015.
The world junior champion scorched to a championship record of 11.08 (0.5m/s) in the 100m as she took her first senior national outdoor title. The British record-holder looked dominant throughout the rounds, which will undoubtedly set her up well for Beijing in August.
“I have worked really, really hard and am confident about my shape going forward,” said Asher-Smith, who clocked 11.28 into a -3.0m/s headwind in the semi-final. “It is amazing to have booked my place on the plane. I can now just enjoy the next races before the champs.”
Bianca Williams finished second in 11.43, having won the 200m title 24 hours earlier in 23.51.
There had been a lot of pressure on Chijindu Ujah since he broke the 10-second barrier last summer, but he delivered when it mattered this weekend to win his first British 100m title.
Ujah remained focused and got a great start, keeping his cool to move away from the field and take victory in 10.10 (-0.6m/s). European champion James Dasaolu was second in 10.24, just 0.03 ahead of world youth silver medallist Ojie Edoburun.
“I’ve had a tough time – obviously false starting in Prague (at the European Indoor Championships) – but I’ve learned from that and hopefully this will be a stepping stone towards the World Championships.
It was also a weekend to remember for sisters Tiffany Porter and Cindy Ofili, who took gold and silver in the 100m hurdles. European champion Porter duly won, running 12.83 into a -1.5m/s headwind.
Ofili, who recently finished second at the NCAA Championships in a PB of 12.60, finished runner-up in 12.96, booking her spot on the team for the World Championships.
Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis clocked a season’s best of 13.10 in third, 0.04 ahead of European indoor bronze medallist Serita Solomon. European indoor silver medallist Lucy Hatton pulled up after suffering from a back spasm.
“It was really special to race each other and it is the first time we have in a 100m hurdles race,” said Porter of racing her younger sister. “She is a great competitor and I’m proud how she executed the race today.”
It took just one jump for Shara Proctor to take the women's long jump title, as she leapt 6.86m (1.4m/s) to defeat a high-quality line up. In a competition hampered by a heavy downpour, Lorraine Ugen finished second with a last-round leap of 6.69m while Katarina Johnson-Thompson finished third with 6.56m in her first long jump competition of the summer.
Records for Pooley and Bosworth
The action on the second day of the championships drew to a close with Isobel Pooley breaking the outdoor British record in the high jump.
Pooley was level with world junior champion Morgan Lake with the bar at 1.88m, both athletes enjoying first-time clearances up to and including that height. Pooley then got over 1.91m on her second try as Lake bowed out of the competition.
Pooley needed three tries to clear 1.94m, but then popped over 1.97m on her first attempt. It added one centimetre to the national outdoor record she set last year and equalled the outright British record set by Johnson-Thompson earlier this year.
“I really believe I can jump 2.00m now and that would be a massive breakthrough,” said Pooley.
The third and final day of action picked up where the second day left off with Tom Bosworth setting the second national record of the weekend.
Bosworth won the 5000m race walk by more than a minute, clocking 19:00.73 to take more than 16 seconds off the record he set last year.
“I wanted to dip under 19 minutes but I’m in amazing shape and I’m absolutely buzzing for the World Championships,” said Bosworth.
Contrasting fortunes for Ohuruogu and Rutherford
Anyika Onuora caused the upset of the weekend as she beat world champion Christine Ohuruogu to win the 400m title in 51.87 to the 2008 Olympic champion’s 52.04.
“It’s not been an easy transition in the past two years but I guess I’ve now found my niche,” said Onuora, who has moved up to the 400m from a background at 100m and 200m. “Beating the world champion is amazing – I still look up to her.”
Another reigning global champion was put under pressure but came away with victory. Greg Rutherford was trailing Dan Bramble at the halfway point of the long jump, but produced a fourth-round leap of 8.11 (-0.6m/s) to take the win by seven centimetres.
In the men’s 400m, Rabah Yousif and Jarryd Dunn were level coming off the final bend, but Yousif edged ahead down the home straight to win in a lifetime best of 45.01 in far from perfect conditions. Dunn finished second in 45.24 while European champion Martyn Rooney was third.
The 200m was won by Zharnel Hughes in 20.42 (0.9m/s), finishing two metres ahead of defending champion Danny Talbot.
Laura Muir, winner of the 1500m at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Oslo last month, won her first senior national outdoor title. With 800m remaining of the 1500m, Muir threw in a 60-second lap to break away from Laura Weightman. Muir went on to win in 4:10.37, finishing more than four seconds ahead of European bronze medallist Weightman.
“I knew Laura would be really strong over the last lap so I wanted to use my endurance,” said Muir. “I knew that I would be only happy with winning and it’s my first British outdoor title. It’s only my third time competing here – I was last the first time and second last year so the win was really important today. I want to be pushing the best in the world.”
European silver medallist Lynsey Sharp secured a gun-to-tape 800m victory to book her spot on the plane to Beijing. The defending champion looked strong in the closing stages, winning by 0.40 in 2:02.40.
Eilidh Child romped to victory in the 400m hurdles in 55.67, while training partner Lawrence Clarke was just as comfortable a winner of the 110m hurdles, winning in 13.55.
Olympic bronze medallist Robbie Grabarz and 2013 European indoor champion Holly Bleasdale continued their return from injury to win their respective events. Grabarz cleared 2.28m in the high jump while Bradshaw won the pole vault with 4.50m.
Elsewhere, Steph Twell also continued to take strides back towards her best form as she won the women's 5000m by three seconds in 15:38.01, covering the final kilometre in 2:51.
Sophie Hitchon produced a championship record of 71.10m to win the women's hammer, while Nick Miller won the men's event with his first-round throw of 75.88m, the longest winning distance at the British Championships since 1985.
Rachel Wallader won the shot with a PB of 17.42m, the best throw by a Briton since 2000.
Jon Mulkeen and British Athletics for the IAAF